Events - March 2012

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Event Highlight


Embassy Chefs 
Dial Up the Heat

World-class chefs from Washington's own embassy community serve up a sizzling plate of competition in the fourth edition of Cultural Tourism DC's Embassy Chef Challenge.

The annual competition has evolved into a popular local showcase of the city's international culinary talent, benefiting the free programs and events provided by Cultural Tourism DC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the arts and culture of Washington, D.C.

A panel of celebrity judges and more than 400 guests will judge dishes from chefs at the embassies of the Bahamas, China, Georgia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Korea, Morocco, Norway, Spain, Sri Lanka and other nations.

Among the judges this year are Tim Carman, food reporter for the Washington Post; chef Carla Hall, co-host "The Chew, Top Chef All-Stars Finalist"; and Warren Brown, founder of CakeLove.

The public will get a chance to pick its favorites on March 8 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, where guests can sample hors d'oeuvres by embassy chefs and bid on a silent auction featuring items steeped in international flavor, including a trip to the Bahamas and tea with ambassadors.

Chef Lars Beese of the Danish Embassy took top honors at last year's Embassy Chef Challenge, hosting a private cook-off for this year's contestants on Feb. 12. The preliminary "Top Chef"-style competition challenged each chef to create a main course in two hours with an ingredient revealed in advance — beets — plus a basket of surprise components drawn from Danish cuisine. Scores from the cook-off will be combined with the second round of judging at the Ronald Reagan Building to determine the Judge's Choice Award winner. Guests at the benefit vote for the People's Choice Award.

Tickets are $250; for information, visit www.CulturalTourismDC.org.

ART

March 1 to May 5
A Thousand and One Faces of Mexico: Masks from the Ruth D. Lechuga Collection
Masks have always been an integral part of a society's rituals and ceremonies. This exhibit displays more than 140 masks from the expansive collection of Ruth D. Lechuga (1920-2004), who traveled around Mexico for 50 years collecting more than 10,000 pieces, including 1,200 masks, which constitute one of the most important folk art collections in Mexico.
Mexican Cultural Institute

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 explore all facets of Callahan's art.
National Gallery of Art

March 5 to June 1
Contemporary Uruguayan Artists
To honor Uruguay and the city of Montevideo, site of the 53rd Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Inter-American Development Bank, 13 artists specializing in painting, print, sculpture, mixed media and photography offer a panorama of contemporary Uruguayan creativity, revisiting history and changes that have transformed the nation's culture, environment and traditions.
Inter-American Development Bank Cultural Center

March 10 to July 8
Masters of Mercy: Buddha's Amazing Disciples
Kano Kazunobu's (1816–1863) phantasmagoric paintings reflect a popular theme in Edo art: the lives and deeds of the Buddha's legendary 500 disciples.
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Through 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 March 16
Chronicles of a Portraitist
Gérard Rondeau has photographed hundreds of celebrities from all walks of life, ranging from Carla Bruni to Léo Castelli, often for the French newspaper Le Monde. This exhibit features 100 of those portraits depicting such notables as Jean Baudrillard, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Jacques Derrida, Roy Lichtenstein, Joan Mitchell, Patrick Modiano, Jean-Jacques Sempé, Richard Serra, Philippe Starck, and George Steiner. Viewings are by appointment only and can be made by calling (202) 944-6400.
La Maison Française

Through March 23
Natural Archive: Object and Photography
Lima-born Cecilia Paredes constructs her art using mostly discarded natural elements and transforming them into casts and weavings with completely new meaning.
Embassy of Peru

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

March 24 to June 17
Hokusai: 36 Views of Mount Fuji
The most acclaimed print series by Japan's most famous artist, "Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji" by Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849) contains images of worldwide renown, including "The Great Wave."\
Arthur M. Sackler 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

Through April 13
Lie of the Land: New Australian Landscapes
More than 60 works by 12 Australian artists offer a contemporary take on traditional landscape traditions. "Images of Australian landscapes have long been celebrated internationally," said Ambassador Kim Beazley. "However these artists re-examine the conventions of the genre to suggest the complex histories that persist beneath picturesque images of gumtrees and golden pastures."
Embassy of Australia

Through April 15
Anil Revri: Faith and Liberation through Abstraction
Anil Revri constructs his paintings on a grid, and the repetition of finely detailed geometric elements offers viewers numerous optical rewards. But these are also contemporary spiritual paintings analogous in their functions to tantric art, and its distant relation the Byzantine icon.
American University Museum Katzen Arts Center

