Dance Place

11/1 - 11/2

VTDance / Vincent E. Thomas

Performance of "Occupy," multi-media, multi-dimensional dance piece considering notions of how we inhabit or occupy space, what occupies our minds, what occupies our souls, and how these notions move us to make change.
11/9

Companhia Urbana de Danca

The Brazilian dance group blends athleticism with gritty urban dynamism, mixing contemporary Brazilian dance and hip-hop.
11/15 - 11/16

ClancyWorks Dance Company

The company premieres "Dream Catchers" by artistic director Adrienne Clancy, investigating the fragility of relationships as we build dreams together, with new works by guest artists including Sandra Lacy and Bill Evans.
11/22 - 11/23

SerendibDance / Asanga Domask

Celebrating the heritage of Sri Lanka, SerendibDance performs "A Single Cycle of the Sun," showcasing the life of a village from sunrise to sunset.
12/6 - 12/7

Urban Dance Theater Festival

Junious "House" Brickhouse of Washington's Urban Artistry curates a festival of performances portraying a global representation of hip-hop dance culture, with performances from Ariston "B-Boy ReMind" Ripoyla, Style Elements Crew, Sara "Lil Flex" Hirn, G-Force and Urban Artistry.
12/13 - 12/14

Kwanzaa Celebration 2014

Coyaba Dance Theater and special guests celebrate the seven principles of Kwanzaa.
1/10/15 - 1/11/15

LEVYdance

Ben Levy's contemporary dance company performs "Soar," using dance, theater and film to conjure a world beyond reality.
1/17/15 - 1/18/15

KanKouran West African Dance Company

KanKouran presents its annual celebration of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in a performance of traditional West African dance and drumming.
1/24/15 - 1/25/15

Coyaba Dance Theater

The company founded by artistic director Sylvia Soumah performs dance inspired by traditional dance and rhythms from the Mali Empire.
1/31/15 - 2/1/15

Nancy Havlik's Dance Performance Group & Ara Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald and Havlik pair up to present "LOVE AND OTHER VERBS," combining Ara's solos with Nancy's ensemble work to reveal the human condition.
'

Editorial Review

Hiding out in a quiet Northeast neighborhood, Dance Place is one of the few theaters that consistently presents the latest in local, cutting-edge dance talent. Founded by Carla Perlo in 1980, the compact black-box performance space (which doubles as a dance studio by day) hosts an eclectic array of performances nearly every week of the year.

Annual presentations of the resident dance companies -- Carla & Company, Deborah Riley and Coyaba Dance Theater -- forms the backbone of programming. Choreography with an ethnic bent, youth ensembles and performance art fill out the rest of the schedule. The small studio was the site of notorious shock-artist Karen Finley's first D.C. performance, and it was also where Blue Man Group gave its last nonprofit performance before moving to the lucrative New York market and beyond.

No red carpets or shimmering chandeliers decorate the simple, functional lobby of the theater, whose walls display the work of local artists. Seating is general admission, with all 170 padded folding chairs on risers offering open sightlines to the stage. During intermission, patrons can buy light refreshments or pick up loads of information on various cultural events from a table in the lobby. The audiences cut across age and color lines; dress is casual; talk is intense. All of the employees you'll see are dancers or choreographers, too.

Dance Place also services the community. It has brought in over 200,000 underprivileged schoolchildren to watch performances and participate in summer camps that teach them about dance and life skills.

As part of its role as a community arts center, Dance Place offers a full schedule of classes in modern and ethnic dance, many of them accompanied by live music. If you wake up one morning and can't tame those happy feet, you can still sign up for a class a few hours in advance.

-- Nicole Lewis