February 2019

diplomat.cover.malta.digital.feb2019

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Cover Story

Malta Evolves From Ninth-Century
History to 21st-Century Innovation

a5.malta.valetta.boats.homeMalta — a windswept Mediterranean island steeped in medieval history — is famous for its Roman catacombs, Byzantine ruins and Crusader castles. But these days, Malta wants to be a leader in 21st- as well as ninth-century innovation by embracing new technologies such as blockchain and cryptocurrency. Read More
Also See: Good Knights: Sovereign Military Order of Malta

People of World Influence

Ethnic Violence, Graft Among Issues
As Nigeria Heads to the Polls

a1.powi.campbell.portrait.homeJohn Campbell, the former U.S. ambassador to Nigeria, talks about Nigeria's upcoming election and the problems that have plagued Africa's most populous country and its largest economy, ranging from ethnic violence to endemic graft. Read More


Mexican Insecurity

Mexico's New President Tackles
Insecurity, Corruption Challenges

a2.mexico.amlo.obrador.home

Andrés Manuel López Obrador won Mexico's presidency after promising to do in three years what his predecessors couldn't do in 12: end the horrendous violence and corruption that are pandemic in Mexico. Read More


Key 2019 Races

Elections in Europe, South Asia,
Africa Could Overturn Status Quo

a3.elections.eu.group.homeElections in 2019 are set to shake up the global landscape. The world is headed for some major transitions this year, with critical elections taking place in all corners of the globe, from Africa to Asia to Europe. Read More


Sri Lankan Showdown

President's Political Reshuffling
Sparks Constitutional Crisis

a4.sri.lanka.sirisena.homeFor seven weeks, Sri Lanka had two rival governments, mass demonstrations, people forming human shields around the prime minister's residence, punch-ups in parliament, talk of a coup d'état and a terrible fatality. Read More


Book Review

'The Empty Throne' Laments the
American Void Left in Trump's Wake

a6.review.empty.throne.book.home"The Empty Throne: America's Abdication of Global Leadership" by Ivo H. Daalder and James M. Lindsay is an important book that chronicles the first 18 months of Trump's foreign policy. Read More


   

Ethnic Violence, Graft Among Issues as Nigeria Heads to the Polls

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By Aileen Torres-Bennett

Read more: Ethnic Violence, Graft Among Issues as Nigeria Heads to the Polls
   

Mexico’s New President Faces Formidable Challenges Tackling Insecurity, Corruption

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By John Brinkley

Read more: Mexico’s New President Faces Formidable Challenges Tackling Insecurity, Corruption
   

Elections in Europe, Africa and South Asia Could Overturn, or Reinforce, Status Quo

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By Ryan R. Migeed

Read more: Elections in Europe, Africa and South Asia Could Overturn, or Reinforce, Status Quo
   

Sri Lankan President’s Sudden Political Reshuffling Sparks Constitutional Crisis

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By Jonathan Gorvett

Read more: Sri Lankan President’s Sudden Political Reshuffling Sparks Constitutional Crisis
   

A Mediterranean Oasis of Medieval History, Malta Embraces 21st-Century Innovations

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By Larry Luxner

Read more: A Mediterranean Oasis of Medieval History, Malta Embraces 21st-Century Innovations
   

Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Distinct from Malta Itself, Assists World’s Poor

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By John Brinkley

Read more: Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Distinct from Malta Itself, Assists World’s Poor
   

‘The Empty Throne’ Laments the American Void Left in Trump’s Wake

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By John T. Shaw

Read more: ‘The Empty Throne’ Laments the American Void Left in Trump’s Wake
   

Study Finds That One in Four Antibiotic Prescriptions Isn’t Needed

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By Steven Reinberg

Read more: Study Finds That One in Four Antibiotic Prescriptions Isn’t Needed
   

Seventh Annual Winternational Embassy Showcase Takes Locals on Global Adventure

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By Anna Gawel

Read more: Seventh Annual Winternational Embassy Showcase Takes Locals on Global Adventure
   

American-Irish Wife of Belizean Ambassador Touts Their Tropical Paradise

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By Gail Scott

Read more: American-Irish Wife of Belizean Ambassador Touts Their Tropical Paradise
   

NMWA Brings Rodarte Dresses and Designs from Catwalk to Nation’s Capital

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By Mackenzie Weinger

Read more: NMWA Brings Rodarte Dresses and Designs from Catwalk to Nation’s Capital
   

Husband-Wife Duo Uses Word, Art to Meditate on Past, Present in Aboriginal Australia

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By Mike Crowley

Read more: Husband-Wife Duo Uses Word, Art to Meditate on Past, Present in Aboriginal Australia
   

Studio Theatre’s ‘Admissions’ Wrestles with Issues of Race, Privilege and Power

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By Lisa Troshinsky

Read more: Studio Theatre’s ‘Admissions’ Wrestles with Issues of Race, Privilege and Power
   

Films - February 2019

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By Cari

 

Languages

Arabic

French

Portuguese


Czech

German

Spanish


English

Japanese

Farsi

Polish

 

Arabic

Capernaum

Directed by Nadine Labaki

(Lebanon/U.S., 2018, 126 min.)

