Events - December 2012

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ART

Opens Sat., Dec. 1
Promise of Paradise: Early Chinese Buddhist Sculpture
The Freer's impressive collection of stone and gilt bronze Buddhist sculptures highlights two flourishing ages, the sixth century and the High Tang (sixth to eighth century).
Freer Gallery of Art

Through Dec. 2
The Image of Strindberg
Today, 100 years after the death of Swedish dramatist and author August Strindberg (1849-1912), there are many different images of the man: genius, madman, jealous man, woman hater, anarchist, vain man, vagabond and brazen man. But who was August Strindberg and how do we remember Sweden's most famous writer and dramatist?
House of Sweden

Through Dec. 9
African Cosmos: Stellar Arts
In the first major exhibition to explore the historical legacy of African cultural astronomy and its intersection with traditional and contemporary African arts, some 100 objects consider how the sun, moon and stars and celestial phenomena such as lightning and rainbows serve as sources of inspiration in the creation of African art from ancient times to the present.
National Museum of African Art

Through Dec. 9
Connections and Confrontations
This anthology of the history of Spanish photography across the last 60 years visualizes unsuspected links among the works of different artists who've won the Spanish National Photography Prize. For information, visit www.spainculture.us/city/washingtondc/.
Former Spanish Ambassador Residence

Through Dec. 9
Transitional Bodies
"Transitional Bodies / Cuerpos en Transición" presents cutting-edge artists from Latin America, Portugal and Spain that move away from the typical stereotypes and propose provocative, modern vanguard photography. For information, visit www.spainculture.us/city/washingtondc/.
Former Spanish Ambassador Residence

Dec. 12 to Jan. 28
Love and War
Award-winning painter Anastasia Rurikov Simes, who received the Helen Hays Award for Outstanding Costume Design in 2011 for her work with the Synetic Theater, composes rich, bold paintings that touch on her subjects of love and war with beautiful complexity and depth.
International Visions Gallery

Through Dec. 14
Once Upon a Time in Almería
During the 1960s and 1970s, the region of Almeria, Spain, was host to dozens of filmmakers who constructed elaborate movie sets, invoking locations from the American Southwest to Bedouin Arabia for films such as "Cleopatra" and "Patton." D.C.-based photographer Mark Parascandola revisits the architecture and locations used in these classic films over the years.
Embassy of Spain

Through Dec. 16
Ivan Pinkava / Remains (1997-2011)
Czech photographer Ivan Pinkava's "Remains" employs generally comprehensible cultural codes to make merciless reference to the state of the human spirit of the individual in "Western" culture.
American University Katzen Arts Center

Through Dec. 16
Revelation: Major Paintings by Jules Olitski
"Revelation" draws together more than 30 monumental canvases by Russian-born artist Jules Olitski, renowned as one of America's last classic modern painters.
American University Katzen Arts Center

Through Dec. 29
Dan Steinhilber: Marlin Underground
Dan Steinhilber, known for his ability to transform mundane materials into extraordinary experiences of art, presents a new body of work in response to architect Philip Johnson's celebrated design for the Kreeger home as a space for art and musical performance.
The Kreeger Museum

Through Dec. 30
Growing up AFRO: Snapshots of Black Childhood from the Afro-American Newspapers
In honor of the 120th anniversary of the Afro-American Newspapers, this pictorial exhibition features 120 images from the AFRO's archive collections that demonstrate the vital role young people played in African American history.
Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore, Md.

Through Dec. 30
Prêt-à-Papier: The Exquisite Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave
A selection of iconic costumes and haute couture dresses — reflecting the rich history of fashion in European paintings and designs of the grand couturiers — are reinterpreted in trompe l'oeil paper masterpieces by Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave.
Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens

Through Dec. 31
Imperial Augsburg: Renaissance Prints and Drawings, 1475–1540
Focusing on drawings, prints, illustrated books and innovative printing techniques, this exhibition — the first of its kind in America — serves as an introduction to Augsburg, which enjoyed a golden age in the late 15th and early 16th centuries.
National Gallery of Art

