It was a year for turmoil and transformation. The American Ballet Theatre lockout, for instance, the resolution of which won ABT dancers well-merited gains in wages and benefits, came at high cost, including cancellation of four weeks of performances in Washington -- our consolation prize is a week-long visit next month.
The Pennsylvania Ballet, at a peak of artistic excellence, endured violent splits and reorganization in the wake of financial crisis; the troupe is now under the leadership of former NYC Ballet principal Robert Weiss. On the local scene, the longstanding improvisational troupe Free Association disbanded, and the Georgetown Dance Series has been discontinued. Dancer-choreographers Lonna Wilkinson and Addison Hoffman have moved to New York.
On the brighter side, Dance Place has opened a new branch in Takoma Park and expanded its dance series; so has the Glen Echo summer festival. Fledgling Washington Ballet star Bonnie Moore won a first prize in the Lausanne competition in January; African Heritage founder-director Melvin Deal was honored with an official citywide proclamation by Mayor Barry; and the Washington Ballet went international, with two European jaunts to Spoleto, Paris and other continental sites, plus a just-concluded, wildly successful debut in Singapore.