A clever, gutsy 12-year-old boy, Zain, survives the dangers of the city streets by his wits. He flees his parents and to assert his rights, takes them to court, suing them for the "crime" of giving him life (Arabic and Amharic

 

Czech

Jan Palach

Directed by Robert Sedlácek

(Czech Republic, 2018, 124 min.)

Jan Palach, an uncompromising young man, made the ultimate sacrifice in protest the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. This biopic describes the last months of Palach's life and his path from an affectionate son, devoted friend and sensitive philosophy student through his self-immolation in Wenceslas Square.

The Avalon Theatre

Wed., Feb. 13, 8 p.m.

 

English

Arctic

Directed by Joe Penna

(Iceland, 2019, 97 min.)

Stranded in the arctic after an airplane crash, a man must decide whether to remain in the relative safety of his makeshift camp or to embark on a deadly trek through the unknown in the hopes of making it out alive.

Angelika Mosaic

Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema

Opens Fri., Feb. 8

 

On the Basis of Sex

Directed by Mimi Leder

(U.S., 2018, 120 min.)

This is the true story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, her struggles for equal rights and what she had to overcome to become a U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

Angelika Mosaic

Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema

Landmark's E Street Cinema

 

If Beale Street Could Talk

Directed by Barry Jenkins

(U.S., 2018, 119 min.)

A newly engaged Harlem woman races against the clock to prove her lover's innocence while carrying their first born child.

AFI Silver Theatre

Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema

Landmark's E Street Cinema

 

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Directed by Marielle Heller

(U.S., 2018, 106 min.)

Melissa McCarthy stars as Lee Israel, the best-selling celebrity biographer who finds herself unable to get published because she had fallen out of step with the marketplace, so she turns her art form to deception.

Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema

West End Cinema

 

Destroyer

Directed by Karyn Kusama

(U.S., 2018, 121 min.)

"Destroyer" follows the moral and existential odyssey of LAPD detective Erin Bell who, as a young cop, was placed undercover with a gang in the California desert with tragic results.

Landmark's E Street Cinema

 

The Favourite

Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos

(Ireland/U.K./U.S., 2018, 119 min.)

In early 18th century England, a frail Queen Anne occupies the throne and her close friend Lady Sarah governs the country in her stead. But when a new servant Abigail arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah.

AFI Silver Theatre

Angelika Mosaic

Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema

Landmark's E Street Cinema

 

Free Solo

Directed by Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi

(U.S., 2018, 100 min.)

Follow Alex Honnold as he becomes the first person to ever free solo climb Yosemite's 3,000ft high El Capitan Wall. With no ropes or safety gear, he completed arguably the greatest feat in rock climbing history.

West End Cinema

 

Green Book

Directed by Peter Farrelly

(U.S., 2-18, 130 min.)

When Tony, a bouncer from an Italian-American neighborhood in the Bronx, is hired to drive Dr. Don Shirley, a world-class Black pianist, on a concert tour from Manhattan to the Deep South, they must rely on "The Green Book" to guide them to the few establishments that were then safe for African-Americans. Confronted with racism, danger — as well as unexpected humanity and humor — they are forced to set aside differences to survive and thrive on the journey of a lifetime (English, Italian, Russian and German).

Angelika Pop-Up

Atlantic Plumbing Cinema

The Avalon Theatre

 

Mary Queen of Scots

Directed by Josie Rourke

(U.K., 2018, 124 min.)

Queen of France at 16 and widowed at 18, Mary Queen of Scots defies pressure to remarry. Instead, she returns to her native Scotland to reclaim her rightful throne. But Scotland and England fall under the rule of the compelling Elizabeth I. Each young queen beholds her "sister" in fear and fascination. Rivals in power and in love, and female regents in a masculine world, the two must decide how to play the game of marriage versus independence.

Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema

Landmark's E Street Cinema

 

Minding the Gap

Directed by Bing Liu

(U.S., 2018, 93 min.)

Filmed over a decade in the lives of three best friends, this arresting debut documentary about a group of Rust Belt skaters explores everything from domestic violence to absent fathers to racial identity, all with an empathetic eye toward its subjects.

AFI Silver Theatre

Sun., Feb. 17, 7:15 p.m.,

Thu., Feb. 21, 7:15 p.m.

