The first running of the Potomac Hunt Races took place in 1952, and the event has been an annual tradition in Montgomery County ever since. The event celebrates steeplechase racing—a form of competition that originated in 18th-century Ireland, when riders would dash across uneven terrain and use towering church steeples as their beacons. Today, regular two- to four-mile tracks have become the battlegrounds for steeplechase events, and horses equipped with on-board GPS systems have made church steeples obsolete. Potomac Hunt Races carries on the tradition of this modern-day version of steeplechase racing, while implementing a tradition of its own: donating a portion of the proceeds from each year's event to charity.
Now in its 21st year, the AFI Latin American Film Festival celebrates hitting the drinking age by hosting an array of cinematic achievements by Latin American filmmakers, with this year’s slate of films extending to motion pictures from Spain and Portugal. The 2010 lineup includes Revolution, a collection of short films from 10 Mexican moviemakers, including actors Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna, that explores the themes of the Mexican Revolution on its 100th anniversary. Those with an off-kilter sense of humor or an unhealthy love for con-artistry can check out Uruguay’s Bad Day to Go Fishing, which follows a wrestler and his manager as they navigate through South America, putting on fake exhibitions of strength. Venezuela’s Story of a Day enthralls its viewers by poetically chronicling the numerous parties, feasts, and chores in a Venezuelan village, and Honduras’s Love and Beans comically details marital mysteries and draws attention to the plight of beans everywhere. Check the full lineup to see how the festival's schedule of silver-screen offerings matches up to your own sci-fi screenplay about the 1993 Buffalo Bills.
At Montgomery Royal Theater, six screens beam larger-than-life stars into the eyes of moviegoers during showings of recently released flicks and Hollywood blockbusters. Viewers can sink into the theater's plush, cushioned seats to absorb action-packed reels that showcase the twists of budding romance or the dire consequences of resurrecting an extinct flower’s DNA. The theater’s concession stand outfits viewers with buckets of popcorn and cups brimming with soda, providing the appropriate rations to accompany treks into the fantastical worlds of first-run films.
Canadian electrofunk duo Chromeo exhales party-starting inertia, kicking off its Night Falls Tour by rolling out a carpet of dance-floor passports. Melding the talents of guitarist, vocalist, and French-literature buff Dave 1 with the dexterous fingers and throwback savvy of synthmaster P-Thugg, Chromeo has earned reverence from funkophiles for its slick grooves and mastery of jam architecture. Fans can expect congenial beats, riffing Moogs, and song craft that father-and-son yachts can enjoy together in support of the band's latest album, Business Casual. Inflating the soulful evening, singer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Mayer Hawthorne channels wandering Motown spirits with a retroactive Detroit sound, and French funk enthusiast Breakbot sets the scene with genre jumping and remixes that rumble like tubas in a Cuisinart.
Since 1971, Maryland Youth Ballet's team of trained instructors has helped both amateur dancers and aspiring Baryshnikovs hone their skills with a range of comprehensive classes. True beginners can begin their swan transformations during the introductory series, which covers fundamental barre exercises and promotes proper alignment, molting, and musicality. More experienced students can drop into one of the studio's ongoing sessions that range from jazz- and Broadway-style routines to Horton-based modern movement. Adult classes are open to ages 13 and older, and all participants must bring their own ballet flats or oversize bunny slippers.
Now & Then Dance Studios’ dance instructors let students pick from 21 styles of dancing, including waltz, salsa, and merengue. They make sure to integrate private classes, group classes, and supervised dance parties in their lesson programs, which have produced successful dancers for 35 years. They dance atop dance floors to reduce impact on joints and pump music through digital sound systems.