The Kennedy Center

Contemporary Dance

Featured this season 2

Upcoming Events

Silver Clouds Playground

Oct 2 – 5, 2019

Free exhibition. See Andy Warhol's interactive "Silver Clouds," which featured in Cunningham's iconic RainForest.

John Cage: Music for Merce—Margaret Leng Tan, Toy and Prepared Piano

Wed, Oct 2, 2019

A one-night-only event performed on toy and prepared pianos by the renowned avant-garde pianist/Cage interpreter, Margaret Leng Tan.

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Merce Cunningham at 100

Oct 3 – 5, 2019

To open our contemporary dance season, the Kennedy Center joins the global centennial celebration of one of the most important figures in modern dance, icon Merce Cunningham. Compagnie Centre National de Danse Contemporaine-Angers presents two Cunningham masterworks, Beach Birds and BIPED.

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Cunningham on Film

Oct 4 – 5, 2019

Free outdoor screenings of selections from Merce Cunningham's legacy of dance. Includes Beach Birds for Camera, eyeSpace 20, Walkaround Time, and Merce 100. Part of Merce Cunningham at 100

Let’s Talk Dance: The Artistic Process and Collaborations of Merce Cunningham

Sat, Oct 5, 2019

Join Robert Swinston, former Cunningham dancer and current Artistic Director of Compagnie Centre National de Danse Contemporaine-Angers and others for a conversation that will give you a glimpse into how Merce Cunningham created and collaborated to create ground-breaking dance works.

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DEMO by Damian Woetzel: BalletX

Oct 25 – 26, 2019

Discover Philadelphia’s powerhouse contemporary dance company in its Kennedy Center debut in this special program with former New York City Ballet principal dancer Robert Fairchild.

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Dance Fitness

Nov 2, 2019 – Mar 7, 2020

Part of our new Dance Wellness Series! Try on different styles of dance while beating the winter blues in these fitness-focused classes held the first Saturday of the month, November 2019 through March 2020. Each class will be offered in collaboration with a local dance fitness professional or organization. All experience levels welcome and celebrated.

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Mark Morris Dance Group: Pepperland

Nov 13 – 16, 2019

Mark Morris Dance Group adds some spice to this season with a colorful, exuberant new production that celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ groundbreaking album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

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Any Level Class for Seniors with Mark Morris Dance Group

Thu, Nov 14, 2019

Take a class led by some of the most talented and creative artists in the world of dance.

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Dance for Parkinson's Disease: Mark Morris Dance Group

Sat, Nov 16, 2019

This program offers internationally acclaimed dance classes for people with Parkinson’s Disease in more than 250 communities and 24 countries. Join Mark Morris Dance Group for a free workshop where participants are empowered to explore movement and music in ways that are refreshing, enjoyable, stimulating and creative. Pre-registration is required. 

Maya Beiser, Wendy Whelan, Lucinda Childs & David Lang: The Day

Dec 6 – 7, 2019

A collaboration among legends, The Day is a new music/dance work by cellist Maya Beiser, dancer Wendy Whelan, and choreographer Lucinda Childs, with music by David Lang.

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Matthew Bourne's New Adventures: Swan Lake

Jan 21 – 26, 2020

With a fresh look for the 21st century, Matthew Bourne brings his breakout international hit to the Kennedy Center for the first time. Thrilling, audacious, witty, and emotive, this Swan Lake is perhaps still best known for replacing the female corps de ballet with a menacing male ensemble, which shattered conventions and took the dance world by storm. 

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Gregory Maqoma's Vuyani Dance Theatre: Cion: Requiem of Ravel's Boléro

Jan 24 – 25, 2020

Experience South African star Gregory Maqoma’s choreographic genius at the Kennedy Center for the first time. His company Vuyani Dance Theatre performs an innovative, visually stunning full-length work that brings literature to life, drawing inspiration from the character Toloki in South African author Zakes Mda’s novel Cion, and music from French composer Maurice Ravel’s Boléro. 

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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Feb 4 – 9, 2020

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 dancers themselves, including Ailey's signature classic Revelations. This “spiritually riveting” (DC Metro Theater Arts) company never fails to remind us of the power of dance and its ability to unite people from all walks of life.

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Revelations Celebration Workshop with Ailey Arts in Education Teaching Artists

Sat, Feb 8, 2020

Free, no tickets required. One of America's favorite dance companies offers a special workshop, teaching excerpts from Revelations, Alvin Ailey’s signature masterpiece.

Dance for Parkinson's Disease: Lucy Bowen McCauley

Feb 15 – May 16, 2020

This program offers internationally acclaimed dance classes for people with Parkinson’s Disease in more than 250 communities and 24 countries. Join local Dance for PD certified instructor Lucy Bowen McCauley for a free workshop where participants are empowered to explore movement and music in ways that are refreshing, enjoyable, stimulating and creative. Pre-registration is required.

DEMO by Damian Woetzel: NOW 2020

Mon, Mar 2, 2020

This installment of the Kennedy Center's popular DEMO series presents recent commissions and D.C. premieres from some of today’s most creative voices in dance and music. Performers and repertory will be announced in fall 2019.

On Sale 11/12/2019

Master Class: Martha Graham Dance Company

Tue, Mar 3, 2020

Dance Master Classes at the Kennedy Center offer an opportunity to take classes led by some of the most talented and creative artists in the world of dance. This participatory, advanced-professional, class for adults (sorry, no observers allowed) is led by company members from Martha Graham Dance Company.

On Sale 11/12/2019

Fruits borne out of rust by Tabaimo and Maki Morishita

Tue, Mar 3, 2020

Conceived and directed by internationally renowned Japanese visual artist Tabaimo in collaboration with award-winning choreographer Maki Morishita, this whimsical, mischievous multimedia work is performed by a solo female dancer and two on-stage musicians to an original score by Yusuke Awazu and Keisuke Tanaka.

On Sale 11/12/2019

Martha Graham Dance Company: The EVE Project

Mar 5 – 7, 2020

Martha Graham is inarguably the mother of American modern dance. In celebration of the centennial of the 19th amendment in 2020, which gave women the right to vote, the company has created a collection of new commissions and signature Graham classics that each make bold statements about female power.

On Sale 11/12/2019

Let's Talk Dance: Panel Discussion: Martha Graham, Women in Dance, and Dance as Activism

Sat, Mar 7, 2020

With Let's Talk Dance, join us for various conversations, panels, Q&As, lectures, artist talks, pre- and post-performance discussions, podcasts, and more inspired by themes and topics of the current ballet and dance seasons. With each event, we will connect you to dance beyond performance and strive to inspire you towards a deeper appreciation for the world of dance. 

On Sale 11/5/2019

Kyle Abraham’s A.I.M

May 1 – 2, 2020

A bold creator, Kyle Abraham represents a fresh, new perspective in today’s dance community. For his company’s first fully dedicated Kennedy Center engagement, A.I.M’s repertory program offers a rare opportunity to witness Abraham perform INDY, his first new full-length solo in nearly a decade.

On Sale 11/12/2019

Unifying Uniquenness with A.I.M

Sat, May 2, 2020

Part conversation and part movement workshop, Unifying Uniqueness investigates the ideologies surrounding uniqueness and likenesses in each individual participant. Led by one to two A.I.M company members, students of all levels will learn phrases of material from A.I.M repertory, engage in a dialogue centered around early memories, and integrate movement with ideas of perception, family, and freedom.

On Sale 11/12/2019