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Monday, April 7, 2014 8:37 p.m.

Hip hop inspires collaborative wall mural

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Erica Christian | Photo Editor

Erica Christian | Photo Editor

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Juliana Tamayo.

While last weekend was a kickoff to D.C.’s tourism season, miles away from the action stood the walls of an old, uninhabited alley behind a Big Lots store on Rhode Island Avenue brightened with colors, hip-hop and art.

Artists and musicians gathered all day Sunday to renovate the abandoned area and played with shades and shapes to the music of local DJs on Sunday for the “Fine Lines Mural Jam.”

Erica Christian | Photo Editor

Erica Christian | Photo Editor

The annual festival unites the four elements that hip-hop culture comprises: emcees, DJs, breakdancing and graffiti writing. Through ticketed and free performances, it brings the public an opportunity to discover the D.C hip-hop community.

This time, the beats of hip-hop were meant to inspire spontaneous graffiti artists to paint along a 990-foot wall.

Some images turned political, like the likeness of an older man holding a sign reading “all D.C. residents deserve the access to knowledge,” while others emphasized on the beauty of life, some with Hindu references and others using arrows and geometrical figures to create symmetrical figures.

“They had a mural going on here last year as well, we’re just finishing it off, everybody just walked around a chose their spot and we’ll see where it takes us,” Jordan Jackson a former Words, Beats and Life teacher and graffiti artist said.

Walls of colors, from orange, purple, black and red, stranded together to create a canvas of mixed feelings, reflecting what the event looked like with all sorts of people coming and going.

Performance artist Christine Walters painted a graffiti of a red heart on top of an explosion of warm colors, in the heart blossomed a silver tree. She along with others there, had never worked along with multiple artists in one same place, but hearing the music and watching others work inspired her final piece.

“As the DJ transitioned the music, the heart kind of formulated and the tree is just explosion and living,” she said.

Although most of the graffiti artists were performance artists and some professional artists, the walls were also open for any passerby who dared to take on the empty white wall and create a piece of their own art.

“We woke up, saw it was a beautiful day and just came to paint. I just painted what I thought was beautiful,” Marissa Miller, another impromptu artist, said.

While the smell of paint and spray cans wafted in the air, the crowds circled around a group of kids skating. They all wore bright colored t-shirts with the logo “Skate Tribe Girls” on them, a nonprofit for kids to learn how to put their energy into good use. They performed tricks to the beats of the DJ in charge for the afternoon.

“This is a graffiti exhibit, part of a hip-hop festival, we just try to show the good energies in music and art,” DJ Haze said. “It’s all about meeting new people and have everyone enjoy the lyrics and construction of art.”

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Friday, Feb. 7, 2014 12:44 p.m.

GW professor and student take Kennedy Center

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Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company. Photo courtesy of photographer Jeffery Watts.

Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company. Photo courtesy of photographer Jeffery Watts.

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Kelsey Renz.

Most GW students visit the Kennedy Center during their four years on campus, whether they prefer to look out from the rooftop on spring nights or attend a show.

Not many have the opportunity to perform on stage, but sophomore Ben Sanders will make his first appearance on the Kennedy Center stage Friday.

“There’s something about standing on a stage and looking out at everyone that’s there to watch you perform, and…the feeling of that is like nothing else,” he said. “To be able to show my love of something to a large audience. It’s why I love dance.”

Sanders is a member of the Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company, whose namesake is an associate professor of dance at GW. The company is presenting a modern dance concert entitled “Four Works by Dana Tai Soon Burgess.”

The company will perform dances that cover the broad scope of Burgess’ work, including a piece that was commissioned by the Smithsonian and the Kennedy Center in 2003 to celebrate the Korean Centennial.

“Leaving Pusan,” was inspired by the journey the choreographer’s family took when immigrating to the United States in 1903, Burgess said.

Other numbers include “Khaybet” and “Revenant Elegy” which address matters such as confronting fears before death, and questioning the relationship between “aging and love.”