Through Dec. 31
The Serial Portrait: Photography and Identity in the Last One Hundred Years
Some 150 works reveal how 20 photographers responded to older portrait conventions and imagined new ones by exploring the same subjects — primarily friends, family, and themselves — over the course of days, months, or decades.
National Gallery of Art

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

Through Jan. 6
Per Kirkeby: Paintings and Sculpture
One of Europe's most celebrated living artists, Per Kirkeby is a Danish painter, sculptor, geologist, filmmaker, writer and poet. In the most comprehensive display of his work in the U.S. to date, 26 richly layered paintings and 11 striking bronze models reveal Kirkeby's belief that art, like science, is constantly in flux.
The Phillips Collection

Through Jan. 6
Very Like a Whale
Rare books and manuscripts from the Folger collection are juxtaposed with natural objects and the contemporary photography of artist Rosamond Purcell to evoke the restless energy of Shakespeare's language and capture the real world that shaped his imagination.
Folger Shakespeare Library

Through Jan. 6
Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power
Organized by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, the exhibition highlights the flashpoints, the firsts, the celebrated, and the lesser-known women who have influenced the genre from its inception through today.
National Museum of Women in the Arts

Through Jan. 13
Dark Matters
"Dark Matters" brings together works from the Hirshhorn's collection that draw upon the associations and implications of darkness and its notions of mortality, silence, solitude and loss.
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Through Jan. 13
Picturing the Sublime: Photographs from the Joseph and Charlotte Lichtenberg Collection
Eleven photographs document how artists use the camera to capture the sublime beauty and human destruction of the natural world.
The Phillips Collection

Through Jan. 13
Ripple Effect: Currents of Social Engaged Art
In this collaborative project, artists instigate conversations on broad themes such as environmentalism, social justice and immigration, while providing poetic and often concrete solutions, exploring specific social issues as the environmental blight of illegal dumping, the social stratification of D.C., and the ongoing struggle against violence in Mexico.
OAS Art Museum of the Americas

Through Jan. 13
Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective
In the first major exhibition since Roy Lichtenstein's death in 1997, more than 100 of the artist's greatest paintings from all periods of his career will be presented along with a selection of related drawings and sculptures.
National Gallery of Art

Through Jan. 27
Ivan Sigal: White Road
From 1998 to 2005, American photographer Ivan Sigal traveled in Central Asia, using his camera to record the unsettled lives of Eurasians in provincial towns and cities. Using images and text, this unconventional narrative reveals a diverse population adapting to extraordinary times.
Corcoran Gallery of Art

Through Jan. 27
Shock of the News
This exhibit traces how visual artists in Europe and America after the turn of the 20th century began to think about the newspaper more broadly — as a means of political critique, as a collection of ready-made news to appropriate or manipulate, a source of language and images, a typographical grab bag, and more.
National Gallery of Art

Through Jan. 30
Beyond
A photographer, writer, filmmaker, book designer, and exhibitions producer, Michael Benson's work focuses on the intersection of art and science in large-scale exhibitions of planetary landscape, mostly under the title "Beyond." He takes raw data from NASA and European Space Agency archives and individual spacecraft frames to produce seamless, large-format digital prints of landscapes currently beyond direct human experience.
Embassy of Slovenia

Through Jan. 30
Big Bang by Franco Lippi
According to chief curator Alfredo Ratinoff, "Franco Lippi's 'Big Bang' is a statement through which he reveals the moment at which everything came to be, in which everything is possible, each suspended in time for us to explore the immensity of his works."
Embassy of Argentina

Through Feb. 10
NOW at the Corcoran – Enoc Perez: Utopia
Enoc Perez's lushly figured paintings of modernist buildings at once exploit and question the seductions of architecture as well as painting itself.
Corcoran Gallery of Art

Through Feb. 10
Shadow Sites: Recent Work by Jananne Al-Ani
Inspired by archival archaeological and aerial photographs, as well as contemporary news, Jananne Al-Ani's video works examine enduring representations of the Middle Eastern landscape.
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Through Feb. 24
Enlightened Beings: Buddhism in Chinese Painting
Buddhism arrived in China during the first century and quickly grew in popularity, exerting a profound impact on all aspects of Chinese art and culture.
Freer Gallery of Art

