The Kennedy Center

Ballet & Contemporary Dance

Featured this season 2

Upcoming Events

Lotus: Tap Stars Reunite to Celebrate the Art Form

Sat, Oct 7, 2017, 7:30 PM

Six award-winning tap dancing artists unite for a night of performances choreographed to honor the roots of tap dance, their predecessors, and each other, all to live jazz music.

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Matthew Bourne / New Adventures – The Red Shoes

Oct 10 - Oct 15, 2017

Winner of two 2017 Olivier Awards including Best Theater Choreographer! The beloved fairy tale has seduced audiences and inspired generations of dancers with its story of obsession, possession, and one young woman's dream to be the greatest dancer in the world.

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Mariinsky Ballet: La Bayadère

Oct 17 - Oct 22, 2017

Replete with forbidden love, shocking betrayal, and a spectral voyage to the afterlife, this enchanting journey to a fabled past radiates with colorful characters, vibrant sets and costumes, and virtuosic moments. Petipa created La Bayadère for the Mariinsky more than 140 years ago, and this dazzling ballet continues to be "theirs" well into the 21st century.

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DEMO by Damian Woetzel: Jerome Robbins--American Dance Genius

Oct 20 - Oct 21, 2017

A stellar cast celebrates the launch of legendary choreographer Jerome Robbins's centennial in a lecture demonstration-style performance hosted by Damian Woetzel.

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Kansas City Ballet: The Nutcracker

Nov 22 - Nov 26, 2017

From the moment we meet toymaker Drosselmeier in his workshop, elaborate sets, sparkling costumes, and impressive choreography will take your breath away. Plenty of inventive twists also abound, from a toy bear that comes to life and a grandfather with Hip Hop moves to a line of giant Russian nesting dolls. It all adds up to a delicious ballet feast impossible to resist!

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Camille A. Brown & Dancers: BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play / ink

Dec 1 - Dec 2, 2017

Prolific and highly acclaimed choreographer Camille A. Brown makes her Kennedy Center debut with two full-evening works performed on separate nights: BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play and ink. Both performed to original live music, these two fascinating productions celebrate diversity, community, history, and finding oneself through daring dance.

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The Suzanne Farrell Ballet: Forever Balanchine: Farewell Performances

Dec 7 - Dec 9, 2017

This season we celebrate the culmination of our own ballet company, led by the beloved muse of choreographer George Balanchine. Throughout her career as a dancer, Suzanne Farrell created and redefined many of the great roles of the Balanchine canon. The farewell program is a pageant of favorites, all handpicked for their special meaning to Ms. Farrell.

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An American in Paris

Dec 12 - Jan 7, 2018

Inspired by the Academy Award–winning film and featuring the music of George and Ira Gershwin, An American in Paris has captivated both audiences and critics, winning four 2015 Tony Awards including Best Choreography. Its stunning combination of classic music, timeless story, breathtaking dance, and state-of-the-art design results in a spectacular production the New York Times declares "outshines anything else currently on Broadway."

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American Ballet Theatre: Whipped Cream / Works by Ratmansky, Scarlett & Wheeldon

Jan 30 - Feb 4, 2018

ABT's starry roster of dancers is just one of many assets fueling its ever-growing fan base. Another is Artist in Residence Alexei Ratmansky, who keeps our audiences in a state of awe. The company performs a stunning lineup of works, including the D.C. premiere of Ratmansky's full-length story ballet Whipped Cream. 

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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Feb 6 - Feb 11, 2018

Now more than ever, the world needs the power of dance to bring people together and connect us all by our common humanity. For its annual Kennedy Center engagement, the beloved company will continue to push the art form into fascinating new territory, with multiple programs as unique and phenomenal as the Ailey dancers themselves.

On Sale 11/15/2017


Feb 23 - Feb 24, 2018

Highly original contemporary dance ensemble DIAVOLO uses "architecture in motion" to explore the relationship between the human body and its environment. L.O.S.T., or Losing One's Self Temporarily, uses meticulously designed structures to explore, in two parts, what divides and unites us as we traverse through our daily lives.

On Sale 11/15/2017

DEMO by Damian Woetzel: Now

Wed, Mar 7, 2018, 7:30 PM

This special DEMO event will present recently commissioned works and D.C. premieres by creative voices of today, including Alexei Ratmansky's critically acclaimed Fandango, set to the music of Luigi Boccherini.

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Mark Morris Dance Group and Silk Road Ensemble: Layla and Majnun

Mar 22 - Mar 24, 2018

Based on an ancient Persian tale as poignant and beautiful as Romeo and Juliet, Layla and Majnun tells a passionate story of tragic love. When a young man's zealous feelings for his childhood love Layla earn him the nickname Majnun, or "possessed," his perceived madness turns their would-be union into scandal, misfortune, and eternal longing.

On Sale 11/15/2017

New York City Ballet: Works by Balanchine, Martins & Peck / Robbins Centennial Program

Mar 27 - Apr 1, 2018

New York City Ballet returns with two sensational repertory programs for its annual appearance, including a program to celebrate the centennials of Jerome Robbins, one of the most influential dance-makers in the company's history, and legendary composer Leonard Bernstein. It also presents three works by NYCB's George Balanchine and Peter Martins's Zakouski, while Resident Choreographer and Soloist Justin Peck offers the Kennedy Center premiere of a brand new piece.

On Sale 11/15/2017

Nederlands Dans Theater

Apr 4 - Apr 6, 2018

Known for pushing boundaries with its bold repertory and distinct virtuosity, Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT) is prominently imprinted with an avant-garde aesthetic. Based in The Hague, this pioneering Dutch company's non-conformist, progressive productions have put its collective of astonishingly talented dancers on the international map.

On Sale 11/15/2017

Andersson Dance and Scottish Ensemble: Goldberg Variations--ternary patterns for insomnia

Apr 26 - Apr 28, 2018

Art forms merge and surge with sublime synergy as Stockholm-based Andersson Dance and Glasgow-based Scottish Ensemble become true partners, interacting onstage in a seamless display of talent. Johann Sebastian Bach's sparkling masterpiece comes to stunning life through a whirlwind of movement and sound in this entrancing collaboration.

On Sale 11/15/2017

Ballet Nacional de Cuba: Don Quixote / Giselle

May 29 - Jun 3, 2018

The dancers of Ballet Nacional de Cuba are known around the world for their exuberant flair--and their uniquely Cuban, athletic training based in the Russian style infuses classics from the ballet repertoire with a special passion all their own. The company made its landmark U.S. debut at the Kennedy Center forty years ago, and Ballet Nacional de Cuba now returns for the first time since 2011 with two signature classics by Artistic Director Alicia Alonso that bridge the gap between refined taste and pure entertainment.

On Sale 11/15/2017