Corcoran Gallery of Art

June 2, 2011

NEXT at the Corcoran: BFA Class of 2011
April 23–May 22, 2011

On the footsteps of Corcoran’s progressive and wonderfully fresh “NOW” series, which spotlights contemporary working artists as comprehensively as most museums cover the classics, comes NEXT, an exhibition of the Corcoran College graduating class of 2011. There is sure to be an impressive array of budding artists on display with the bravado and curiosity that students exemplify, like horses chomping at the bit.


NOW at the Corcoran: Chris Martin
June 18–October 23, 2011

Although abstract, Martin’s paintings are a direct response to the physical world around him. Many of his works integrate objects from his immediate environment into their surfaces, including kitchen utensils, records, photographs, and Persian carpets. The works are as much about daily life—music, travel, and language—as they are about mythology, storytelling, the endurance of symbols, and the role of painting in art history.

Freer | Sackler

Echoes of the Past: The Buddhist Cave Temples of Xiangtangshan
February 26–July 31, 2011 (Sackler Gallery)

Majestic sixth-century Chinese Buddhist sculpture is combined with 3-D imaging technology in this exploration of one of the most important groups of Buddhist devotional sites in early medieval China. Carved into the mountains of northern China, the Buddhist cave temples of Xiangtangshan (pronounced “shahng-tahng-shahn”) were the crowning cultural achievement of the Northern Qi dynasty (550-77 CE). Once home to a magnificent array of sculptures–monumental Buddhas, divine attendant figures, and crouching monsters framed by floral motifs–the limestone caves were severely damaged in the first half of the twentieth century, when their contents were chiseled away and offered for sale on the international art market. The exhibit re-creates the forms and power of these sacred Eastern sculptures as they were originally constructed.

Explore “Maximum India”

Here is India, according to stats provided by the embassy: 1.2 billion people, 24 languages, 1,600 dialects, 28 states, a rich variety of regional cuisines, 330,000 gods and goddesses, and 300 ways of cooking a potato.

The Kennedy Center’s huge, month-long festival celebrating Indian culture (March 1-20) is thus called “Maximum India.” And as it would seem, there are thousands of reasons for that.

“What you will find in this festival is a celebration of India’s diversity,” said Ms. Meera Shankar, the Indian Ambassador to the United States since April of 2009, in a small press gathering at the Cosmos Club, showcasing parts of the festival.

“India,” she said, “is a great kaleidoscope of cultures, ethnicity, religions, geography, languages, literature, music, dance, paintings, architecture, festivals, cuisine and customs going back thousands of years. And you’ll find much of that in this festival.”

The festival is another in a series of festivals that has focused on geographical regions of the world at the Kennedy Center, including China, the Middle East and Arabia, the Silk Road and others. “Maximum India” is presented in cooperation with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, which has brought and sponsored several of the attractions in the festival to the United States.

“The arts create a unique platform for understanding each other,” Kennedy Center President Michael M. Kaiser said. “This festival will highlight India’s magnificent arts and culture offerings on the Kennedy Center’s stages and throughout the building.”

Much of India’s cultural offerings—its literature, music, dance and performance arts—are rooted in the ancient past, so that even modern creativity in India has a flavor of the old Gods, of religious practices, of re-inventing old arts and understanding them anew, and of enduring faiths in a contemporary setting.

“You’ll find similarities through the regions of India—it’s the cradle of many religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, which are known as the Indian religions. But there’s also Islam, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Judaism and the Bahai faith, which makes the country a hotbed of inter-faith activities and cooperation.”

“The past is always a part of the present here,” the ambassador said. “But there is also Bollywood, with its very modern cinematic pulse, which is now exported all over the world. We have western pop music, as well as traditional music. We are at once very modern and very old.”

Not all of that may make its way into the enormous festival with its many free events, but there is definitely a flavor of a vast nation at work in the offerings of the festival.

Here are some highlights:

Madhavi and Alarmel Valli fuse two classical dance forms in a joint creative experience called “Samanvaya: A Coming Together.” Valli is the leading choreographer of one of the oldest dance forms in India, the classical bharatanatyam.

On the other hand, there’s Tanusree Shankar, a choreographer and artistic director of a company that specializes in contemporary Indian dance.

Anoushka Shankar, daughter of the legendary sitar player Ravi Shankar, and who accompanied her father on tour recently, will be performing with the National Symphony Orchestra.

The Rhythm of Rajasthan, a group of musicians and dancers, perform a diverse program that includes folk music and ecstatic Sufi music. Want a mix of the modern and the old? Try the Raghu Dixit Project from Bangalore, an Indo-World-Folk-Rock Band.

Naseereuddin Shah will bring his Motley Theater Group from Mumbai (the setting for the popular Oscar-winning movie “Slumdog Millionaires”) to the festival. The group is famous for its storytelling abilities and for performing western plays in Hindustani, including “Waiting for Godot.”