Through Feb. 24
Lalla Essaydi: Revisions
Lalla Essaydi, a Moroccan-born, New York-based artist, pushes the boundaries of Arab, Muslim and African perceptions of women's identities with her art, which includes themes of feminism, gender, identity and the private inner lives of women while drawing on Arabic calligraphy for its decorative and communicative potential.
National Museum of African Art

Through Feb. 24
Roads of Arabia: Archaeology and History of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
An eye-opening look at the largely unknown ancient past of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, this exhibition draws on recently excavated archaeological material from sites throughout the Arabian Peninsula, tracing the impact of ancient trade routes and pilgrimage roads stretching from Yemen in the south to Iraq, Syria and Mediterranean cultures in the north.
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Through Feb. 24
Taryn Simon: A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters I-XVIII
Taryn Simon produced this 18-chapter series over a four-year period (2008-11), during which she traveled around the world researching and recording bloodlines and their related stories.
Corcoran Gallery of Art

Through February 2013
Ai Weiwei: According to What?
This major survey of Ai Weiwei, one of China's most prolific and provocative artists, aims to reveal the rich and varied contexts that he has interwoven within the broad spectrum of his work, from sculpture, photography and video to site-specific architectural installations.
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Through March 2
Luces y Sombras: Fourteen Travelers in Mexico
The 20th century saw many internationally acclaimed photographers travel through Mexico to document the country from their unique perspectives. This exhibition focuses on 20 hand-pulled photogravures comprising Paul Strand's seminal 1933 "Mexican Portfolio," along with renowned photographers Edward Weston, Wayne Miller, Aaron Siskind and others who captured the sociopolitical realities, local architecture, and startling landscapes of 20th-century Mexico through a patently American lens. And accompanying exhibit, "Visions of Mexico: The Photography of Hugo Brehme," presents 40 works from Hugo Brehme on loan from the Throckmorton Gallery in New York City.
Mexican Cultural Institute

Through March 10
The Sultan's Garden: The Blossoming of Ottoman Art
More than 50 sumptuous textiles and other works of art illustrate the stylized floral designs that became synonymous with the wealth, abundance and influence of one of the world's greatest empires.
The Textile Museum

Through March 16
Words Like Sapphires: 100 Years of Hebraica at the Library of Congress
A century ago, New York philanthropist Jacob H. Schiff purchased an initial collection of nearly 10,000 Hebrew books and pamphlets for the Library of Congress. This gift formed the nucleus of what is today one of the world's greatest collections of Hebraic materials, comprising some 200,000 items.
Library of Congress

Through March 31
Pissarro on Paper
French Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro first tried printmaking in his early thirties, and though he never stopped painting, printing became vital to his artistic enterprise.
National Gallery of Art

DANCE

Through Dec. 23
The Nutcracker
The Washington Ballet's one-of-a-kind "Nutcracker," set in 1882 Georgetown, stars George Washington as the heroic Nutcracker, King George III as the villainous Rat King, Anacostia Indians, frontiersmen, and many other all-American delights. Tickets are $34 to $101.
Warner Theatre

DISCUSSIONS

Mon., Dec. 3, 6:30 p.m.
Mexico and Mexicans: In the Making of the United States
Editor John Tutino and contributing authors Katherine Benton-Cohen and Jose Limon discuss their new book "Mexico and Mexicans in the Making of the United States," which aims to shift the conversation from the "problem" of Mexicans — citizens and migrants — in the U.S. to focus on how Mexico and Mexicans have contributed in pivotal ways to creating and shaping the United States.
Mexican Cultural Institute

Tue., Dec. 4, 7 p.m.
Tour de France Wine Tasting
These monthly "Wine Tasting 101" soirées — with veteran wine journalist Claire Morin-Gibourg — explore the regions and vineyards in France, as well as tasting techniques. December's tasting profiles Château Raymond-Lafon with owner Jean-Pierre Meslier. Tickets are $70.
La Maison Française


FESTIVALS

Tue., Dec. 4, 6 p.m.
Christmas Tree Lighting
True to tradition, the Royal Norwegian Embassy will give a Christmas tree to the people of Washington, D.C., as a symbol of friendship between the United States and Norway. The Children's Chorus of Washington will be singing Christmas carols and the embassy will serve treats and gløgg to warm the audience during the tree-lighting ceremony, which is open to the public.
Union Station West Terrace