 

Serenity

Directed by Steven Knight

(U.S., 2019, 106 min.)

The mysterious past of a fishing boat captain comes back to haunt him, when his ex-wife tracks him down with a desperate plea for help, ensnaring his life in a new reality that may not be all that it seems.

Angelika Mosaic

 

Stan & Ollie

Directed by Jon S. Baird

(U.K./Canada/U.S., 2018, 97 min.)

Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly bring their brilliant comedic chops to bear as legendary comedy duo Stan "Laurel" and Ollie "Hardy" in this hilarious road movie recounting the pair's famed 1953 "farewell" tour of Britain and Ireland.

AFI Silver Theatre

Angelika Mosaic

The Avalon Theatre

 

The Upside

Directed by Neil Burger

(U.S., 2019, 126 min.)

Philip is a disabled white billionaire, who feels that life is not worth living. To help him in his day-to-day routine, he hires Del, an African American parolee, trying to reconnect with his estranged wife. What begins as a professional relationship develops into a friendship as Del shows his grouchy charge that life is worth living.

Angelika Mosaic

Atlantic Plumbing Cinema

 

Vice

Directed by Adam McKay

(U.S., 2018, 132 min.)

"Vice" explores how a bureaucratic Washington insider quietly became the most powerful man in the world as vice president to George W. Bush, reshaping the country and the globe in ways still felt today.

AFI Silver Theatre

Angelika Mosaic

Angelika Pop-Up

Atlantic Plumbing Cinema

Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema

 

Young Picasso

(U.K., 2019, 85 min.)

Look at the early years of Picasso and learn about the upbringing and education that led to his extraordinary achievements. Three cities play a key role: Malaga, Barcelona and Paris, as the film visits each and explores their influence on Picasso's artist, focusing on specific pieces from these early years.

The Avalon Theatre

Sun., Feb. 17, 10:30 a.m.,

Tue., Feb. 19, 10:30 a.m.

 

Farsi

3 Faces

Directed by Jafar Panahi

(Iran, 2018, 100 min.)

The fourth movie he's made in defiance of the Iranian government's filmmaking ban won Jafar Panahi the best screenplay award at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. Playing fictionalized versions of themselves, Panahi and famous actress Behnaz Jafari trek to Iran's mountainous northwest to investigate a video of a teenage girl apparently committing suicide.

AFI Silver Theatre

Mon., Feb. 11, 7:15 p.m.,

Wed., Feb. 13, 6:30 p.m.

Freer Gallery of Art

Sun., Feb. 10, 2 p.m.

 

Feast of Sorrow

Directed by Pourya Azarbayjani

(Iran, 2018, 97 min.)

This film weaves together four different stories to illustrate how the internet and social media have transformed Iranian society. A young man fakes his death in a scheme to raise money. A woman pretends to be someone she is not. A middle-age husband is enraged by his wife's Instagram posts, and a young couple expecting a child are befriended by their Chinese neighbors.

Freer Gallery of Art

Fri., Feb. 8, 7 p.m.

 

Final Whistle

Directed by Niki Karimi

(Iran, 2011, 90 min.)

Director Niki Karimi plays a documentary filmmaker who learns that her young assistant is trying to sell her kidney for money to save her mother, who is charged with murder, from execution.

Freer Gallery of Art

Sun., Feb. 17, 2 p.m.

 

The Graveless

Directed by Mostafa Sayari

(Iran, 2018, 73 min.)

Fulfilling their recently deceased father's final wishes, four adult siblings transport his body across the harsh Iranian desert to the remote village where he wanted to be buried. As the temperature rises, the body begins to decompose, and tempers flare as old family secrets and resentments boil to the surface.

AFI Silver Theatre

Tue., Feb. 19, 7:15 p.m.

 

Man of Integrity

Directed by Mohammad Rasoulof

(Iran, 2017, 117 min.)

AFI Silver Theatre

Mon., Feb. 4, 7:15 p.m.,

Wed., Feb. 6, 7:15 p.m.

 

Pig

Directed by Mani Haghighi

(Iran, 2017, 108 min.)

Hasan is a famous movie director whose career has languished since he was placed on a government blacklist. His favorite actress and mistress seems ready to move on professionally and personally. Worst of all, a serial killer beheading Iran's most esteemed filmmakers has conspicuously neglected to target him. Out of desperation, this frustrated filmmaker embarks on a plan to launch his career into orbit.

AFI Silver Theatre

Tue., Feb. 26, 7:15 p.m.

Freer Gallery of Art

Sun., Feb. 24, 2 p.m.

 

Wednesday, May 9

Directed by Vahid Jalilvand

(Iran, 2015, 102 min.)