“I’m really looking forward to people’s reactions, to people becoming interested in dance and what we do, and also I think it’s always a joy for a choreographer to see so many different pieces of repertoire from different time periods represented in the performance,” Burgess said.

The company will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Tickets range from $25-$31 and can be purchased online.

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Friday, Dec. 13, 2013 3:22 p.m.

Buddy the Elf brings holiday cheer to Kennedy Center

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Noah Marlowe (Michael) and Will Blum (Buddy) in ELF The Musical.  © Amy Boyle Photography 2013. Photo courtesy of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Noah Marlowe (Michael) and Will Blum (Buddy) in ELF The Musical. © Amy Boyle Photography 2013. Photo courtesy of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Kelsey Renz.

Hide your maple syrup and be prepared to name your favorite color because Buddy the Elf will soon be in the nation’s capitol.

The beloved 2003 film ”Elf” has been adapted for the stage as “Elf The Musical” and will be performed at the Kennedy Center from Dec. 17. to Jan. 5 as part of a five city tour.

Like the film, the story follows Buddy the human who believes he’s an elf on his journey through the gumdrop forest and into the real world. Once arriving in New York, he proceeds to overwhelms his biological father and everyone he meets with unrelenting holiday cheer.

His childlike curiosity and attempts to understand life in a big city are both hilarious and incredibly touching.

“I think the movie has kind of become a modern classic, at least for people I know from my generation and my family,” said Darren Biggart, assistant stage manager for “Elf The Musical.”

“It’s something that people watch every year.”

Loyal fans fear not, the musical remains true to the story we love, including what Biggart calls “iconic moments” like the spaghetti and syrup scene and the scene where Buddy runs through a revolving door.

The script, created by Tony Award winning writers Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin, also includes contemporary jokes to reflect changes that have occurred since “Elf” was first featured on the big screen.

“That’s one of the most fun things about the script I think, is that it keeps things modern and fresh, and there are a lot of references that I think adults will find very funny, but it also has this heartwarming Christmas story at the heart of it that everyone can enjoy,” Biggart said.

This is the last stop on the tour this holiday season, so order your tickets today.

After surviving finals, we all deserve to be “singing loud for all to hear.”

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Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013 9:00 a.m.

How to do Thanksgiving in D.C.

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This post was written by Olivia Kantor and Ben Marks.

Staying in the District this Thanksgiving? There’s plenty to do, like heading to the holiday parade at Reston Town Center in Virginia on November 29 at 11 a.m. And if you’re looking for great holiday shopping, look no further than Thread, a three day pop-up at Union Market which will showcase 30 local and national independent designers and brands.

Here are a few more free things to do over the holiday weekend.

Thanksgiving Day Swing Dance Party
The Kennedy Center Millennium Stage
Nov. 28, Free

If you're stuck at school, you probably won't be getting turkey but you can check out these holiday events. Photo used under the Creative Commons Lisence.

If you’re stuck at school, you probably won’t be getting turkey but you can check out these holiday events. Photo used under the Creative Commons Lisence.

When the turkey and stuffing is cleared away, take a walk to The Kennedy Center for a fun swing dance party. Burning off the Thanksgiving meal calories couldn’t get easier at this free event. And don’t worry if swing dancing isn’t your thing. Lessons begin at 6 p.m., giving a full hour of preparation before the party at 7. The Tom Cunningham Orchestra will perform classic swing hits, with special guest Jean Veloz. Vintage and military garments are encouraged for the event, but not required.

Season’s Greenings
U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory
Nov. 28, Free

Escape the cold and enter a plant-filled oasis this holiday weekend. “Season’s Greenings” brings holiday cheer into the indoor tropical paradise of the U.S. Botanic Garden. A display of wintry poinsettias and conifers evoke a sense of the holidays while an 800-foot train track travels through plant-based structures in the conservatory’s East Gallery. The West Gallery boasts an enormous decorated Douglas fir that is one of the largest in the District. Monuments and notable D.C. buildings made entirely of plant materials are featured in the Garden Court, giving visitors the entire D.C. experience in the comfort of a 70-degree room temperature. The exhibit is open until Jan. 5.

