I haven't been to the Kennedy Center's Millenium Stage for a long time, so when I saw that a Berber troup was scheduled to perform last Friday, MoBob and I made plans to meet up and go together. I was a little puzzled then when the website changed to feature performers from the Caribbean instead. It made sense since the DC Caribbean Festival was the same weekend. But where were the Berbers? I called the Kennedy Center box office and the person I spoke with confirmed the Berbers. When we showed up though it was the Caribbean performers - there was just a short announcement that the Berber troop was unable to make it. Visa problems, perhaps? We decided to stay anyway since neither of us have seen Caribbean performers before. The National Youth Drum Corps from St. Kitts and Nevis was eerily (but not surprisingly) similar to West African drumming.
Then Marlene's Ballet Company came on. The group showcases the six (!) ethnic groups of Suriname - I didn't know there was such a heavy Asian influence. I'm not really keen on contemporary dance, but I think everyone was surprised by one piece which featured two couples dressed in white night clothes dancing with and under two mosquito nets. Well. It was very erotic and prompted a steady stream of exits of families with small children. The elderly couple next to us - whom I suspected came for the Berbers - looked a little shell-shocked. (If you're curious, here's the performance.)
But I did run into a dear friend (and faithful blog reader) and his partner, which ended the evening well....
I was too appalled and aroused at the same time - a very strange sensation!
When I last lived in DC I was doing post-grad studies so I didn't have time to take advantage of all the cultural events, and I definitely want to make up for it now.