A newspaper ad promising $10,000 to those in need draws a huge crowd to a Tehran office building on the titular date. Director Vahid Jalilvand tells the stories of three characters: Leila, who needs the money to help her paraplegic husband; Setareh, who wants to bail her husband out of jail; and the mysterious benefactor himself.

Freer Gallery of Art

Sat., Feb. 16, 2 p.m.

French

When You Read This Letter

Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville

(France/Italy, 1953, 104 min.)

Celebrated Parisian chanteuse Juliette Gréco plays Sister Thérèse, a nun who leaves behind the quiet security of her convent to run a family business and help her real sister (Irène Galter) escape the clutches of a shifty low-life,

National Gallery of Art

Sun., Feb. 17, 5 p.m.

 

German

Never Look Away

Directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

(Germany/Italy, 2018, 188 min.)

Young artist Kurt Barnert has fled to West Germany, but he continues to be tormented by the experiences of his youth in the Nazi years and during the GDR-regime. When he meets student Ellie, he is convinced that he has met the love of his life and begins to create paintings that mirror not only his own fate, but also the traumas of an entire generation (German and Russian).

The Avalon Theatre

Angelika Mosaic

Opens Fri., Feb. 15

 

Japanese

Dragon Ball Super: Broly

Directed by Tatsuya Nagamine

(Japan, 2019, 100 min.)

Goku and Vegeta encounter Broly, a Saiyan warrior unlike any fighter they've faced before.

Angelika Mosaic

 

Pale Flower

Directed by Masahiro Shinoda

(Japan, 1964, 96 min.)

In this cool, seductive jewel of the Japanese New Wave, a yakuza, fresh out of prison, becomes entangled with a beautiful and enigmatic gambling addict. What at first seems a redemptive relationship ends up leading him further down the criminal path.

Freer Gallery of Art

Wed., Feb. 6, 2 p.m.

 

Shoplifters

Directed by Hirokazu Koreeda

(Japan, 2018, 121 min.)

After one of their shoplifting sessions, Osamu and his son come across a girl in the freezing cold. At first reluctant to shelter the girl, Osamu's wife agrees to take care of her after learning the hardships she faces. Although the family is poor, barely making enough money to survive through petty crime, they seem to live happily together until an unforeseen incident reveals hidden secrets and tests the bonds that unite them.

The Avalon Theatre

West End Cinema

 

Polish

Cold War

Directed by Pawel Pawlikowski

(Poland/U.K./France, 2018, 89 min.)

"Cold War" is a passionate love story between a man and a woman who meet in the ruins of postwar Poland. With vastly different backgrounds and temperaments, they are fatefully mismatched and yet condemned to each other. Set against the background of the Cold War in 1950s Poland, Berlin, Yugoslavia and Paris, it's the tale of a couple separated by politics, character flaws and unfortunate twists of fate — an impossible love story in impossible times (Polish, French, German, Russian, Italian and Croatian).

AFI Silver Theatre

Angelika Mosaic

Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema

Landmark's E Street Cinema

 

Portuguese

Aniki Bóbó

Directed by Manoel de Oliveira

(Portugal, 1942, 71 min.)

Manoel de Oliveira's first feature-length work casts children from Porto's streets as protagonists in a drama inspired by a simple childhood rhyme (preceded by "Douro, Faina Fluvial" (1931, 19 min.)).

National Gallery of Art

Sat., Feb. 23, 2 p.m.

 

The Green Years

(Os Verdes Anos)

Directed by Paulo Rocha

(Portugal, 1963, 91 min.)

A young man arrives from the provinces ready to try his luck at shoemaking. He meets a young working-class woman, the two start a relationship, and all seems secure. Yet Paulo Rocha's outwardly simple tale hides deeper complexities, as the young man, feeling the hostile modern urban malaise, loses his trust in humanity and attempts to rebel.

National Gallery of Art

Sat., Feb. 23, 4 p.m.

 

A Revolução de Maio

Directed by António Lopes Ribeiro

(Portugal, 1937, 138 min.)

A film of historical prominence, "Revolution in May" was produced by the National Secretary of Propaganda to mark the 10th anniversary of the demise of Portugal's First Republic and the rise of the Estado Novo — a right-leaning corporatist regime fueled by deeply conservative and autocratic ideologies that empowered the government to institute censorship and a secret police force to subdue opposition.

National Gallery of Art

Sun., Feb. 24, 4 p.m.

 

Spanish

Everybody Knows

Directed by Asghar Farhadi

(Spain/France/Italy, 2019, 132 min.)

Laura, a Spanish woman living in Buenos Aires, returns to her hometown outside Madrid with her two children to attend her sister's wedding. However, the trip is upset by unexpected events that bring secrets into the open (Spanish, English and Catalan).