Through April 15
Gabarrón's Roots
In his first D.C. exhibit, Spanish artist Cristóbal Gabarrón's vibrantly colored sculptures are larger than life, but human in scale and effect, while his painted tondos (circular works of art) evoke archaeological and zoological mysteries.
American University Museum Katzen Arts Center

Through April 15
Duva Diva: DuvTeatern's Glorious Carmen and Photographs by Stefan Bremer
These two exhibitions feature beautiful photographs by Stefan Bremer of actors and dancers with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities who performed in an unusual performance of Bizet's "Carmen" last year with the Finnish National Opera in Helsinki (supported by the Embassy of Finland).
Charles Krause/Reporting Fine Art

Through April 15
Migration_Standards
Realized in cooperation with the art collective bäckerstrasse 4 – plattform für junge kunst curated, this exhibit featuring four artists focuses on the challenges of migration and its structural conditions as a result of redistribution of power and property.
Austrian Cultural Forum

Through April 27
gute aussichten: young german photography 2011/2012
Photography by seven winners of "gute aussichten 2011/2012," the eighth annual German competition for graduate photography students, reflect highly diverse aesthetic, formal and conceptual approaches that provide insights into the multifaceted themes that form the focus of young artists' interests today.
Goethe-Institut

Through May 6
Picasso's Drawings, 1890-1921: Reinventing Tradition
Through some 55 works, this exhibition presents the dazzling development of Pablo Picasso's drawings over a 30-year period, from the precocious academic exercises of his youth in the 1890s to the virtuoso works of the early 1920s, including the radical innovations of cubism and collage.
National Gallery of Art

Through May 6
Shadows of History: Photographs of the Civil War from the Collection of Julia J. Norrell
Inspired by the 150th anniversary of the Civil War — one of the first conflicts to be extensively documented by photography — this focused collection developed in recent years by Washington collector Julia Norrell captures a wide range of images, from soldiers and officers at rest, to the death and destruction of battle.
Corcoran Gallery of Art

Through May 6
Snapshot: Painters and Photography, Bonnard to Vuillard
Approximately 200 snapshots made by renowned post-impressionist artists like Pierre Bonnard and Edouard Vuillard using the new technology of the Kodak handheld camera, most previously unpublished, are displayed with 70 paintings and works on paper that the snapshots inspired, revealing fascinating parallels in cropping, lighting and vantage point.
The Phillips Collection

Through May 6
Tim Hetherington: Sleeping Soldiers
Between 2007 and 2008, photographer Tim Hetherington (1970-2011) was embedded with U.S. Army soldiers in a remote and dangerous post in northeastern Afghanistan. This exhibition includes photographs and a video installation that juxtaposes chaotic scenes of combat with still images of soldiers at rest.
Corcoran Gallery of Art

Through May 13
Suprasensorial: Experiments in Light, Color, and Space
"Suprasensorial" is the first exhibition to re-evaluate the evolution of the international Light and Space movement through the work of five pivotal Latin American artists. Coinciding with the show, a 360-degree projection by Doug Aitken will illuminate, animate and transform the Hirshhorn's entire façade.
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Through May 20
Ñew York
Works by outstanding young Latin American and Spanish artists residing in New York City pay tribute to a long-lost artistic exchange and revive innovative communication channels between Latin and Spanish plastic and visual artists, reflecting on mobility in an era of widespread displacement where both global and local barriers are broken down.
Organization of American States
Art Museum of the Americas

Through May 20
Shakespeare's Sisters: Voices of English and European Women Writers, 1500-1700
This exhibition explores those women who were writing during Shakespeare's time, reimagining the "conversations" of these early women writers — with each other as members of families or groups, with the Bible, with spiritual and secular ideas, and with male writers of the time — in hopes of expanding their overshadowed voices.
Folger Shakespeare Library

Through June 2
The Style that Ruled the Empires: Russia, Napoleon, and 1812
Paintings, porcelain, glassware, metal ware, attire, Napoleonic armor and other items commemorate the bicentennial of Russia's triumph over the French army in 1812, which dealt an arresting blow to Napoleon and his pursuit of European conquest while also igniting a collective Russian pride and production of decorative arts that persists today.
Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens

Through July 6
Alberto Schommer: Portraits and Scenarios
Alberto Schommer, one of Spain's most prominent photographers, has pioneered a path challenging conventional forms, including a series of psychological portraits, always guided under the influence of the oeuvre of Irving Penn and William Klein. Part of the "Spain arts & culture" series (www.spainculture.us).
Embassy of Spain

