VelocityDC Dance Festival
Photo credit: Joshua Sugiyama

VelocityDC Dance Festival

Don’t miss the seventh annual VelocityDC Dance Festival at Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Sidney Harman Hall from Oct. 15 to 17. The popular festival sells out every year, with tickets at only $18 per show and featuring world-renowned dance companies and artists all based in the DC area.

VelocityDC’s performances run the gamut from ballet to modern dance, and incorporate works from around the globe – Sri Lankan and Indian dances, and even African stepping, to name a few. Each work is under 12 minutes, giving audiences the opportunity to experience different types of dance.

“It’s truly a portal experience for audience members regardless of their knowledge of dance,” says Samantha Pollack, Washington Performing Arts’ Director of Programming.

Washington Performing Arts teams up with Shakespeare Theatre Company, Dance Metro DC, and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities each year to bring together returning artists and talented newcomers. This year, the festival welcomes 11 new companies out of the 30 that will present their works.

“It’s truly exciting to be able to highlight such a wonderful mix of companies and give opportunities to more groups,” Pollack says.

The 2015 lineup includes Step Afrika!’s “Nxt/Step,” hip-hop fused with video projections and stepping; the Washington Ballet’s “Juanita y Alicia,” choreographed by Septime Webre and set to the music of the Buena Vista Social Club; and Mayalaworks, a new entry presenting the solo work “La Migra” that “juxtaposes a playful soundtrack of Parisian-inspired accordion music against an exploration of personal experiences with immigration.”

Prior to each performance, site-specific works will take place immediately at the main entrance to Sidney Harman Hall and in the windows on the second level, so that ticketholders and F Street pedestrians alike can catch a glimpse of what’s going on. The festival also features two free RAMP! performances on Oct. 15 and 17 at 6:15 p.m. in the Forum at the Harman.

“[RAMP! performances] are an intimate way for companies to share their works and have the opportunity to discuss them with an audience and moderator,” Pollack says. “One RAMP! is focused on emerging companies, and one is focused on works in progress.”

Learn more about the VelocityDC Dance Festival at www.velocitydc.org.

SIDNEY HARMAN HALL: 610 F St. NW, DC; 202-547-3230; www.shakespearetheatre.org