Home The Washington Diplomat December 2011 Events – December 2011

Events – December 2011



Art Dance






Dec. 3 to 18
Home for Christmas
Enjoy whimsical and authentic illustrations from the book “Home for Christmas” by Jan Brett, one of America’s most beloved and bestselling children’s author-illustrators. Special storytelling sessions of the book for families will take place Dec. 10, 11, 17 and 18, at noon and 2 p.m.
House of Sweden

Dec. 3 to March 11
Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro: Are We There Yet?
In the first U.S. exhibition of Australian artists Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro — and the third exhibition in the “NOW at the Corcoran” series showcasing emerging and mid-career artists — a gallery-transforming installation draws on American history, literature, pop culture, current affairs and the Corcoran’s architecture to explore the symbolism of space exploration and the paradoxes of food consumption.
Corcoran Gallery of Art

Through Dec. 14
Elusive Pioneer of American Documentary Photography
This exhibition examines the work Louise Rosskam, an elusive pioneer of American documentary photography in the 1930 and ’40s, including her compelling photographs of Southwest D.C. neighborhoods before their destruction for urban renewal as well as her images of Puerto Rico as it developed from an impoverished U.S. possession to an industrialized commonwealth.
American University Katzen Arts Center

Through Dec. 14
Inner Piece: Works from the Heather and Tony Podesta Collection
This selection of works comes from the private collection of Tony and Heather Podesta, widely known for their respective lobbying firms but are equally well known for being among the country’s most prominent contemporary art collectors.
American University Katzen Arts Center

Through Dec. 14
Wayne Barrar: An Expanding Subterra
New Zealand photographer Wayne Barrar traveled through America, New Zealand, Australia and France seeking the subterranean places in which people live, work, and play — depicting hidden the underground worksites of mines and universities to the surreal domestic world of the subterranean homes in an opal mining town in South Australia.
American University Katzen Arts Center

Through Dec. 30
The Solemnity of Shadows: Juan Laurent’s Vision of Spain
Nearly two dozen rare albumen photographs and two albums, with a particular focus on Spanish art and architecture, illustrate the skills of Juan Laurent (1816–86), a preeminent figure in the history of Spanish photography.
National Gallery of Art

Through Dec. 30
Art from Europe and the United States imagines urban areas with great potential for diversification and transformation, playing with known architecture and structures and how the ideas behind them are often obscured by the viewer’s angle.
Embassy of Austria

Through Jan. 1
Wedding Belles
Four gowns belonging to heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post and those of her mother and daughters, along with bridesmaid dresses, a royal veil, and a stunning Cartier bag carried by Post’s daughter tell the story of 20th-century wedding style through the lens of one of America’s most notable and fashionable families.
Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens

Through Jan. 2
Warhol: Headlines
Andy Warhol had a lifelong obsession with the sensational side of contemporary news media, and his source materials for his artwork — headlines from the tabloid news — will be presented for comparison, revealing Warhol’s role as both editor and author.
National Gallery of Art

Through Jan. 7
A Celebration of Life
Nigerian artist Stanley Agbontaen’s newest body of work includes 23 oil paintings and seven wood block panels featuring richly colored, vibrant scenes that celebrate Nigeria’s resilient people, the beauty in their daily rituals, and the energy of their bustling urban centers and marketplaces.
International Visions Gallery

Through Jan. 7
A Song for the Horse Nation
The story of the relationship of Native Americans and horses is one of the great sagas of human contact with the animal world, as evidenced by this array of 122 historic objects, artwork, photographs, songs and personal accounts that tells the story of how the return of horses to the Americas by Christopher Columbus changed everything for Indians.
National Museum of the American Indian

Through Jan. 8
Degas’s Dancers at the Barre: Point and Counterpoint
Bringing together about 30 works from some of the world’s finest collections, this exhibition traces ballet in Edgar Degas’s art from the 1870s to 1900, while also celebrating “Dancers at the Barre” as a crowning achievement in the artist’s four-decade career — prompted by discoveries from a recent conservation treatment of the masterpiece, which took 16 years to create.
The Phillips Collection