Through July 8
The Baroque Genius of Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione
Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione (1609-64) was perhaps the most complex and far-reaching interpreter of the baroque, the naturalistic style that dominated 17th-century European art.
National Gallery of Art

Through July 29
From the Library: The Fleeting Structures of Early Modern Europe
In early modern Europe, state visits, coronations and weddings were among the occasions that gave cities a chance to stage lavish productions in which artists and architects designed elaborate structures and decorations, allowing them to experiment with new ideas or encourage city officials to consider new uses of public space.
National Gallery of Art

Through July 29
Royalists to Romantics: Women Artists from the Louvre, Versailles, and Other French National Collections
The National Museum of Women in the Arts celebrates its 25th anniversary with the first exhibition to explore the life and work of women artists in the time of the French Revolution with more than 75 rarely seen works by 35 artists.
National Museum of Women in the Arts

Through Jan. 6
Dragons, Nagas, and Creatures of the Deep
In the Spirit of the East Asian calendar's Year of the Dragon, this exhibition highlights objects drawn from cultures as diverse as the ancient Mediterranean world, imperial China and contemporary South America, portraying dragons as everything from fire-breathing beasts to beneficent water gods.
The Textile Museum

DANCE

Fri., March 2, 8 p.m.
Compañía Olga Pericet
Part of Flamenco Festival 2012, Olga Pericet is one of flamenco's most exciting new talents — a young, diminutive yet powerful dancer whose work spans traditional flamenco to contemporary and Spanish classical dance. Tickets are $35 to $65.
GW Lisner Auditorium

Sat., March 3, 8 p.m.
Ballet Folklórico de Antioquia
Embarking on its first U.S. tour, Ballet Folklórico de Antioquia shares the richness and diversity of Colombian culture through authentic music, ritualistic dance and physical theater accented with scintillating costumes. Tickets are $23 to $46.
George Mason University
Center for the Arts

Sat., March 3, 8 p.m.
Compañía Manuela Carrasco
Known as the "Queen of Gypsy Flamenco," the highly acclaimed dance performs "Suspiro Flamenco," a show that offers flamenco in its purest, simplest and most powerful form. Tickets are $35 to $65.
GW Lisner Auditorium

Wed., March 7, 8 p.m.
Compañía Rafaela Carrasco
Seville's Rafaela Carrasco, one of the most important flamenco choreographers of the younger generation, infuses new energy into a selection of popular Spanish songs originally recorded by Federico Garcia Lorca in 1931. Tickets are $35 to $55.
GW Lisner Auditorium

Sun., March 18, 4 p.m.
Tao: The Art of the Drum
In this new production, athletic bodies, vibrant costumes, explosive Taiko drumming and innovative choreography combine to create a breathtaking theater experience. Tickets are $24 to $48.
George Mason University
 Center for the Arts

DISCUSSIONS

Tue., March 6, 7 p.m.
Amazonian Odyssey
Ed Smith, Smithsonian staff biologist at the Amazonia department of the National Zoo, leads a virtual tour from the high Andean headwaters downstream over 4,000 miles to the Atlantic Ocean. Tickets are $40; for information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.
S. Dillon Ripley Center

Thu., March 8, 7 p.m.
International Women's Day with Dr. Domnica Radulescu
Celebrate International Women's Day with Domnica Radulescu, chair of the women's and gender studies program at Washington and Lee University, as she discusses her books "Train to Trieste" and "Black Sea Twilight" (supported by the Embassy of Romania).
Cleveland Park Neighborhood Library

Tue., March 13, 5:30 p.m.
Occupy Rousseau: Inequality and Social Justice
Genevan philosopher and writer Jean-Jacques Rousseau believed government should be for and by the people, a concept that sparked the American and French Revolutions. To celebrate this iconic thinker on his 300th birthday, the Embassy of Switzerland presents an international panel to discuss how his principles from the Age of Enlightenment can be applied to contemporary social issues. On March 12, the embassy also screens "La Faute à Rousseau (Blame it on Rousseau!)," a collection of short films, documentaries, video essays and animation. For information, visit www.francophoniedc.org.
Library of Congress
Jefferson Building

Thu., March 15, 6:45 p.m.
The Treasure Below: Excavating at the Ancient Port of Constantinople
Ufuk Kocabas, director of Istanbul University's Yenikapi Shipwrecks Project, tells the amazing story of a construction project to create Istanbul's most important transportation hub that turned into a major archaeological treasure trove of 40,000 artifacts. Tickets are $20; for information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.
S. Dillon Ripley Center

