Saphira, the matriarch and founder of Saffron Dance, didn?t even exist 20 years ago, much like ?I survived Y2K? bumper stickers. Saphira was known as Rachael Galoob-Ortega, a lawyer who practiced in DC and Florida for a decade. But her high-power career and hefty paycheck couldn?t extinguish her passion for dance. And so she became Saphira, an international belly-dance artist and instructor with numerous accolades, including being featured in American Belly Dancer, a documentary about belly dance in the United States.
Saphira opened Saffron Dance six years ago, and along with 18 fellow instructors, channels her years of expertise into dance courses that get progressively more challenging from week to week. Welcoming all levels, her classes teach both Egyptian-inspired belly dance and community-focused tribal belly dance. Regardless of the class type, Saphira and her teachers encourage pupils to express their unique voices through dance, all while keeping proper alignment, mastering precision, and having fun.
Established as the Washington Shakespeare Company in 1990, WSC Avant Bard is dedicated to updating classic theater for modern audiences, revitalizing well-worn drama with challenging interpretations. Under the leadership of newly appointed artistic director Tom Prewitt, the theater treats audiences to daring productions of established classics, new works, and little-known Shakespeare fan-fiction about him teaming up to fight crime with Queen Elizabeth I.
Today's side deal gets you a ticket to see Jane Franklin Dance's new work, Of Bones and Bridges. Inspired by nature's cycle of growth, destruction, and change, this composition explores the tension between people and the natural world. Head to Source, a recently renovated black-box theater in the 14th Street Corridor, for an evening performance at 8 p.m. on Saturday, February 27, or a matinee on Sunday, February 28 (a $28 value). Pick up adult tickets at the box office on a first-come, first-serve basis for your chosen evening; if you're planning on bringing children, call ahead to reserve special $10 kids' pricing (to be paid out of pocket to the theater, normally $16).
From the great heights of the Windows over Washington restaurant, a rotation of comedians float nationally toured and tested routines toward dinner and late-night audiences. The Comedy Zone DC keeps punch lines rolling with its regularly stuffed calendar of established and up-and-coming jokesters. Windows over Washington backdrops the onstage uproar with the clinking of wineglasses, aromas wafting from steak and seafood dishes, and stunning views of the cityscape and the Potomac River.
Converted from a historic 1930s art-deco theater, the modern iteration of the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse is a combination restaurant, movie theater, and performance space. Besides screening blockbusters, the venue also hosts regular comedy shows featuring standups who have shared their skills on The Tonight Show, David Letterman, and Conan O'Brien. Between laughs, audience members can take bites from a complete menu or sips of selections from a full-service bar.
To showcase the work of its young scribes, once a year Young Playwrights’ Theater hosts its New Play Festival, providing an opportunity for budding playwrights to see the fruits of their creative labor flourish on stage. Watching their work as it's performed for an appreciative audience may be a student's first taste of artistic accomplishment, substantiating in them a desire to expand their horizons academically and creatively. The students collaborate with professional actors, dramaturges, and directors to produce 15 student-written plays during three nights. In addition to its benefits to the writers as individuals, the festival—which audiences attend free of charge—enhances public regard for young artists and fosters a dialogue regarding matters of vital importance to the community.