Events - May 2012

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Also See: Iraq's Fusion of 'Two Rivers' Ensemble

 

ART

May 3 to 14
Sacred Words
Krista Butvydas Bard, honorary consul of Lithuania to Pennsylvania, creates interfaith works of art that invite prayer and reflection.
Embassy of Lithuania

May 4 to June 29
Le Temps Devant (Our Time Ahead)
The Alliance Française de Washington presents works by Frédéric Nauczyciel, who recognizes and reveals the anachronism of the survival of a utopic life that exists in the countryside among people who have explicitly chosen a rural life in the 21st century.
Honfleur Gallery

Through May 5
15
To celebrate 15 years as an international gallery in Washington, International Visions' next exhibit is a group show featuring artists who have worked with at the gallery over the years, including Stanley Agbontaen, Annette Isham and Helen Zughaib.
International Visions Gallery

Through 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 May 6
Innovative Sweden
This exhibit showcases the latest in the fields of clean technology, information and communication technologies, life science and gaming — from hydrogen fuel cells and eye-tracking devices to cleaning water with sunshine and cameras that see in the dark.
House of Sweden

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

May 6 to Aug. 12
Joan Miró: The Ladder of Escape
Through some 120 paintings, drawings, sculptures, and prints from a career spanning almost a century, the exhibition reveals a politically engaged side to Joan Miró's work, including his passionate response to one of the most turbulent periods in European history as well as his sense of Spanish — specifically Catalonian — identity.
National Gallery of Art

May 9 to Aug. 31
Daniel Libeskind: Architecture for the Angel of History
Photographs depict the striking work of Daniel Libeskind, who designed several museums of national significance as well as living expressions of memory, including the Jewish Museum in Berlin and the Military History Museum in Dresden. On May 18 at 2 p.m., Chase W. Rynd, executive director of the National Building Museum, discusses what role architecture plays in the culture of memory?
Goethe-Institut

May 10 to 30
Everywhere Nowhere
This visual meditation on time, space, existence and transformation is conveyed through the frail brightness of gold leaf and sinuous drawing — accompanied, on the occasion of the May 10th opening, by the music of jazz flutist Charles Rahmat Woods.
Italian Cultural Institute

Through May 12
Leading Contemporary Latvian Painters
A selection of evocative paintings from nine contemporary artists in Latvia brings together romantic realism, playful primativism, hypnotic portraits and geometric abstraction to illustrate the many ways in which artwork helps us reflect on contemporary realities and widen our vision of the world. For information, visit www.latvia-usa.org.
Embassy of Latvia

May 12 to April 7
Perspectives: Ai Weiwei
This exhibition features prolific Chinese artist Ai Weiwei's monumental installation 2005 "Fragments," in which he turned pillars and beams of ironwood (or tieli) salvaged from several dismantled Qing dynasty temples into a large-scale, seemingly chaotic work, which he calls an "irrational structure."
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Through May 13
Åland – Paradise Found
Stunning photographs by Daniel Eriksson celebrate 90 years of autonomy for the Åland Islands, a beautiful, unspoiled archipelago of Finland that's home to 6,500 islands and 27,500 people.
Embassy of Finland

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 16
En Foco | In Focus
En Foco has developed the first permanent collection in America dedicated to U.S.-based photographers of Latin American, African, Asian and Native American heritage, creating a parallel history of photography by bringing together artists and images largely absent from the mainstream photography field and unseen by the public.
Art Museum of the Americas

Through May 20
Floating World: 19th Century Japanese Woodblock Prints
Borrowed from the Sakai Collection of the Japan Ukiyoe Museum, "Floating World" consists of 70 UKIYOE pieces of 19th century woodblock prints that concentrate on the Sakura theme and the beginning period of U.S.-Japan cultural exchange.
American University Katzen Arts Center

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 May 20
Thousand Regards
Japanese-American artist Tomokazu Matsuyama's "Thousand Regards" blends Eastern and Western aesthetics into painting and sculpture that resists categorization and cultural belonging.
American University Katzen Arts Center

Through May 30
Costantino Nivola: 100 Years of Creativity
On the 100th anniversary of his birth, the Italian Cultural Institute is paying tribute to one of Italy's most acclaimed sculptors, Costantino Nivola (1911-88), renowned for combining architecture with sculpture in his bas-relief and semi-abstract artwork, as well as for his technique of sand casting in cement.
Italian Cultural Institute

May 31 to June 14
2 Museums, 2 Nations, 1 Identity
This yearlong art initiative linked youth in El Salvador with those of Salvadoran origin in Washington, D.C., as part of the State Department's strategic efforts to strengthen people-to-people connections through museums worldwide.
Art Museum of the Americas

Through 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

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 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 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
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 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 July 31
Joan Miró from the Collection of the Kreeger Museum
Joan Miró was a perfectionist who insisted he was a "self-taught amateur" to transgress traditional techniques, especially in pursuit of printmaking as a medium for his breathtaking expressions of Catalan culture. This exhibition marks the first time the Kreeger's complete collection of works by Miró will be on view, including T"he Mallorca Suite," "Makimono," and "El Vol de l'Alosa (The Flight of the Lark)."
The Kreeger Museum