AFI Silver Theatre

Angelika Mosaic

Opens Fri., Feb. 15

 

Roma

Directed by Alfonso Cuarón

(Mexico/U.S., 2018, 135 min.)

The most personal project to date from Academy Award-winning director and writer Alfonso Cuarón, "Roma" follows a young domestic worker for a family in the middle-class neighborhood of Roma in Mexico City. Delivering an artful love letter to the women who raised him, Cuarón draws on his own childhood to create a vivid and emotional portrait of domestic strife and social hierarchy amidst political turmoil of the 1970s.

AFI Silver Theatre

Sat., Feb. 23, 4:20 p.m.,

Sun., Feb. 24, 4:20 p.m.

Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema

Landmark's E Street Cinema

   

Events - February 2019

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EVENT CATEGORIES

Art

Music

Dance

Theater

 

Discussion

Festivals

 

ART


Feb. 6 to March 29

Open to Interpretation

Artist Claudia Samper focuses on birds as her subject matter, closely observing them and growing to appreciate their apparent freedom, inclination to explore, early rising habits, dedication to their young, lyrical songs and their colorful plumage. Using these avian metaphors, she creates paintings, drawings and transparencies to explore the perception of human communication.

Embassy of Argentina

 

Through Feb. 8

Roberto Fernandez Ibañez: Visions and Reflections

Curated by Fabián Goncalves Borrega, this exhibition features four of Uruguayan artist Roberto Fernandez Ibañez's photographic series addressing the human impact on the environment: Earthy Resilience, Melting Point, The Hand and Rara Avis. His photographic material not only changes when it is exposed to light, but it can also be transformed, tuned and textured by techniques and laboratory processes. Fernandez Ibañez says he harnesses the environment's capabilities to transform to shape his own artwork.

OAS Art Museum of the Americas F Street Gallery

 

Through Feb. 10

Rodarte

The celebrated American luxury fashion house Rodarte, founded by sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy, are featured in the first fashion exhibition organized by the National Museum of Women in the Arts. The display explores the distinctive design principles, material concerns and reoccurring themes that position the Mulleavys' work within the landscape of contemporary art and fashion. Spanning the first 13 years of Rodarte, nearly 100 complete looks, presented as they were shown on the runway, will highlight selections from their most pivotal collections.

National Museum of Women in the Arts

 

Feb. 14 to May 19

PINK Ranchos and Other Ephemeral Zip Codes

Through this series of interconnected works, Colombian-American artist Carolina Mayorga invites the audience to enter a PINK-mented reality and experience her bicultural interpretations of those living inside ranchos, cambuches, shelters and other ephemeral zip codes. This site-specific multimedia project is the result of a year of artistic investigation on issues of home and homelessness and the artist's fascination with the color pink. By applying the pigment to women and children (characters typically associated with home), memories of her native Colombia, 14 years of residency in D.C. and AMA's permanent collection, she has created a pleasing environment to contrast the experiences of those living in exile, displacement, dislocation, relocation and eviction.

OAS Art Museum of the Americas

 

Feb. 16 to May 19

Zilia Sánchez: Soy Isla (I Am an Island)

The Phillips presents the first museum retrospective of Cuban artist Zilia Sánchez. This long-overdue exhibition examines the artist's prolific yet largely unknown career that spans almost 70 years, featuring more than 60 works including paintings, works on paper, shaped canvases and sculptural pieces, alongside illustrations, design sketches and ephemera. Many of Sánchez's works reference protagonists from ancient mythology (such as Trojans, Amazonians, and Antigone—all warriors and female heroines). Others have reoccurring motifs of lunar shapes, erotic topologies and tattoo drawings that map physical and psychological spaces.

The Phillips Collection

 

Through Feb. 18

Gordon Parks: New Tide, Early Work 1940-1950

During the 1940s American photographer Gordon Parks (1912–2006) grew from a self-taught photographer making portraits and documenting everyday life in Saint Paul and Chicago to a visionary professional shooting for Ebony, Vogue, Fortune and Life. For the first time, the formative decade of Parks's 60-year career is the focus of an exhibition, which brings together 150 photographs and ephemera.

National Gallery of Art

 

Through Feb. 22

Tradition: Transformed: Bojagi

Vibrant fiber works capture the artistry and originality of the traditional Korean wrapping cloth, bojagi, by artists Kumjoo Ahn, Julia Kwon and Wonju Seo. These three Korean-American artists strive to convey deep social and emotional commentary through the integration of traditional techniques and innovative contemporary artistry in their work. By transforming an iconic traditional art and craft like bojagi in terms of both style and substance, Ahn, Kwon and Seo tackle questions of women's evolving role in society, the notion of feminine art, and experiences of both cultural shock and cultural harmony between East and West.