Through Jan. 8
The Invention of Glory: Afonso V and the Pastrana Tapestries
The Pastrana Tapestries—among the finest surviving Gothic tapestries—will be on view together for the first time in the U.S. and will showcase the recently restored set of four monumental tapestries that commemorate the conquest of two strategically located cities in Morocco by the king of Portugal, Afonso V (1432–1481).
National Gallery of Art

Through Jan. 15
Andy Warhol: Shadows
Created in the last decade of Andy Warhol’s life, “Shadows” comprises 102 silkscreened and hand-painted canvases featuring distorted photographs of shadows generated in the artist’s studio — forms that at once suggest and mock the bravura brushwork of the abstract expressionists.
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Through Jan. 15
CHINA Town: Contemporary Ceramic Painting from Jingdezhen
This unprecedented exhibition of porcelain art — the sixth in a series of exhibits organized over the last decade by the Meridian Center’s Art for Cultural Diplomacy program with Chinese partners — highlights objects from Jingdezhen, a city of 1.6 million people that has produced the finest Chinese porcelain for more than 1,000 years, especially the world-renowned blue and white decorative motifs.
Meridian International Center

Through Jan. 15
Manifold Greatness: The Creation and Afterlife of the King James Bible
Marking its 400th anniversary this year, the 1611 King James Bible still echoes in books, movies, songs, speeches and sermons today. But who translated it? The Folger Shakespeare Library and University of Oxford draw on their deep resources to uncover the little-known story of one of the most widely read books in the history of the English language.
Folger Shakespeare Library

Through Jan. 15
Visions of the Orient: Western Women Artists in Asia 1900–1940
“Visions of the Orient” features 125 prints and paintings by four female Western artists exploring Asian cultures between 1900 and 1940, all of whom trained as painters but, while living in Japan, also designed woodblock prints.
National Museum of Women in the Arts

Through Jan. 22
Contemporary Art from Chile
In this dual exhibition, “Traveling Light” features five contemporary Chilean artists who’ve installed site-specific work at the museum, while “Common Place” highlights the evolving subordinate relationship between Latin American housekeepers and their housewife employers.
OAS Art Museum of the Americas

Through Jan. 29
Power/Play: China’s Empress Dowager
Following China’s disastrous Boxer Rebellion, the Grand Empress Dowager Cixi (1835-1908) used photographic portraiture to rehabilitate her public image, allowing a young aristocratic photographer to take elaborately staged shots of her and her court. As the only photographic series taken of the supreme leader of China for more than 45 years, these images represents a unique convergence of Qing court pictorial traditions, modern photography and Western standards of artistic portraiture.
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Through Feb. 3
New Visions: A Selection of the Latest Acquisitions from the IDB Art Collection, 2008–2011
The Inter-American Development Bank’s art collection comprises 1,722 artworks that include paintings, sculpture, photography, works on paper, ceramics and handcrafted objects. These works showcase the region’s creativity and highlight the achievements of its distinguished artists.
Inter-American Development Bank Cultural Center

Through Feb. 3
On the Lakeshore… and Other Stories
Photographer Iris Janke’s work treads a fine line between reflection and intuition, between control and chance, as she records her daily experiences in a visual diary from which she selects the images that have the strongest narrative power.

Through Feb. 4
Conversación: Photo Works by Muriel Hasbun and Pablo Ortiz Monasterio
In conjunction with FotoWeek DC, this exhibition represents a yearlong collaboration between two artists, one from Mexico and one in D.C., whereby a single photograph was sent by Pablo Ortiz Monasterio as a digital file to Muriel Hasbun, who replied by sending back one of her own. This exchange went on for months, the results of which reveal how photography can probe the possibilities of cultural and visual exchange in a digital age.
Mexican Cultural Institute

Through Feb. 10
Forces of Nature
Investigating the intricacies of land and sea, flora and fauna, 13 acclaimed Australian artists specializing in jewelry and small sculpture reflect on the complex relationship between contemporary Australia and its unique natural environment.
Embassy of Australia

Through Feb. 12
30 Americans
Provocative and confrontational, this exhibition showcases works by many of the most important African American artists of the last three decades, focusing on issues of racial, sexual and historical identity and exploring the powerful influence of artistic legacy across generations.
Corcoran Gallery of Art