Through Sept. 26
To Know Wisdom and Instruction: The Armenian Literary Tradition at the Library of Congress
The era of Armenian printing began in 1512, when Hakob Meghapart (Jacob the Sinner) opened an Armenian press in Venice. To mark the quincentenary of that event and UNESCO's designation of the Armenian capital of Yerevan as its Book Capital of the World 2012, the Library of Congress highlights the Armenian literary tradition from the era of manuscripts to contemporary publishing.
Library of Congress
Thomas Jefferson Building

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

Sat., May 5, 8 p.m.
Tango Mania
More than two dozen performers, including dancers and musicians from the Pan American Symphony Orchestra, demonstrate the fiery romance and intense intimacy of Argentine tango. Tickets are $30 to $45.
GW Lisner Auditorium

Sat., May 5, 8 p.m.,
Sun., May 6, 6 p.m.
Nruthyanjalie: Traditional and Folk Dance of Sri Lanka
CityDance presents "Nruthyanjalie," an evening of traditional Sri Lankan dance where intricate movements, drum rhythms and elaborate costumes build on thousands of years of traditions in everyday village life, Buddhist religious customs, and ceremonial celebrations for the island's royalty. Tickets are $25.
Music Center at Strathmore

May 9 to 13
¡Noche Latina!
The Washington Ballet's all-new mixed repertory program celebrating Latin music and dance includes world premieres by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Edwaard Liang, and the company premiere of Trey McIntyre's "Like a Samba." Tickets are $20 to $125.
Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater

May 29 to June 3
Bolshoi Ballet: Coppélia
Led by Artistic Director Sergei Filin, Moscow's renowned Bolshoi Ballet performs the evening-length production of Petipa and Cecchetti's "Coppélia," one of classical ballet's greatest comedies. Tickets start at $29.
Kennedy Center Opera House

DISCUSSIONS

Wed., May 2, 7 p.m.
Le Studio: Wine Tasting 101
The monthly "Wine Tasting 101" soirées — with veteran wine journalist Claire Morin-Gibourg — explores the regions and vineyards in France, as well as tasting techniques, with May's tasting featuring Château Lafon-Rochet and owner and winemaker Basile Tesseron. Tickets are $70.
La Maison Française

Tue., May 15, 6:30 p.m.
An Evening with Nobel Prize Laureate Herta Müller
A discussion with Romanian-born author Herta Müller — hailed by the Nobel Prize Committee for depicting the "landscape of the dispossessed" with "the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose" — discusses and reads from her works, which are most striking in their stirring description of everyday life under a totalitarian system. To RSVP, call (202) 289-1200 ext. 164 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Library of Congress
Montpelier Room

Wed., May 16, 6:30 p.m.
Fire and Ice
From the Pacific's Ring of Fire to the fjords of Patagonia, we live in a world of extremes. To understand what this reveals about our planet, planetary geologist Jim Zimbelman takes us on a virtual tour of the great volcanoes on Earth. Tickets are $30; for information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.
S. Dillon Ripley Center

Fri., May 18, 2 p.m.
In the Light of Naples: Francesco de Mura in America
This lecture by Arthur R. Blumenthal of Cornell Fine Arts Museum reveals some of the finest paintings in America by Francesco de Mura (1695-1782), whose superb draftsmanship and luminous colors filled his religious subjects, intense portraits and mythological scenes.
Italian Cultural Institute


FESTIVALS

Sun., May 6, 10 a.m.
TECRO Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Cheering Station
If you're one of the thousands participating in the 2012 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, stop by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) station at 4201 Wisconsin Ave., NW, between 10 and 11:15 a.m. to see the Lion Dance troupe, peppy drumming and a special appearance by the San Tai Zi, or the "Third Prince," a popular Taoist deity who will help lead the cheers along with TECRO staff and guests
4201 Wisconsin Ave., NW

May 17 to May 25
Urban Corps: A Transatlantic Hip-Hop Festival
Urban Corps unites French and American hip-hop dance crews and experts who share the distinctive French story of this powerful, socially driven art form with performances and complementary events that highlight the interpretation of hip-hop by classically trained French dancers who integrate contemporary dance, theater, mime, circus, capoeira and other styles into their art. For information, visit www.francedc.org.
Various locations

Sun., May 20, 2 to 9 p.m.
Italians in DC Festival 2012
The Italians in DC Festival presents Italy and contemporary Italian pop culture to Washingtonians through a juried art show, live concert, food, wine and educational activities for children. Admission is free; tickets for a wine or aperitif tasting are $30.
Woodrow Wilson Plaza and Aria Restaurant

GALAS

Fri., May 4, 6:30 p.m.
The Phillips Collection Annual Gala
The Phillips Collection's Annual Gala offers dining among the museum's masterpieces followed by a Havana-themed after-party in the stunning ballroom of neighboring Anderson House, with all gala proceeds supporting the museum's education programs. For ticket information, call (202) 459-0867 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
The Phillips Collection