Korean Cultural Center

 

Feb. 27 to Oct. 20

Striking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths

More than 225 works of art — including blades and currencies in myriad shapes and sizes, wood sculptures studded with iron, musical instruments and elaborate body adornments — reveal the histories of invention and technical sophistication that led African blacksmiths to transform one of Earth's most fundamental natural resources into objects of life-changing utility, empowerment, prestige, artistry and spiritual potency.

National Museum of African Art

 

Through March 1

Shane Pickett: Djinon Djina Boodja Look at the Land I Have Travelled

During his lifetime, Shane Pickett (1957-2010) was one of Western Australia's most significant contemporary Aboriginal artists. "Djinong Djina Boodja (Look at the Land That I Have Travelled)" features works from the most radical and significant phase of his career. Balancing innovation with tradition, modernity with an ancient spirituality, they are complex visual metaphors for the persistence of Nyoongar culture against the colonizing tide of modernity.

Embassy of Australia Art Gallery

 

Through March 17

The Gifts of Tony Podesta

The first major exhibition drawn from the museum's Corcoran Legacy Collection features photography and sculpture donated by Tony Podesta over the past decade to the Corcoran Gallery of Art, which is now part of the American University Museum's holdings.

American University Museum

 

Through March 17

Jiří Kolář (1912-2002): Forms of Visual Poetry

During the communist regime in Czechoslovakia, modernist Czech poet and visual artist Jiří Kolář (1914-2002) encountered considerable challenges, including a prison sentence for the critical stance toward the system expressed in his poetry. Whether because "images" were less easily censurable than "words" or for other, personal reasons, from about 1959, he focused exclusively on visual arts. Yet most of his mixed-media works remained profoundly concerned with the word/image relationship, and can best be described as "visual" poetry.

American University Museum

 

Through March 17

Michael B. Platt + Carole A. Beane: Influences and Connections

Standing at the foot of Australia's sacred sandstone monolith known as Uluru, Michael B. Platt and Carol A. Beane envisioned a world invisible to many others. The world is at once primordial and imminent, spiritual and mortal. Inspired by the ancestral stories told by the indigenous keepers of Australia's most sacred grounds, Platt and Beane fuse poetic image with word.

American University Museum

 

Through March 31

First Chefs: Fame and Foodways from Britain to the Americas

Just like today, getting food from farm to table in the early modern British world was hard work. And just like today, most of that hard work went unrecognized. "First Chefs" tells the stories of the named and unnamed heroes of early modern food culture, and juxtaposes the extravagance of an increasingly cosmopolitan and wealthy upper class against the human cost of its pleasures: the millions of enslaved women, children, men, servants, gardeners, street criers and laborers who toiled to feed themselves and many others.

Folger Shakespeare Library

 

Through April 14

Ambreen Butt – Mark My Words

This is the first solo exhibition in Washington, D.C., for Pakistani-American artist Ambreen Butt (born 1969). Featuring 13 mixed-media works on paper, "Mark My Words" reveals the connection between the artist's global consciousness and the physical mark-making techniques that she uses to create her works.

National Musuem of Women in the Arts

 

Through April 28

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer: Pulse

Innovative Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer brings the largest interactive technology exhibition to the Hirshhorn. "Pulse" takes up the entire second level, with three major installations using heart-rate sensors to create audiovisual experiences from visitors' biometric data. Together, the biometric signatures will create spellbinding sequences of soundscapes, lights and animations.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

 

Through September 2019

Shaping Clay in Ancient Iran

Potters in ancient Iran were fascinated by the long-beaked waterfowl and rams with curled horns around them. This exhibition of ceramics produced in northwestern Iran highlights animal-shaped vessels as well as jars and bowls decorated with animal figures.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

 

Through Sept. 29, 2019

Good as Gold: Fashioning Senegalese Women

In the cities of the West African nation of Senegal, stylish women have often used jewelry as part of an overall strategy of exhibiting their elegance and prestige. Rooted in the Wolof concept of sañse (dressing up, looking and feeling good), "Good as Gold" examines the production, display, and circulation of gold in Senegal as it celebrates a significant gift of gold jewelry to the National Museum of African Art's collection.

National Museum of African Art

 

Through Nov. 17, 2019

Portraits of the World: Korea

Pioneering feminist artist Yun Suknam (born 1939) uses portraiture to gain insights into the lives of women, past and present. A wood assemblage portrait of her mother is the centerpiece of this exhibition, which includes portraits of American artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Louise Nevelson, Marisol, Kiki Smith and Nancy Spero.

National Portrait Gallery

 

DANCE

Through Feb. 3

American Ballet Theatre: Harlequinade

The D.C. premiere of Ratmansky's retelling of Marius Petipa's 19th-century comic ballet follows its New York world premiere in summer 2018. He brings the "lost" classic to life with a bold new staging co-produced with Australian Ballet, inspired by Petipa's archival notes and set to original music by Riccardo Drigo. Tickets are $39 to $199.