Through Feb. 12
Weaving Abstraction: Kuba Textiles and the Woven Art of Central Africa
Ingeniously woven from palm fiber, Central African textiles distinguished the wealthy and powerful. Woven art from the Kuba kingdom in particular makes playful use of a language of over 200 patterns. “Weaving Abstraction is the most comprehensive exploration of this art form to date in the U.S., with 150 objects ranging from small, exquisite baskets to monumental skirts.
The Textile Museum

Through March 4
Central Nigeria Unmasked: Arts of the Benue River Valley
This international exhibit features more than 148 objects used in a range of ritual contexts, with genres as varied and complex as the vast region of Central Nigeria, that demonstrate how the history of the area can be “unmasked” through the dynamic interrelationships of its peoples and their arts.
National Museum of African Art

Through March 4
Harry Callahan at 100
Celebrate the centenary of the birth of Harry Callahan (1912–99), one of the most innovative and influential photographers of the 20th century, with some 100 photographs that explores all facets of Callahan’s art.
National Gallery of Art

Through March 24
The Wild Horses of Sable Island
Photographer Roberto Dutesco reveals the fascinating beauty of a fragile sliver of sand more than 100 miles off the coast of Nova Scotia. Sable Island, known as the “Graveyard of the Atlantic,” is the site of more than 475 shipwrecks since the 17th century. Yet the barren, windswept island is also home to more than 400 wild horses, abandoned there by sailors long ago — a feral herd that has managed to thrive in an unforgiving environment.
Embassy of Canada Art Gallery

Through April 8
Antico: The Golden Age of Renaissance Bronzes
This exhibition is the first in the United States devoted to the Mantuan sculptor and goldsmith Pier Jacopo Alari Bonacolsi (c. 1455–1528), known as Antico for his expertise in classical antiquity.
National Gallery of Art


Sat., Dec. 3, 7 to 10:30 p.m.
CentroNía’s 25th Birthday Bash
CentroNía celebrates 25 years of progress with a special tribute to its founder, Beatriz “BB” Otero, whose vision drives CentroNía in educating and guiding more than 2,500 children and families across the D.C. area, with this lavish evening featuring dinner, live music, and a live and silent auction of fine handicrafts by local artists. For information, contact Francis Keller at (202) 332-4200 ext. 1091 or email fkeller@centronia.org.
American University Katzen Arts Center

Sat., Dec. 3, 4 to 8 p.m.
Holidays through History!
Visit the cherished past at Tudor Place, Anderson House, Dumbarton House and the Woodrow Wilson House as all four D.C. landmarks jointly throw open their doors for a holiday open house where guests can stroll the historic rooms, delight in period decorations and music that reflects holiday traditions from the Federal period through the Roaring Twenties, and sample seasonal treats and crafts projects. Tickets for adults are $10 and $5 for children.
Various locations

Sat., Dec. 3, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Swedish Christmas Bazaar
Experience a typical Swedish “julmarknad” with vendors, food, music and the traditional Santa Lucia procession. Highlights include a market to purchase holiday gifts, a children’s activity room with Swedish crafts, Swedish Café with home-baked goods and traditional delicacies, as well as holiday carols and songs performed by children from the Swedish school.
House of Sweden

Through Dec. 4
Seventh Annual Flamenco Festival at GALA
“Fuego Flamenco VII” is an exploration of the diversity and depth of flamenco and its contemporary expressions; this year’s attractions include a U.S. premiere with the sultry Ana González appearing with José Barrios and Company from Madrid, as well as a world premiere by the Flamenco Aparicio Dance Company from D.C. that features only male flamenco dancers from Spain and the U.S. For information, visit www.galatheatre.org.
GALA Hispanic Theatre


Dec. 8 to 11
American Ballet Theatre: The Nutcracker
Magical toy soldiers, shimmering snowflakes, mischievous mice, and all the enchanting inhabitants of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s whimsical world descend on the Kennedy Center for the D.C. premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s “The Nutcracker.” Tickets are $45 to $150.
Kennedy Center Opera House


