The County’s Art Buzz – April

Special to The Fairfax County Times,  Apr 13, 2019

BalletNova awarded Martha Graham Dance Residency

A dozen young dancers are learning to transition from one movement to another to create a seamless whole. Every contraction, every lunge, every breath in time with the beat of the music rehearsed over and over again until the unnatural becomes natural. This is typical of the dance training hundreds of young people experience every day.

What is unusual for a select few high school students at BalletNova’s preconservatory dance division is to be trained and to learn from a principal dancer in the Martha Graham Dance Company. BalletNova is one of the few studios below the collegiate level to be granted a two-week artist residency from the Martha Graham Dance Company in New York City.

“This work is usually done at a university level,” said BalletNova principal dancer Constance Walsh. “Our experience has gone beyond what I thought the students would appreciate.”

Martha Graham is considered one of the greatest choreographers of the 20th century and an iconic figure of modern dance. Graham created a movement of language based upon the expressive capacity of the human body. Her studio, established in 1926, continues to teach students today. The artist residency at BalletNova began in February with Elizabeth AuClair and continues with former Martha Graham Dance Company and current BalletNova principal dancer Constance Walsh, who works daily with the conservatory level students to perfect a piece created and originally performed by Graham in 1936.

Students will perform their version of Graham’s “Steps in the Street” from May 3 – 5 during BalletNova’s Spring Show, “La Fille Mal Gardée & Other Works.” An ARTSFAIRFAX grant helped support this artist residency.

April art highlights

The arts are celebrating spring. NOVA Annandale Symphony Orchestra is presenting their spring concert on April 26 at the Richard J. Ernest Cultural Theater. On April 27, Fairfax Symphony Orchestra will perform with the Fairfax County All-Star’s Youth Orchestra at the GMU Center for the Arts Concert Hall. The Hub Theatre presents “The Burn,” an area-premiere play exploring what happens to a teacher and his students when a classroom conflict turns into an online witch-hunt. “The Burn” plays from April 26 to May 11. In Tysons Corner, 1st Stage presents the thought-provoking piece, “Columbinus,” a docudrama that explores the Columbine High School shooting. The Polaris Piano Trio presents an evening of music for the Jordan Kitts Community Concert Series on April 27. Audiences of all ages will enjoy Creative Cauldron’s presentation of “Alice in Wonderland” and Reston Community Players’ presentation of “Annie.” Check the ARTSFAIRFAX website for dates and times.

Creative Aging Festival

Mark your calendars now to participate in great art offerings in recognition of Older Americans Month. ARTSFAIRFAX is partnering with Fairfax County agencies to present the 2019 Creative Aging Festival through the month of May. The Festival celebrates older adults’ participation in the arts. Over 60 free and engaging activities will be available in 28 venues throughout Fairfax County.

Visit for more information.

Taste of Vienna

Within the VVFD parking lot, Taste of Vienna showcases the many excellent restaurants the Vienna area has to offer. Restaurants will offer choices for all tastes from the food critic to the picky eater.

SpringFest Fairfax

Celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day at Springfest. This event is free fun for entire family at the Workhouse Arts Center. Enjoy pony rides, games, farmers market, environmental workshops and more. Over 75 vendors, exhibitors and food trucks will be at SpringFest

Reston Founders Day

The Reston Historic Trust and Museum will celebrate Robert E. Simon, Jr. and the community. Founder’s Day will feature a 50-foot Ferris wheel sponsored by Reston Association (RA), children’s activities, children’s art projects in cooperation with the Initiative for Public Art – Reston (IPAR), musical entertainment for all ages provided by local artists and schools, guided walks around Lake Anne Plaza in cooperation with IPAR and RA, and remarks by local elected officials. The event will be fun for the entire family.

Persian New Year Festival

The Northern Virginia Park Authority is pleased to announce that the Bull Run Special Events Center will host the Persian cultural festival known as 13 Bedar (or Sizdah Bedar). Sizdah Bedar is a day of celebration in teh outdoors in Persian vulture. This day falls on the 13th day of the Persian calendar, which usually falls in early April. Part of the tradition is to knot blades of grass or wheat and send them downstream. With Cub Run flowing next to teh center, it provides a perfect place for this custom that symbolizes “out with the old, in with the new.”

Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival

The 16th annual Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival, powered by the JCCNV, will screen 14 contemporary Jewish-themed and/or Israeli-made feature films that explore identity and place in the world. Opening night on April 7 features the new British comedy Dough; other films to be screened are À la Vie, A Blind Hero: The Love of Otto Weidt, Belle and Sebastian, Bulgarian Rhapsody, In Search of Israeli Cuisine, Laugh Lines, Raise the Roof, Rosenwald, Sabena Hijacking-My Version, Suicide, Time to Say Goodbye, To Life, and Wedding Doll.

DC ReelAbilities Film Festival

ReelAbilities: NY Disabilities Film Festival is the largest festival in the country dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with different disabilities. Initiated at the JCC in Manhattan in 2007, the festival presents award winning films by and about people with disabilities in multiple locations throughout each hosting city. Post-screening discussions and other engaging programs bring together the community to explore, discuss, embrace, and celebrate the diversity of our shared human experience. In 2014, the JCC in Manhattan collaborated with the Cincinnati-based agency, Living Arrangements for the Developmentally Disabled (LADD, Inc), to operate the National program of the film festival, enabling the JCC to focus more on resources and provide more support to festivals around the country.

Bluebells at the Bend Celebration

Join the fun at Riverbend Park for Bluebells at the Bend, a celebration of the blossoming of Virginia Bluebells as they blanket the banks of the Potomac River. Bring the entire family for a wonderful day including games, music, wildflower walks and wagon rides. Meet live animals, hear the soulful tunes and have your face painted. Most of all enjoy nature’s bountiful gift as these iconic wildflowers paint the woods blue. Bluebells bloom from March through June, releasing nectar that attracts local bees and hummingbirds as well as humans who come to witness the natural spectacle.