Thu., March 29, 6 p.m.
For a Global Equality
The second debate of the French-American Global Forum addresses the new model of social contract for the 21st century and how American, French, and European populations will react to new economic constraints. The discussion also celebrates the release of the magazine Le Monde Diplomatique in the U.S. with "Le Monde Diplomatique from 1954 to 2012," an exhibition of front pages over the past 58 years. For information, visit www.francedc.org.
Alliance Française in Penn Quarter


FESTIVALS

Sun., March 4, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Persian New Year
Visitors can dance, play and feast their way into the Persian New Year at the Freer and Sackler galleries' fourth annual Nowruz celebration, offering free entertainment and activities for all ages as well as traditional food, all centered around newly installed galleries devoted to the art of ancient Iran.
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

March 6 to April 15
Francophonie 2012 Cultural Festival
This annual celebration of the French-speaking world ushers in a slew of events, from literary salons, culinary tastings and concerts, to exhibitions, film and theater. March highlights include: the Grande Fête de la Francophonie kickoff extravaganza featuring more than 35 embassies showcasing their culture and cuisine (March 23); literary salons by Congo-Brazzaville-born author Alain Mabanckou (March 9) and French writer Sylvie Germain (March 20); a concert by Maria de Barros of Cape Verde combining the sounds of Africa, Brazil, the Caribbean, France and Spain (March 22); as well as the exhibit "Promenade" by Croatian-French painter Davor Vrankic at the French Embassy (March 21-April 15). For complete details, visit www.francophoniedc.org.
Various locations

March 20 to April 27
National Cherry Blossom Festival
A century after Japan's 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry blossom trees to Washington, D.C., the National Cherry Blossom Festival presents an unprecedented citywide celebration of this enduring sign of friendship on its 100th anniversary, with five weeks of events ranging from workshops and exhibits to seminars and parties. For information, visit www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org.
Various locations

Thu., March 22, 6 p.m.
Thomas Edison First International Night
Thomas Edision High School holds its first International Night featuring dance performances, food tastings and dress demonstrations from various cultures around the world. For information, call Amy Johnson at (301) 962-5994 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Thomas Edison High School

Through March 29
The Music of Budapest, Prague and Vienna
Through concerts, theater and lectures, the Kennedy Center, under the guidance of Music Director Christoph Eschenbach, explores the current of classical and romantic music and culture that sprang from the cities of Budapest, Prague and Vienna, with performances by the National Symphony Orchestra, Washington National Opera, Vienna Philharmonic, Prague Philharmonia and others.
The Kennedy Center

GALAS

Fri., March 9, 7 p.m.
The Prevent Cancer Foundation 18th Annual Spring Gala
The theme for this year's Prevent Cancer Foundation Spring Gala is "Modern+Majestic=Switzerland," featuring honored patrons, Manuel Sager, the Swiss ambassador, and his wife Christine. This renowned event attracts more than 900 guests and was named among the top 31 charitable benefits by BizBash Magazine, having raising more than $18.5 million over the years to support cancer research and direct service programs to medically underserved communities. Tickets are $500 or $1,000 for priority seating; for information, call (703) 519-2103 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
National Building Museum

Fri., March 16, 6:30 p.m.
THIS for Diplomat Spring 2012 Soiree
Travel the globe in an evening with THIS for Diplomat, the hospitality and information service for the diplomatic community, with the group's annual spring soiree, featuring acclaimed jazz singer Lena Seikaly performing with the Burnett Thompson Trio, international hors d'oeuvres and drinks, as well as a silent auction. For information, call (202) 232-3002 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Meridian International Center

MUSIC

Sun., March 11, 4 p.m.
Vienna Boys Choir
The world's pre-eminent children's choir has enchanted audiences with its purity of tone, distinct charm and diverse repertoire of Austrian folk songs, waltzes, pop songs and medieval chants. Tickets are $23 to $46.
George Mason University
Center for the Arts

Fri., March 16, 8 p.m.
The Chieftains with Paddy Moloney
Founded by Paddy Moloney in 1962, the six-time Grammy-winning group the Chieftains is recognized for bringing traditional Irish music to the world with a style that is as exhilarating as it is definitive. Tickets are $28 to $65.
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

Fri., March 23, 7:30 p.m.
Bella Hristova, Violin
Ieva Jokubaviciute, Piano
The Embassy Series presents a concert of Schumann, Tower, Janáček and Brahms by Bulgarian violinist Bella Hristova, the first prize winner in the 2008-09 Young Concert Artists International Auditions. Tickets are $100, including Bulgarian buffet dinner and wine. For information, visit www.embassyseries.org.
Embassy of Bulgaria