The Kennedy Center has also created for this festival the Monsoon Club in the Terrace Theater, where contemporary Indian musicians and other artists will be performing

India is of course a center of the world film industry, and many key films from India over the last 50 years will be screened in the Terrace Theater throughout the festival. There will also be a major discussion of the Indian film industry and Bollywood.

The grand halls of the Kennedy Center will be filled with images and objects reflecting the arts of India, transforming the center into more than a little piece of India.

In terms of cuisine, the Kennedy Center will be serving up the tastes of India in the KC Café and the Roof Terrace Restaurant. Chef Hemant Oberoi, Executive Grand Chef of the Taj Mahal Palace and Towers in Mumbai, will lead a team of 12 chefs from around India to introduce festival-goers to the cuisines of India.

For all the details of maximum India visit

Russell Allen Feted

June 1, 2011

Members of the Women’s Committee of the Washington Ballet partied at Maziar Farvar’s Peacock Café in Georgetown to celebrate outgoing Executive Director Russell Allen and his successful years at the Ballet. The party on May 24 was organized by Sally Francis and former TWC President Beth Kohlhoss. The ladies enthusiastically toasted Russell and presented him with an engraved silver card case from Tiffany. Despite scarcer funding for the arts, Russell leaves the Ballet with stronger earned revenue. Guests were delighted to hear that he plans to remain in this area. [gallery ids="99858,99859,99860,99861,99862,99863" nav="thumbs"]

Rigoletto Presented at the Italian Embassy

In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy, Ambassador Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata and his staff made the embassy available for a presentation of Rigoletto on May 21 featuring The Opera Camerata of Washington Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Gregory Buchalter and directed by Roger Riggle. José Sacia, Elisabeth Turchi and Jesus Hernandez took leading roles. In his enthusiastic remarks, Executive Director Michael J. Reilly acknowledged diplomatic dignitaries and said “opera is cool, modern, stimulating. You will leave humming and tapping your feet with wonderful young singers.” The cast sang Happy Birthday to Countess Gertrude d’Amecourt and Princess Selene Obolensky, who beamed in the front row. [gallery ids="99849,99850,99851,99852,99853,99854,99855,99856,99857" nav="thumbs"]

Biz Group Meeting a Big Hit, Thanks to Dean & Deluca

May 20, 2011

The Georgetown Business Association held its monthly meeting, May 18, at one of D.C.’s oldest marketplaces, which has housed one of Georgetown’s high-end food and wine businesses, Dean & Deluca, for almost two decades. At the sidewalk patio, GBA members and guests had a lively time, meeting old and new colleagues and sampling fine fare. GBA president Joe Giannino mentioned how the group held a zoning seminar among other business talks. People lingered longer at the Dean & Deluca sidewalk, as they were also greeted by newly sworn-in At-Large Councilman Vincent Orange. “I am at large, so I am here,” said Orange, who also thanked “The Georgetowner and The Downtowner for getting it right” by endorsing him before the special election. [gallery ids="99765,99766,99767,106144" nav="thumbs"]

Tickled Pink, VIII

May 19, 2011

Diana Bulger made certain that everything was perfection in the glorious Colonnade at the Fairmont Washington, DC on May 14 as the hotel hosted the eighth Tickled Pink Tea where the prettiest mommies and offspring modeled Lily Pulitzer fashions from Lizanne Jeveret’s Pink Palm Stores to benefit the Make-A Wish Foundation of the Mid-Atlantic. The Foundation grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. President and CEO Maura Harty spoke as did this year’s wish child Jacqueline Pastore. WTOP Radio’s Man About Town Bob Madigan lent his traditional charm in introducing the fashion pairs who included Alison Priebe Brooks of Queen Bee Designs and Cynthia McClain Brooks, Andrea and Gabriella Cecchi, TV personalities Lesli and Jordan Foster as well as Angie and Adora Kate Goff, and Eun Yang with Carys Kang. [gallery ids="99721,99722,99723,99724,99725" nav="thumbs"]

Woodrow Wilson House annual Garden Party

May 18, 2011

Woodrow Wilson House annual Garden Party on May 11th. [gallery ids="99752,99753,99754" nav="thumbs"]

Gold Cup

The 86th running of the world famous Virginia Gold Cup steeplechase race, Saturday, May 7, 2011 at Great Meadow in The Plains, Virginia. [gallery ids="99736,99737,99738,99739,99740,99741,99742" nav="thumbs"]

Pearls of Purpose

The City Tavern Club was jumping on May 4 as guests gathered for Pearls of Purpose
supporting Fair Fund and the DC Jewel Girls for a celebration of girl’s empowerment Fair Fund is a DC-based international nonprofit organization that works to combat human trafficking and sexual violence in the lives of youth, especially girls, around the world. Emcee Amber Lyon and special guest Biljana, a Serbian JewelGirl survivor of trafficking, spoke movingly. The evening included live music by Trio Caliente, a silent auction and sale of handcrafted jewelry by FAIR Fund’s DC JewelGirls art therapy and economic empowerment program.
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