Home The Washington Diplomat December 2015 Events – December 2015

Events – December 2015









Embassies Come in From The Cold at Winternational

“Winternational – 4th Annual Embassy Showcase” at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center offers visitors the opportunity to travel the world and take care of some holiday shopping — all during their lunch hour.

This popular annual festival features an international bazaar that includes displays of visual arts, handcrafts, travel and tourism information as well as samples of national specialties, coffees and teas. There will also be chances for one-on-one interviews with diplomats, embassy exhibitors, sponsors and attendees.

Participating embassies include: African Union, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Botswana, Costa Rica, Egypt, El Salvador, European Union Delegation, Fiji, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Indonesia, Kenya, Latvia, League of Arab States, Macedonia, Mauritius, Montenegro, Morocco, Nepal, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan and more.

“Winternational” will be held Dec. 9 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the atrium of the Ronald Reagan Building. For information, visit http://itcdc.com.



Through Dec. 3

Surveillance Blind

Data and information flow around us and track our consumer habits, shape our identities, and mediate our relationships to our nation states. Who controls and uses our data is a question debated worldwide. The artists in this exhibition investigate the paradox of these connections and probe our relationship with data collection and interpretation.

Goethe-Institut Washington


Through Dec. 13

Susanne Kessler: Jerusalem

German-born artist Susanne Kessler has created a work unique to the American University Museum: a combination of drawing, installation and mixed media inspired by the city map of Jerusalem. Kessler explores how the city has transcended international conflict and war between religions as a spiritual location for three monotheistic religions, referring back to a common root and the beauty and wisdom of the three.

Katzen Arts Center


Dec. 13 to March 20

Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World

Some 50 bronze sculptures and related works survey the development of Hellenistic art as it spread from Greece throughout the Mediterranean between the fourth and first centuries B.C. Through the medium of bronze, artists were able to capture the dynamic realism, expression, and detail that characterized the new artistic goals of the period.

National Gallery of Art


Through Dec. 14

Rymd – A Swedish Space Odyssey

Sweden has been a member of the world space elite ever since the first space rocket left Earth. For more than half a century Swedish space research, technology and innovations have been at the cutting edge of space exploration and discovery. See the smallest space rocket engine in the world, find out about a unique and sustainable propulsion system and learn how Sweden awakened comet chaser Rosetta from her solar slumber. You can even help plan a mission to search for alien life on the icy moons of Jupiter. The digital stations in this exhibit offer videos, interviews and in-depth facts. And don’t miss out on the chance to win a space adventure in Abisko, Sweden, north of the Arctic Circle. For information, visit www.swedenabroad.com/en-GB/Embassies/Washington/Current-affairs/Events/EXHIBIT-Rymd—A-Swedish-Space-Odyssey-sys/.

House of Sweden


Through Dec. 31

Ingénue to Icon: 70 Years of Fashion

The first exhibition at Hillwood to present Marjorie Post’s full range of style, “Ingénue to Icon” will examine how Post’s lifelong passion for objects that were exceptionally beautiful and impeccably constructed extended to her taste for clothing.

Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens


Through Jan. 2

Peacock Room Remix: Darren Waterston’s Filthy Lucre

“Peacock Room REMIX” centers on “Filthy Lucre,” an immersive interior by painter Darren Waterston who reinterprets James McNeill Whistler’s famed Peacock Room as a resplendent ruin, an aesthetic space that is literally overburdened by its own excesses — of materials, history, and creativity. Like “Filthy Lucre” and the original Peacock Room, this exhibition invites viewers to consider the complex relationships among art, money and the passage of time.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery


Through Jan. 3

Age of Lawyers: The Roots of American Law in Shakespeare’s Britain

In the 800th anniversary year of the Magna Carta, “Age of Lawyers” offers a close-up look at the rapid increase of lawyers and legal actions in Shakespeare’s Britain, from the law’s impact on daily life to major political and legal disputes — some invoking the Magna Carta — that still influence American politics and government.

Folger Shakespeare Library


Through Jan. 3

Bold and Beautiful: Rinpa in Japanese Art

The modern term Rinpa (Rimpa) describes a remarkable group of Japanese artists who created striking images for paintings, ceramics, textiles and lacquerware.

Freer Gallery of Art


Through Jan. 3

Enigmas: The Art of Bada Shanren (1626-1705)

Born a prince of the Ming imperial house, Bada Shanren (1626–1705) lived a storied life, remaking himself as a secluded Buddhist monk and, later, as a professional painter and calligrapher. Featured in this exhibition are examples of his most daring and idiosyncratic works, demonstrating his unique visual vocabulary.

