Dance Place

4/4

Cynthia Oliver / COCo Dance Theatre (from Urbana, Illinois)

BOOM!, a new duet, features Cynthia Oliver and Leslie Cuyjet as individuals, friends, strangers, family, younger/older versions of themselves, negotiating relations that are persistently in flux.
4/11 - 4/12

Karen Reedy Dance and Project. B.

Performances by Karen Reedy Dance and San Francisco-based contemporary dance company Project. B.
4/22

Fieldwork Showing

This works-in-progress showing is the culmination of a Fieldwork session, a forum for artists to share their works and exchange feedback.
4/25 - 4/26

Rennie Harris RHAW: LOV American-Style

A full-length hip-hop dance musical, inspired by the music of the legendary classic rock music era from the 70's and 80's.
5/2 - 5/3

Dakshina / Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company

Persistent Voices combines poignant choreography, thought provoking poetry, and evocative visual designs to explore the effect of AIDS in our lives. The dance is inspired by the anthology "Persistent Voices: Poetry by Writers Lost to AIDS" which includes the work of eight D.C. poets.
5/9

Step It Up DC

Dance Place's Step Team teaches a step workshop at 6 followed by an informal performance at 8. All ages.
5/26 - 5/31

Dance Africa, D.C. 2015

The 28th annual festival celebrating the dance and music of the African Diaspora featuring some of the best African dance companies in the DC area, international artists, a master class series and an African marketplace.
'

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