MUSIC

Sat., Dec. 1, 8 p.m.
Christmas in Ireland: An Nollaig in Éirinn
One of the most acclaimed traditional music ensembles in Ireland, Danú performs a heartwarming and high-energy Celtic Christmas celebration. Tickets are $23 to $46.
George Mason University Center for the Arts

Sun., Dec. 2, 7 p.m.
Chucho Valdés
Revered as one of Cuba's greatest jazz pianists, Chucho Valdés creates an exciting blend of Cuban music with African roots and North American jazz. Tickets are $30 to $46.
George Mason University
Hylton Performing Arts Center

Dec. 6 to 8, 7:30 p.m.
Luxembourg at Holiday Time
For the third year in a row, the Embassy of Luxembourg and Embassy Series host a holiday celebration of baroque music featuring Marc Weydert and pianist Maurice Clement from Luxembourg, as well as holiday favorites such as "The Trumpet Shall Sound" from "Messiah," along with carolers, champagne, wine, hors d'oeuvres, a grand buffet dinner and lots of surprises. Tickets are $140 (Thursday) or $150 (Friday and Saturday). For information, visit www.embassyseries.org.
Embassy of Luxembourg

Thu., Dec. 6, 8 p.m.
Natalie MacMaster: Christmas in Cape Breton
Canadian fiddler Natalie MacMaster performs traditional Scottish and Irish holiday tunes that invoke the traditions of her native Cape Breton and illustrate how it influenced New England music tradition with heart-wrenching ballads and world-class step dancing combined with fiddling. Tickets are $28 to $58.
Music Center at Strathmore

Thu., Dec. 6, 7:30 p.m.
From Psalm to Lamentation: A Concert of Cantorial Masterpieces
The first of a new annual series of Hannukah-time Pro Musica Hebraica presentations, this concert pays homage to the golden age of cantors and to the liturgical music of modern times. Tickets are $38.
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

Dec. 8 to 16
Washington Revels 30th Annual Christmas Revels
For its 30th annual celebration of the winter solstice, the Washington Revels calls upon well-loved elements of "Christmas Revels" past to renew the seasonal spirit of joy. Enjoy favorite Revels sing-alongs, a madcap "Twelve Days of Christmas," new music of the season, lively country and Morris dancing, a Mummer's play with a surprise ending, and a special Revels evocation of Charles Dickens's "A Christmas Carol." Please call for ticket information.
Lisner Auditorium

Thu., Dec. 13, 7:30 p.m.
John Hébert Trio
If you've seen a New York City jazz show in the last few years, there's a good chance John Hébert's dominating bass sound was pulsating from the stage. A Louisiana native transplanted to New York, Hébert is a bassist, bandleader, and composer who grew up with an abiding admiration for a variety of musical perspectives. Tickets are $25.
La Maison Française

Fri., Dec. 14, 8 p.m.
Vienna Boys Choir: Christmas in Vienna
Nothing evokes the joy and magic of the Christmas season quite like the celestial voices of this extraordinary group of Austrian youngsters. Tickets are $25 to $50.
George Mason University Center for the Arts

Sat., Dec. 15, 4 p.m.,
Sun., Dec. 16, 4 p.m.
The Joy of Christmas
Join the Cathedral Choral Society, Washington Symphonic Brass, guest choir the Langley High School Madrigals, and the cathedral's Great Organ for choral gems and sing-alongs of favorite carols. Also enjoy the traditional Advent wreath procession and hear the world premiere of "Magi" by British composer Ben Parry, commissioned for these concerts. Tickets start at $30.
Washington National Cathedral

Dec. 15 to 22
The Washington Chorus: A Candlelight Christmas
Celebrate the splendor of the season with the Washington Chorus's beloved holiday event and an annual favorite with Kennedy Center audiences. Tickets are $18 to $70.
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

Sun., Dec. 30, 3 p.m.
Salute to Vienna – New Year's Concert 2012
Welcome the New Year with "Salute to Vienna,"patterned after Vienna's world famous "Neujahrskonzert," returning for a glorious 14th season with a fresh program featuring a brilliant new cast of more than 75 musicians, stellar European singers and dancers in beautiful costumes. Please call for ticket information.
Music Center at Strathmore