Freer Gallery of Art


Through Jan. 3

Le Onde: Waves of Italian Influence (1914-1971)

This exhibition of nearly 20 works from the museum’s collection follows Italian contributions to the transnational evolution of abstraction, through movements and tendencies such as futurism, spatialism, op art and kinetic art.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden


Through Jan. 10

Gauguin to Picasso: Masterworks from Switzerland, The Staechelin and Im Obersteg Collections

This exhibition pays tribute to two pioneering supporters of the arts, Rudolf Staechelin (1881-1946) and Karl Im Obersteg (1883-1969), both from Basel, who championed the work of impressionist, post-impressionist and School of Paris artists, providing a platform to distinguish collecting philosophies and situate them within the history and reception of modern art. The exhibition features more than 60 celebrated paintings — masterpieces created during the mid-19th and 20th centuries by 22 world-famous artists.

The Phillips Collection


Through Jan. 17

Esther Bubley Up Front

Esther Bubley (1921-98) was a photojournalist renowned for her revealing profiles of the United States and its people in the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s. Bubley’s talent for creating probing and gently humorous images of Americans contributed to her success in photojournalism.

National Museum of Women in the Arts


Through Jan. 31

Sōtatsu: Making Waves

Tawaraya Sōtatsu (act. ca. 1600–40), a fountainhead of Japanese painting and design, is one of the most influential yet elusive figures in Japanese culture. Sōtatsu’s work is instantly recognized by its bold, abstracted style, lavish swaths of gold and silver and rich jewel tones. Much of the artist’s life, however, remains a mystery. How a working-class owner of a Kyoto fan shop transformed into a sophisticated designer with a network of aristocratic collaborators is still an enigma — and the focus of this in-depth examination of masterpieces.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery


Through Jan. 31

Streams of Being

Drawn from the permanent collection of the Art Museum of the Americas, “Streams of Beings” brings to light a multiplicity of ideas and identities emerging within contemporary Latin American art. Featuring 22 artists from 12 countries across the Americas, this exhibition explores the permeable boundaries and dimensions of life through interrelated themes of scale and place, human and animal bodies. Throughout four intersecting “streams” — Bestiary, Cosmos, Topologies and Bodies in Exile — the display stages movement and displacement, dwelling on crossings both serendipitous and transgressive.

OAS Art Museum of the Americas


Through Feb. 3

Hidden Identities: Paintings and Drawings by Jorge Tacla

With the earliest works in the series dating to 2005, “Hidden Identities” by Chilean artist Jorge Tacla is composed of a rich series of paintings and drawings that explore central themes of mutability of identity, collective memory, the physical and psychological fallout of trauma, and the omnipresent yet latent potential for change. The inspiration for this body of work comes from the social, political and historical events of the artist’s life during the chaos of the Chilean coup d’état.

OAS Art Museum of the Americas


Through Feb. 28

Pathmakers: Women in Art, Craft, and Design, Midcentury and Today

This exhibition presents dynamic women designers and artists from the mid-20th century and today making groundbreaking commercial and industrial designs, maintaining craft traditions and incorporating new aesthetics into fine art.

National Museum of Women in the Arts


Through March 13

Celebrating Photography at the National Gallery of Art: Recent Gifts

Marking the culmination of a year-long celebration of photography at the museum, this installation brings together an exquisite group of gifts, ranging from innovative photographs made in the earliest years of the medium’s history to key works by important 20th-century artists and contemporary pieces that examine the ways in which photography continues to shape our experience of the modern world.

National Gallery of Art


Through April 24

Postwar Germanic Expressions: Gifts from Michael Werner

The Phillips presents recently acquired gifts of German and Danish art to the museum’s permanent collection, generously given by art collector Michael Werner. A selection from the 46 works are on view, painting, sculpture and works on paper by Georg Baselitz, Jörg Immendorff, Per Kirkeby, Markus Lüpertz and A. R. Penck.

The Phillips Collection


Through May 15

Louise Bourgeois: No Exit

Louise Bourgeois’s ties to surrealism and existentialism will be explored through 17 works on paper and four sculptures.

National Gallery of Art


Through June 5

Perspectives: Lara Baladi

Egyptian-Lebanese artist Lara Baladi experiments with the photographic medium, investigating its history and its role in shaping perceptions of the Middle East, particularly Egypt, where she is based.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery



Dec. 3 to 27

The Nutcracker

This celebrated production has become D.C.’s perennial holiday favorite. Set in historic Georgetown with historical figures and whimsical touches, this sumptuous rendition of the holiday classic showcases the grandeur of the Washington Ballet’s international roster of dancers set against Tchaikovsky’s majestic score. Please call for ticket information.