Thu., Dec. 1, 7 p.m.
Le Studio: Wine Tasting 101
The French Embassy’s monthly “Wine Tasting 101” soirées — with veteran wine journalist Claire Morin-Gibourg — explore the regions and vineyards in France, as well as tasting techniques. This month’s tasting features cognacs from the Hennessy Cognac distillery. Tickets are $75.
La Maison Française

Thu., Dec. 8, 12 p.m.
Ambassador Johnnie Carson
Ambassador Johnnie Carson, the assistant secretary of state for the State Department Bureau of African Affairs, headlines the program “Forty Years of Dedication to Africa: A Dialogue with Ambassador Johnnie Carson.”
Library of Congress
Thomas Jefferson Building

Thu., Dec. 8, 4 p.m.
“The Quest for an Elusive Continental Ideal
Ricardo V. Luna, former ambassador of Peru to the United States, talk abouts the efforts of thinkers and leaders from North America and Latin America to develop a definition of a single Western culture across the Northern and Southern hemispheres.
Library of Congress
Thomas Jefferson Building

Thu., Dec. 8, 6:30 p.m.
The Mexican Table
The Mexican Table Cooking Series concludes 2011 with a session on the history behind the piñata tradition while savoring the treasured meal of pozole in its many variations with renowned chef Patricia Jinich. Tickets are $70.
Mexican Cultural Institute


Dec. 1 to 3, 7:30 p.m.
A Luxembourg Christmas
Toast the holidays with an array of classical, popular and Christmas music performed by chamber music groups, pianists, singers, carolers and more. Champagne, hors d’oeuvres and a buffet dinner accompany this spirited concert hosted by the Embassy Series. Tickets are $125; for information, visit www.embassyseries.org.
Embassy of Luxembourg

Sat., Dec. 3, 2 & 8 p.m.,
Sun., Dec. 4, 2 p.m.
Manuel de Falla: El Amor Brujo
PostClassical Ensemble presents a new production of Falla’s demonic flamenco masterpiece starting the legendary flamenco cantaora Esperanza Fernández in her D.C. debut. Tickets are $25.
Georgetown University
Davis Performing Arts Center

Sun., Dec. 4, 6:30 p.m.
Mathieu Dufour, Flute
Praised as “a marvel” by the Chicago Sun-Times, French flutist Mathieu Dufour has a pure sound and flawless technique that helped to make him one of the youngest principal flutists with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Tickets are $25.
La Maison Française

Fri., Dec. 9, 7:30 p.m.
Matei Varga, Piano
With his smoldering intensity and intellectual interpretations, young Romanian-born pianist Matei Varga has already performed as recitalist, chamber musician and concerto soloist at major venues in New York, Paris, Tokyo, Stockholm and Jerusalem. Tickets are $100, including Romanian buffet and wine; for information, visit www.embassyseries.org.
Romanian Residence

Sat., Dec. 10, 8 p.m.,
Sun., Dec. 11, 3 p.m.
National Philharmonic: Handel’s Messiah
World-class soloists join the National Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorale to usher in the holidays with Handel’s 1741 masterpiece, the most-performed and beloved work in all of Western choral music. Please call for ticket information.
Music Center at Strathmore

Thu., Dec. 15, 8 p.m.
Vienna Boys Choir: Christmas in Vienna
Capturing the enchantment and joy of the holiday season, the Vienna Bys Choir has for 500 years been synonymous with fine choral music by some of Europe’s greatest composers. Tickets are $32, $40 or $48.
George Mason University
Hylton Performing Arts Center

Fri., Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m.
Efe Baltacigil, Cello
Amy Yang, Piano
Turkish cellist Efe Baltacıgil was acclaimed by audiences and critics alike in 2005 when he and pianist Emanuel Ax performed Beethoven’s “Cello Sonata No.1” at a Philadelphia Orchestra concert with only 10 minutes of rehearsal when a winter snowstorm prevented most of the orchestra from reaching the concert hall. After that performance, the Philadelphia Inquirer presciently wrote that Baltacigil’s “gorgeous sound, strong personality, and expressive depth suggest an artist about to have a major career.” Tickets are $150, including Turkish reception and dinner; for information, visit www.embassyseries.org.
Turkish Residence