Fri., May 4, 8:30 p.m.
Venetian Ball
Things to Do in DC's third annual Venetian Ball features an Italian open bar and desserts, as well as an orchestra performance, Venetian ballroom dance presentation, Venetian casino, masquerade contest and late-night DJ and dancing. Tickets are $89; for information, visit http://thingstododc.com.
Embassy of Italy

Sat., May 5, 6 p.m.
Trust for the National's 4th Annual Ball on the Mall
More than 1,000 guests will gather for the Trust for the National's 4th Annual Ball on the Mall — held on the National Mall — for dinner prepared by Design Cuisine, followed by dancing and a live band, all to help realize the Trust's goal to revitalize and improve the National Mall, home to the enduring symbols of our democracy. Tickets are $175; for information, visit www.nationalmall.org/events/ball-on-the-mall.
National Mall

Thu., May 10, 6:15 p.m.
Refugees International 33rd Anniversary Dinner
Refugees International's 33rd Anniversary Dinner will honor social entrepreneur Lauren Bush Lauren with the McCall-Pierpaoli Humanitarian Award, which recognizes those who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership and commitment to humanitarian action, and will be presented by Queen Noor of Jordan. Tickets are $400.
Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium

MUSIC

Sat., May 5, 8 p.m.,
Sat., May 19, 8 p.m.
Debussy 150th Birthday Festival
The National Philharmonic presents two concerts that celebrate the rich, evocative works of Claude Debussy in this festival marking the 150th anniversary of the birth of one of the most important French composers — with an all-Debussy program featuring pianist Brian Ganz (May 5) and Debussy's "Martyrdom of St. Sebastian" (May 19). Tickets start at $28.
Music Center at Strathmore

Sun., May 20, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Oh Happy Day Brunch
An inspiring gospel performance by a local gospel choir will resonate throughout the Ritz's ballroom as Sunday brunchers enjoy executive chef Yves Samake's buffet of Southern cuisine with a "side" of joyful gospel singing to benefit Boystown's mission of improving the lives of at-risk youth. Brunch is $75, including tax and gratuity.
The Ritz-Carlton, Washington, D.C.

THEATER

Through May 6
Long Day's Journey Into Night
In Eugene O'Neill's autobiographical masterwork, delusion and disenchantment have pitted the Tyrone family members against one another for decades, until they're forced to either confront their defeated dreams or be forever doomed to a cycle of guilt and resentment. Call for ticket information.
Arena Stage

May 6 to July 1
Xanadu
Funky legwarmers and neon glow sticks are back with the Washington premiere of the musical comedy hit "Xanadu," as Kira, one of seven quirky Greek muses, emboldens struggling artist Sonny to create the first roller disco. Tickets start at $63.
Signature Theatre

May 10 to June 2
Las Quiero a las Dos (I Want Them Both)
A husband packs to run off with his lover, but his wife locks him in as she waits for "the other one" to unleash a scandal in Teatro de la Luna's comedy that uses the classic love triangle as the base for an intelligent theatrical game that examines what happens when people want no ties, social or legal. Tickets are $30 to $35.
Gunston Arts Center

May 12 to 27
Werther
With its lush score of tragically beautiful music, "Werther" — the story of a young poet desperately in love with a woman he can't have — is still celebrated as one of Massenet's finest works 120 years after the opera's premiere. Tickets start at $25.
Kennedy Center Opera House

May 15 to June 24
The Servant of Two Masters
The wily servant Truffaldino devises a zany scheme to double his wages by serving two masters at once, but mayhem erupts when identities are mistaken, engagements are broken, and lovers are reunited in this commedia dell'arte masterpiece. Tickets are $39 to $95.
The Shakespeare Theatre

Thu., May 17, 7:30 p.m.
The Mansaku-No-Kai Kyogen Company
A Japanese treasure, Mansaki Nomura's company is known for captivating interpretations of Kyogen, a style of spoken drama based on laughter and comedy. Tickets are $40.
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

Through May 20
The 39 Steps
With four actors playing over 150 characters, this classic Hitchcock thriller takes a comedic turn when Richard Hannay agrees to take home a mysterious woman he meets at the theater — and unexpectedly finds himself thrown into a world of spies and adventure. Tickets start at $26.
Olney Theatre Center

Through May 20
The Seafarer
SCENA Theatre presents Conor McPherson's story set in in a coastal suburb north of Dublin city, where James "Sharky" Harkin tries to stay off the bottle while contending with his hard-drinking, blind older brother and his own haunted conscience. Tickets are $25 to $35.
H Street Playhouse

Through May 21
Nabucco
For the first time in its 56-year history, Washington National Opera (WNO) presents Giuseppe Verdi's early masterpiece "Nabucco," which tells the Biblical tale of the defeat, enslavement, and exile of the Jews in Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar. Tickets start at $25.
Kennedy Center Opera House

May 31 to July 1
Home of the Soldier
The world premiere of this new text-based play commemorates the heroism of the armed forces with a dynamic story that follows a young American through the landscape of war. Tickets are $45 to $55.
Synetic Theater at Crystal City

Last Edited on May 1, 2012