The Warner Theatre



Thu., Dec. 3, 4 p.m.

Dante Alighieri’s 750th Birthday Anniversary

The Library of Congress European Division, in partnership with the Embassy of Italy, present a panel of distinguished scholars discussing Dante’s Alighieri’s 750th birthday anniversary and the great Italian poet’s influence on music, American art and pop culture, philosophy, science and the law. Immediately following, at 5:30 p.m., a Dante Alighieri Collections display will showcase unique treasures in the library’s collections relating to Dante.

Library of Congress

James Madison Building, 6th Floor


Thu., Dec. 3, 6:45 p.m.

An Evening with Rick Steves: Sharpen Your European Travel Skills

Popular travel expert Rick Steves — acclaimed for his bestselling guidebooks and public television series — shares strategies on how to make the most of every mile, minute and euro on your next European adventure. Tickets are $42; for information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.

University of the District of Columbia UDC Auditorium


Mon., Dec. 7, 6:45 p.m.

Unlocking the Secrets of the Pharaohs

We can now look a pharaoh in the face. New imaging technology has offered some amazing insights into of the lives of ancient Egyptians when it was applied to the royal mummies in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Not only are scientists learning more about the age, cause of death, and medical conditions of pharaohs and queens, 3D imagining even allows experts to render detailed and lifelike representations of ancient royalty. Tickets are $35; for information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.

S. Dillon Ripley Center


Tue., Dec. 8, 9:30 a.m.

Perspectives on Reform of Islamic Law

In recognition of Human Rights Day, the Law Library of Congress and the Library’s African and Middle Eastern Division hosts a panel of Islamic scholars to explore new avenues and perspectives on Islamic law reform with a particular focus on reform within the framework of Islamic jurisprudence itself — as opposed to purely secular or “external” reform processes.

Library of Congress

James Madison Building


Thu., Dec. 10, 6:45 p.m.

Edith Piaf: Passion, With No Regrets

Legendary French singer Edith Piaf (1915-63) not only sang of love, loss and sorrow, she lived it. Known by adoring fans as “The Little Sparrow,” she was discovered in the sordid Pigalle district in Paris and became a superstar in France almost overnight. Despite her success, her personal life was filled with despair, marked by addiction, debt, divorce and the deaths of her daughter and her greatest love. Tickets are $45; for information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.

S. Dillon Ripley Center



Sat., Dec. 5, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Czech Christmas Market

The Embassy of the Czech Republic invites the public to celebrate the season with its annual Czech Christmas Market, which features beautiful hand-blown glass ornaments, exquisite handcrafted glass, Czech music, delicious Christmas cookies and mulled wine (svařák). Featured companies include Glassor, Topix Crystal Art and Bistro Bohem.

Embassy of the Czech Republic



Wed., Dec. 2, 7:30 p.m.

Virgil Boutellis-Taft, Violinist

In this special all-French program dedicated to the victims of the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, virtuoso violinist Virgil Boutellis-Taft is joined by pianist Yoonie Han for a concert featuring César Franck, Philippe Hersant, Debussy, Massenet and Saint-Saëns. Tickets are $80, including reception; for information, visit www.embassyseries.org.

Embassy of France


Sat., Dec. 5, 6:30 p.m.

Opera Camerata of Washington 25th Gala

Under the patronage of Colombian Ambassador Juan Carlos Pinzon and his wife Maria Pilar de Pinzon, the Opera Camerata celebrates its 25th anniversary gala with a dinner and performance of Giacomo Puccini’s “Tosca.” The Opera Camerata of Washington DC offers both first-time and long-time fans of all ages a unique, intimate opera experience that combines world-class performances and orchestras with lavish receptions held in exclusive salon settings. Tickets are $250; for information, visit www.operacamerata.org.

Colombian Residence


Sun., Dec. 6, 7:30 p.m.

Calmus: Christmas Carols of the World

Experience the German a cappella quintet who holds the audience “spellbound with its artistry” (the Washington Post) as they sing traditional and contemporary holiday music. Tickets are $35.

Wolf Trap


Fri., Dec. 11, 7:15 p.m.

Christmas Gala at Embassy of Luxembourg

A tribute to “The Great American Songbook,” singer Adrienne Haan’s distinctive interpretations of these classics were arranged to complement her unique stage presence and vocal prowess. Tickets are $150, including buffet; for information, visit www.embassyseries.org.