THEATER

Tue., Dec. 4, 6:30 p.m.
A Little Calm Before the Storm (Ein bisschen Ruhe vor dem Sturm)
Three actors prepare for a panel discussion on how to portray Hitler as a theatrical character, chatting about their profession on the empty stage. But is the stage really empty? This staged reading celebrates the 25th anniversary of Scena Theatre and is followed by a discussion and reception. Admission is free but reservations can be made at (202) 289-1200 ext. 175 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Goethe-Institut

Dec. 6 to 9
Les Liaisons Dangereuses
Enter the world of the opulent French youth who treat romance as a game and wield sex as a weapon in Théâtre de l'Atelier's production of "Les Liaisons Dangereuses," a French-revival stage-play directed by John Malkovich that's been adapted to a 21st-century setting (contains nudity and explicit situations). Tickets are $60 to $75.
The Shakespeare Theatre

Fri., Dec. 7, 8 p.m.,
Sat., Dec. 8, 8 p.m.
Entrada Gratis
Written and performed by Colombian Saulo García, one of the hemisphere's most popular comedians and social commentators, "Entrada Gratis" ventures from political satire to an absurdist dramatic landscape. Tickets are $20 (in Spanish only).
GALA Hispanic Theatre

Through Dec. 9
The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart
The Shakespeare Theatre Company brings a second production from the National Theatre of Scotland to D.C. audiences, a play inspired by the Border Ballads of Scotland that follows an academic on her supernatural and affirming Midwinter's Eve journey through a world of Scottish nostalgia. Tickets are $55.
DuPont Circle's Bier Baron Tavern

Dec. 11 to Jan. 6
Irving Berlin's 'White Christmas'
Featuring classic Berlin hits like "Blue Skies" and "How Deep is the Ocean?," the North American tour of the famous holiday movie tells the story of two buddies putting on a show in a magical Vermont inn and finding their perfect mates in the process. Tickets are $25 to $150.
Kennedy Center Opera House

Dec. 13 to 30
Les Misérables
Cameron Mackintosh's new 25th anniversary production of "Les Misérable" features glorious new staging and spectacular re-imagined scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo. Tickets start at $58.
The National Theatre

Dec. 21 to 23
Hansel and Gretel
Washington National Opera begins a new tradition of holiday opera with Engelbert Humperdinck's "Hansel and Gretel," starring current singers and alumni of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program in a candy-colored production directed by David Gately. Please call for ticket information.
Kennedy Center Terrace Theatre

Through Dec. 30
Cinderella
Rodgers and Hammerstein's classic musical "Cinderella" adds warmth and a touch of hilarity to the enduing fairytale. Tickets are $26 to $54.
Olney Theatre Center

Through Dec. 30
A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas
Rediscover the vibrancy and joy of this immortal classic as Dickens originally intended — in his own words — and experience his unforgettable characters and imagery in a masterful solo performance by Olney Theatre Center favorite Paul Morella. Tickets are $26.
Olney Theatre Center

Through Dec. 30
A Christmas Carol
Originally conceived by Michael Baron, this music-infused production captures the magic and joy of Charles Dickens's Yuletide classic as the the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge (acclaimed Washington stage actor Edward Gero) on a journey of transformation and redemption. Tickets are $22 to $89.
Ford's Theatre

Through Dec. 30
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Director Ethan McSweeny takes a fresh approach to this well-loved play filled with mismatched lovers who flee to the forest outside Athens, but run into a supernatural squabble that will alter their destinies forever. Tickets are $43 to $105.
Sidney Harman Hall

Through Dec. 30
Young Robin Hood
Derek Goldman directs this stirring new take on the legendary adventure story that's swashbuckling fun for the entire family this holiday season. Tickets are $10 to $61.
Round House Theatre Bethesda

Through Jan. 6
My Fair Lady
When Professor Henry Higgins wagers he can transform a Cockney flower girl into an aristocratic lady, he never guesses that Eliza Doolittle will in turn transform him. Tickets are $45 to $94.
Arena Stage

Last Edited on November 29, 2012