Sun., Dec. 18, 4 p.m.
Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano: Fiesta Navidad
The Grammy-winning ensemble Mariachi Los Camperos, formed nearly 50 years ago, brings a festive, joyful holiday sound that celebrates the cultural traditions of Mexico. Tickets are $23, $38 or $46.
George Mason University Center for the Arts


Through Dec. 4
Krapp’s Last Tape
Alone on his 69th birthday, a man prepares for his own “party” of sorts, surrounded by volume after volume of a life on tape, but what he hears from his 39-year-old self may irrevocably change his future in Samuel Beckett’s haunting play starring John Hurt. Please call for ticket information.
The Shakespeare Theatre

Dec. 6 to Jan. 8
Spoiler Alert: Everybody Dies
Woolly Mammoth artists flew to Chicago to work with the Second City’s comedians in this unprecedented collaboration. Their mission? Bring back the most gleeful anti-holiday celebration of doom ever — a mind-bending and hilarious new show exploring the twists of fate that propel our universe. Tickets start at $30.
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Through Dec. 11
The Golden Dragon
Five actors cross age, race and gender to play 15 characters in this vicious yet poetic investigation of how intertwined our globalized lives really are, by one of Germany’s most innovative and adventurous writers. Tickets are $35 to $69.
The Studio Theatre

Dec. 13 to Jan. 15
Billy Elliot the Musical
In this Tony-winning musical with heart and humor, Billy stumbles out of the boxing ring and into a ballet class, discovering a surprising talent for dance that inspires his family and his whole community, changing his life forever. Tickets are $25 to $150.
Kennedy Center Opera House

Through Dec. 18
The Madman and the Nun
The Ambassador Theater presents “The Madman and the Nun or, There is Nothing Bad Which Could Not Turn into Something Worse” by Polish playwright Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz — set entirely in one cell of a lunatic asylum, where the madman of the title, poet Alexander Walpurg, becomes part of a scientific experiment lead by Dr. Grun and his Freudian preconception of curing the patient with the help of Sister Anna. Tickets are $30.
Mead Theater Lab at Flashpoint

Through Dec. 23
Romeo and Juliet
Synetic Theater’s “Speak No More” – The Silent Shakespeare Festival concludes with the Bard’s tragic story of love, passion and timelessness, all made stunningly physical through the lyrical choreography and movement of Synetic’s performers. Tickets are $45 to $55.
Synetic Theater at Crystal City

Through Dec. 31
A Christmas Carol
Join the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future as they lead the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge — played by renowned Washington stage actor Edward Gero — on a journey of transformation and redemption in this music-infused production that captures the magic and joy of Dickens’s Yuletide classic.
Ford’s Theatre

Through Dec. 31
Pride and Prejudice
The willful, witty Elizabeth is taunted and tantalized by the disciplined, dashing Mr. Darcy in Jane Austen’s classic world of desperate spinsters, determined bachelors, nosy neighbors, embarrassing relatives, and a smarmy cad or two. Tickets are $26 to $61.
Round House Theatre Bethesda

Through Jan. 1
In 1605 London, the worlds of King James and the Gunpowder Plot collide with William Shakespeare and his renowned theatrical troupe as the Bard, commissioned to create a calculated piece of propaganda, must find a way to please the king while avoiding the gallows in this cat-and-mouse game of politics and art. Please call for ticket details.
Arena Stage

Through Jan. 1
Much Ado About Nothing
Everyone can see that Benedick and Beatrice are meant for each other except Benedick and Beatrice in one of the Bard’s most romantic comedies ever written. Please call for ticket information.
The Shakespeare Theatre

Through Jan. 1
You, Nero
As Rome collapses beneath Nero’s outrageous narcissism, a forgotten playwright tries to restore order by trying to convince the world’s most famous debaucher to choose virtue over vice. Please call for ticket details.
Arena Stage

Through Jan. 7
Jersey Boys
This Tony and Grammy Award-winning production is the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, and how a group of blue-collar boys from the wrong side of the tracks became one of the biggest American pop music sensations of all time. Tickets start at $66.50.
National Theatre

Through Jan. 29
In 1960s Baltimore, Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart, wins a spot on the local TV dance program and, overnight, is transformed from outsider to irrepressible teen celebrity in the Broadway sensation “Hairspray.” Tickets start at $63.
Signature Theatre