Sat., March 24, 8 p.m.
Angelique Kidjo
A Grammy-winning vocalist deemed "Africa's premier diva" by Time magazine, Angelique Kidjo is known for her dynamic and uplifting music. Tickets are $25 to $45.
GW Lisner Auditorium

Sat., March 31, 8 p.m.
Schubert Uncorked
Join PostClassical Ensemble and the virtuosic bass trombonist David Taylor for a startling re-contextualization of a revered composer, Franz Schubert, who defied categorization, with two newly commissioned world premieres that seize on the harrowing existential content of his music. Tickets are $25.
Georgetown University Gaston Hall

THEATER

Through March 4
Ana en el trópico / Anna in the Tropics
Dormant passions are revived with the arrival of a lector who reads chapters of "Anna Karenina" at a 1920s cigar factory in Ybor City, Florida, where cigars are still rolled by hand. Tickets are $34 or $38 (in Spanish with English surtitles).
GALA Hispanic Theatre

Through March 4
The Gaming Table
The thrills of the gaming table stylishly play out against the eccentricities of English manners in Susanna Centlivre's comedy as an independent widow with a penchant for gambling leads a nightly card game, which bankrupts some and entertains all. Tickets are $30 to $65.
Folger Shakespeare Library

Through March 4
Genesis Reboot
An angel and a demon retell the story of creation from their perspectives in this farcical new play. Tickets are $30.
Synetic Theater at Crystal City

Through March 4
Red
At the height of his career, Mark Rothko is struggling with a series of grand-scale paintings for the elite Four Seasons restaurant, and when his new assistant challenges his artistic integrity, Rothko must confront his own demons. Please call for ticket information.
Arena Stage

Through March 4
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
In perhaps Shakespeare's earliest play, lifelong friends Valentine and Proteus are unexpectedly thrust into the rivalries and complications of adolescence when they both fall in love with the Duke of Milan's daughter, Silvia. Tickets are $37 to $90.
The Shakespeare Theatre

March 6 to April 15
Brother Russia
In a desolate Siberian potato field, a comically fourth-rate Russian theater troupe sets up its ratty tents and wows the local farmers with rock-fueled adaptations of great Russian figures, focusing one night on the hypnotic mystic Rasputin. Tickets start at $63.
Signature Theatre

Through March 11
Astro Boy and the God of Comics
Onstage drawing meets the 1960s dream of the future in this story of Japanese cartoonist Osamu Tezuka and his most famous creation: Astro Boy, a crime-fighting robot. Tickets are $38 to $43.
The Studio Theatre

Through March 11
Civilization (all you can eat)
This wicked satire follows a group of six ambitious Americans on a quest for success at the dawn of the Obama age — and the price they must pay to achieve it. Tickets start at $30.
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Through March 15
Washington National Opera: Così fan tutte
In Mozart's game of love and seduction, two young men wager that their fiancées will remain faithful, even when tempted — and to prove it, they decide to do the tempting themselves. Tickets are $55 to $300.
Kennedy Center Opera House

Through March 18
You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown
Charles Schulz's Peanuts gang is brought to life in this family-friendly musical, directed and choreographed by Stephen Nachamie. Tickets start at $26.
Olney Theatre Center

Through March 25
Really Really
When the party of the year ends in the regret of a lifetime, one person will stop at nothing to salvage a future that is slipping away — and it is every man for himself in this contemporary drama that embraces the harsh realities of the "me" generation. Tickets are $56 to $80.
Signature Theatre

March 27 to April 29
Strange Interlude
Heartbroken over her adored fiancé's death, Nina engages in a series of sordid affairs before marrying a man she does not love. Months later, pregnant with her husband's child, she learns a horrifying secret about his family, setting off a chain of events that spans two decades (part of the Eugene O'Neill Festival). Tickets are $20 to $100.
The Shakespeare Theatre

Through April 1
New Jerusalem: The Interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza at Talmud Torah Congregation: Amsterdam, July 27, 1656
With cerebral language and wry humor, acclaimed playwright David Ives gives young philosopher Baruch de Spinoza — who faces excommunication from the Jewish community for his subversive new ideas — a chance to defend himself in a courtroom clash between religion and rationalism. Tickets are $25 to $60.
Washington DCJCC Theater J

Through April 8
Sucker Punch
In 1980s London, two black teenagers try to box their way into fame, fortune and a better life, but will they become champions or sell-outs? Tickets are $35 to $60.
The Studio Theatre

Last Edited on March 1, 2012