Kennedy Center Opera House

 

Feb. 5 to 10

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Now more than ever, the world needs the power of dance to bring people together and connect us all by our common humanity. Celebrating its 60th anniversary, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater continues to push the art form into fascinating new territory while still honoring signature classics like Ailey's masterpiece of hope and redemption, "Revelations." Tickets are $59 to $219.

Kennedy Center Opera House

 

Feb. 19 to 24

Tap Dogs

Dein Perry's global dance sensation "Tap Dogs" hits the road on an international tour of jaw-dropping new surprises. An adrenaline-pumped cast turns traditional tap dancing upside-down and into the ultimate night out. Tickets are $49 to $99.

Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater

 

Feb. 27 to March 3

The Washington Ballet: The Sleeping Beauty

The romantic and timeless tale of a magical kiss and the beloved story of Princess Aurora, her handsome prince and the evil Carabosse. A quintessential classical ballet inspired by the fairy tale of true love's kiss and the triumph of good over evil. Tickets are $25 to $160.

Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater

 

DISCUSSIONS

Feb. 4 to March 4

Chinese Art: From the Bronze Age to the People's Republic

With a dynamic and far-reaching history that spans the Neolithic period to the modern age, Chinese civilization has given rise to some of the world's most remarkable artistic creations. Through four weekly sessions, Robert DeCaroli, a professor at George Mason University, explores that complex legacy by examining how shifts in China's social, religious, and political life have influenced transformations in its material culture. Tickets are $140; for information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.

S. Dillon Ripley Center

 

Wed., Feb. 6, 6:45 p.m.

Instantly French: A Classic Kitchen Technique Goes Modern

One of the latest cooking crazes has its roots in culinary history. French households have relied on the conventional pressure cooker for generations. Called la cocotte-minute, the pressure cooker was invented by 17th-century physicist Denis Papin, and it has long been considered a secret weapon among French home cooks. Food and travel writer Ann Mah examines how the multifunctional electric pressure cooker can be used for traditional French recipes—as well as those around the world. Tickets are $30; for information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.

S. Dillon Ripley Center

 

Thu., Feb. 7, 6:45 p.m.

Along the Coast of Many Cultures: Art and Architectural Treasures of Croatia

You may recognize the towering walls of Dubrovnik, the famed city-state of the Renaissance, but Croatia has countless other art and architectural treasures. Situated at a geographical intersection of several cultures, this country has been coveted by various foreign powers for centuries, with Romans, Byzantines, Venetians, and Ottomans all leaving their mark. Aneta Georgievska-Shine, a scholar of Renaissance and Baroque art and lecturer at the University of Maryland, examines the artistic legacy of this long and tangled history. Tickets are $45; for information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.

S. Dillon Ripley Center

 

FESTIVALS

Feb. 7 to 16

A Lunar New Year Celebration

The Kennedy Center presents its fourth annual celebration of the Lunar New Year, honoring the traditional holiday as commemorated in countries and territories around the world. The cornerstone event of this year's festivities is the return of the distinguished ballet company National Ballet of China, performing its award-winning, evening-length ballet, "Raise the Red Lantern." In addition, the popular free KC Chinese New Year Family Day returns to celebrate the Year of the Pig with live demonstrations and hands-on craft activities throughout the building.

Kennedy Center

 

MUSIC

Fri., Feb. 8, 7:30 p.m.

Sorrow of Love, Joy of Love: Love Songs of the Great Entertainers

At this Russian Chamber Art Society concert, Kazakh-American vocalist Timur — described by the Los Angeles Times as an "extravagantly transgressive tenor" — will pay a unique musical tribute to such charismatic Russian performers as Alexander Vertinsky, Ivan Kozlovsky, Sergei Lemeshev and Vadim Kozin. Accompanied by pianist Genadi Zagor, who will also perform solo improvisations, Timur will sing a rare selection of romantic melodies from the songbooks of these legendary entertainers, who captivated opera, concert hall and cabaret audiences throughout the 20th century. Tickets are $55, including post-concert reception; for tickets, visit thercas.com.

Embassy of France

 

Wed., Feb. 13, 8 p.m.

Washington Performing Arts: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

Lauded as the "Number One Orchestra in the World" by Gramophone, the acclaimed Royal Concertgebouw returns to D.C. with a program evoking emperors and heroes. The "brilliant musician and an extraordinary visionary" (The Wall Street Journal) Pierre-Laurent Aimard joins the orchestra for Beethoven's show-stopping "Emperor" Concerto. Tickets are $55 to $150.

Kennedy Center Concert Hall

 

Tue., Feb. 19, 6:30 p.m.

