gotta dance

Puts a smile on your face doesn’t it? This clip of the Nicholas Brothers in Stormy Weather (1943) is just one of the many great visuals on display in Dancing The Dream, a historical look at dance in America at the National Portrait Gallery now through July 14, 2014.

I was fortunate enough to get a private tour of the exhibit by its curator who has cleverly broken 100 years of dance related portraits into categories: Broadway, Hollywood, Modern, Ballet & Pop. No stodgy white walled, keep your distance approach here. Instead the halls are lined with red carpets, the walls painted rainbow bright colors, and on Saturday afternoons a dance company rehearses right in the middle of it all. See classic portraits, drawings, posters, amazing clips and have your QR code reader at the ready to see even more — a clever way around the high cost of film and TV rights.

It’s a limited collection but an interesting look at how dance has evolved in our country and the players that made it happen from Balanchine to Baryshnikov to Beyonce.

National Portrait Gallery, 8th & F Streets, Washington DC (Free)

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