Embassy of Luxembourg


Dec. 11 to 13

China National Traditional Orchestra: Rediscover Chinese Music

The China National Traditional Orchestra, a state-level ensemble administered by China’s Ministry of Culture, carries forward the cultural tradition of Chinese national music by collecting the essence of folk music as well as contemporary works in performances at home and on tour throughout Europe and the United States. Tickets are $20 to $150.

Kennedy Center Opera House


Dec. 13 to 22

The Washington Chorus: A Candlelight Christmas

This beloved holiday tradition from the Washington Chorus features Christmas classics, sing-alongs, the 200-voice chorus and the enchanting candlelight processional. Tickets are $18 to $72.

Kennedy Center Concert Hall


Dec. 14 to 24

The Choral Arts Society of Washington: A Choral Arts Christmas

“A Choral Arts Christmas” celebrates the holidays with a magical mix of seasonal classics, favorite sing-alongs and popular Christmas standards. The Dec. 14 concert will feature the SYC Ensemble Singers from Singapore, representing this year’s Choral Arts embassy partner. Tickets are $15 to $69.

Kennedy Center Concert Hall


Dec. 17 to 20

National Symphony Orchestra: Handel’s Messiah

Get in the holiday spirit with Handel’s epic masterpiece, performed each year with a fresh perspective by the National Symphony Orchestra and acclaimed guest artists. Tickets are $15 to $89.

Kennedy Center Concert Hall


Fri., Dec. 18, 8 p.m.

Taste of the Holidays

One of today’s leading clarinetists, the “king of crossover from Canada” Julian Milkis joins the Russian Ensemble Siberian Virtuosi for a performance that brings an international flavor to the holidays with a program of vibrant, colorful and mood-filled works ranging from baroque to classical to jazz genres. Tickets are $35 to $55.

GW Lisner Auditorium


Dec. 7 to Jan. 3

Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind

Returning to the Woolly stage, the Neo-Futurists race against the clock to perform 30 miniature plays in just 60 minutes — with new plays added every night. Audiences choose the order, so every performance is a unique experience in this eccentric mini-play showcase that’s become a staple of Chicago’s underground theater scene for more than 25 years. Tickets start at $35.

Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company


Dec. 12 to 20

Holiday Family Opera: Hansel and Greta

Complete with a cackling witch, enchanted fairies, dancing animals and an oversized gingerbread oven, the timeless Grimm brothers’ fairytale returns for the holidays in the Washington National Opera’s whimsical and neon-colored production. Tickets are $59 to $75.

Kennedy Center Terrace Theater


Through Dec. 13

Sorry and Regular Singing

The final plays in Richard Nelson’s “The Apple Family Cycle” quartet explore the immediate present and evolving future of the United States. Over meals at the family homestead, the tensions and compromises, affections and resentments of the Apple family’s lives play out against a rapidly changing America. Tickets are $49 to $96.

The Studio Theatre


Dec. 15 to Jan. 10

Matilda The Musical

Based on the beloved novel by Roald Dahl, “Matilda The Musical” is the story of an extraordinary girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny. Tickets are $30 to $204.

Kennedy Center Opera House


Through Dec. 20

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival Production of Pericles

Pericles, Prince of Tyre, sets sail on an extraordinary journey through the decades and is blown from the coasts of Phoenicia to Greece and to Turkey. Chased by the wicked King of Antioch, Pericles finds his true love in Thaisa and loses her and their daughter Marina on the rough seas. Tickets are $35 to $75.

Folger Shakespeare Library


Through Dec. 31

A Christmas Carol

Celebrated Washington stage actor Edward Gero returns for the seventh year to play Ebenezer Scrooge in the Michael Wilson adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic that the Washington Post hailed as “musically high-spirited” and “infectiously jolly.” Tickets are $22 to $95.

Ford’s Theatre


Through Jan. 3

Kiss Me, Kate

As they try to stage a musical version of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew,” sparks fly on and off stage between the show’s director and his leading lady — and ex-wife. Add to the mix passionate young lovers, plus a few musically inclined gangsters’ heavies, and the result is a sharp and witty night with some of Cole Porter’s most immortal songs. Tickets are $20 to $118.

Shakespeare Theatre Company

Sidney Harman Hall


Through Jan. 3


Charles Dickens’s unforgettable characters burst to life in the Tony Award-winning musical that blends the chaotic worlds of Victorian London with 2015 London to infuse a modern edge to the classic story about an innocent orphan living amongst double-dealing thieves and conmen. Please call for ticket information.

Arena Stage