Armenian Festival Launch Gala

Join the PostClassical Ensemble for an evening inaugurating its Spring 2020 Armenian Festival, featuring Narek Hakhnazaryan, composer Vache Sharafyan and artist Kevork Mourad in events at the National Gallery of Art and the Washington National Cathedral. This dinner and concert gala event at the Armenian Embassy will be hosted by Ambassador Varoujan Nersesyan. For information, contact Matthew Gardner at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or (202) 630-4322.

Embassy of Armenia

 

Fri., Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m.

Wu Han and Friends: Schubertiad

Pianist Wu Han leads a starry ensemble of collaborators (Philip Setzer, violin; Paul Neubauer, viola; David Finckel, cello; Joseph Conyers, bass; and Michael Sumuel, baritone) in an exploration of Schubert's oeuvre. Tickets are $40.

Wolf Trap

 

THEATER

Feb. 1 to March 3

The Master and Margarita

The Devil descends on 1930s Moscow, wreaking havoc on the city's corrupt literary and social elite. Meanwhile, a brilliant writer known as the Master is imprisoned in a psychiatric hospital by Soviet censors, and his devoted lover Margarita joins forces with the Devil and his demonic crew in a courageous effort to rescue the Master from his fate. What follows is a diabolical extravaganza complete with a satanic magic show, a fast-talking black cat, and a midnight ball hosted by the Devil himself. Tickets are $19 to $45; for information, visit www.constellationtheatre.org.

Source Theater

 

Feb. 4 to March 3

BLKS

After a bad health scare, Octavia decides to put off her troubles and blow off some serious steam with her friends June and Imani. Will one last epic night on the town — a true test of their friendship full of outrageous, absurd encounters — lead to epiphany or disaster? Tickets start at $46.

Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

 

Feb. 6 to March 10

Cyrano

A brilliant poet and soldier, Cyrano de Bergerac apparently has it all — except the confidence to win the heart of his beloved Roxane. Lacking traditional good looks and the ability to truly "fit in", Cyrano partners with his handsome friend Christian, also in love with Roxane but lacking Cyrano's way with words. Synetic Theater will apply its unique physical storytelling and a stylistic twist to this commedia-inspired wordless adaptation of "Cyrano." Tickets are $20.

Synetic Theater

 

Feb. 7 to March 3

The Old Man, The Youth, and The Sea

(El Viejo, El Joben y El Mar)

Forced into exile for political reasons, Spain's renowned philosopher Miguel de Unamuno confronts a young fisherman, a general and a journalist about their beliefs regarding freedom, reason and faith while he plans his escape from the island of Fuerteventura. Tickets are $48.

GALA Hispanic Theatre

 

Feb. 8 to March 10

The Heiress

After growing up subjected to her father's disinterest and strong resentment, a young woman in the 1850s discovers what love is in her journey toward independence, growth and strength, without an impactful female role model in her life. Tickets are $40 to $95.

Arena Stage

 

Through Feb. 9

The Baltimore Waltz

Paula Vogel's fantastical farce traces the European odyssey of sister and brother, Anna and Carl, in search of romance and a cure for her terminal illness, the fictitious ATD (Acquired Toilet Disease). Please call for ticket information.

Andrew Keegan Theatre

 

Through Feb. 10

Submission

Imagine that a Muslim political party, which embraces fundamental Islamist values, manages to win the 2022 French presidential election. And they do this with the support of France's Socialist Party. "Submissions," presented by Scena Theatre, explores this dystopia in a biting satire that mixes fictional characters with real-life politicians who capitulate to the Muslim Brotherhood as it seizes power and implements Sharia law. Tickets are $35 to $45.

Atlas Performing Arts Center

 

Through Feb. 17

Twelve Angry Men

Behind closed doors, tensions run high as a lone juror argues the innocence of a teenager accused of murder. In this provocatively resonant American drama, 12 jurors from all strata of society revisit the evidence, debate the issue of reasonable doubt and confront each other's personal biases. Tickets are $17 to $64.

Ford's Theatre

 

Through Feb. 24

Kleptocracy

Inspired by the power struggle between the richest of the oligarchs and an ambitious Vladimir Putin after the collapse of the Soviet Union, this timely cautionary tale of capitalism run amok by Kenneth Lin ("House of Cards") explores U.S.-Russia relations, then and now. Tickets are $41 to $95.

Arena Stage

 

Through March 10

Nell Gwynn

A humble orange seller from the streets of Drury Lane steps onto the stage and becomes the darling of the Restoration theater. Nell discovers one of her biggest fans is none other than Charles II. Smitten with Nell's spirit, the king brings her to court as a favorite mistress. Tickets are $42 to $79.

Folger Theatre

   

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