National Harbor Tree Lighting & Fireworks
National Harbor
Nov. 29, Free

After a day of intense Black Friday shopping, head down to the National Harbor (only a 20-minute drive from Foggy Bottom) for the annual tree lighting ceremony. This year’s event features a 65-foot tree and over 200,000 lights as well as the American Military Spouses Choir, which were featured on “America’s Got Talent,” and a fireworks show over the Potomac. There are more holiday events scheduled at the nearby Gaylord National Resort including a hand-carved winter wonderland ice sculpture. Events begin at noon and continue throughout the day with the tree lighting ceremony at 7 p.m.

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Monday, April 30, 2012 9:16 a.m.

It’s Monday…

Kennedy Center

The Kennedy Center. Hatchet File Photo

Music, literature and politics converge this week, so engage your intellectual side at these events.

  • Youth musicians from across the country will perform vocal and instrumental repertoires at this year’s Washington DC International Music Festival at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets for Monday’s 7:30 p.m. show can be purchased for $30.
  • See New York Times columnist Paul Krugman at Politics and Prose at a book signing event Wednesday. Krugman will discuss his novel “End This Depression Now!” The free 7 p.m. event is open to the public.

Also, watch the commander in chief show off his funny side at Saturday night’s White House Correspondents Dinner.

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Thursday, April 12, 2012 12:41 p.m.

Weekend Outlook

Tomorrow may be Friday the 13th, but these fun events will surely help turn your luck around this weekend.

Thursday:

For $25 you can try food and drink from just about every part of the United States at “Taste of the States” at the Fort Myer Officers’ Club in Arlington, Va. at 6 p.m. That’s only 50 cents a state!

The National Portrait Gallery's Kogod Courtyard. Photo courtesy of Billy Hathorn under the Creative Commons License

Friday:

Go to the National Portrait Gallery’s Kogod Courtyard at 9 p.m. to see it transformed with the energy of international culture at “Visio-Disco: A Remix of Music and Art.” Tickets cost $35 for non-members and $30 for members.

Saturday:

See performer David Gonzalez tell the tale of “Sleeping Beauty” through the art of rhymed verse, with the help of live music and image projections to create a complete experience. Performances will be held at 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. at the Kennedy Center. Tickets cost $18.

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Monday, April 2, 2012 6:31 p.m.

It’s Monday…

Keep the fun spirit of April Fools’ Day going this week and enjoy these events going on in D.C.

  • The Verizon Center. Photo used under Creative Commons License.

    See the Washington Wizards vs. the Milwaukee Bucks at the Verizon Center at 7 p.m. today. Tickets start at $10.

  • Grammy Award-winning ensemble Eighth Blackbird will perform a caberet-opera rendition of “Pierrot Lunaire” tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. at the Kennedy Center. Tickets cost $32.

And here’s something exciting:

CNN reported yesterday that there are rumors Sony will release a PlayStation 4 in 2013.

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Thursday, March 29, 2012 1:03 p.m.

Weekend Outlook

See tehe Kennedy Center. Hatchet file photo

With another week behind you, spend the next few days trying out some of these suggestions.

Thursday:
George, located behind Café Milano in Georgetown, is hosting Karaoke for Kids. Guests can participate in a fun night of karaoke in return for a small donation. All proceeds will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. The event begins at 9 p.m. with a suggested $5 donation.

Friday:
See singer-comedian Wayne Brady perform in tribute to the legendary Sammy Davis, Jr. and Sam Cooke at the Kennedy Center. The show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $20 to $85.

Saturday:
Participate in the Cherry Blossom Freedom Walk honoring Japanese Americans from World War II. The event is free, but donations will be accepted.

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Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012 1:32 p.m.

Weekend Outlook

Expand your horizons this weekend with some of these D.C. events:

Kennedy Center

The Kennedy Center. Hatchet File Photo

Thursday:

See the Culkin School of Traditional Irish Dance perform at the Kennedy Center at 6 p.m. Admission is free.

Friday:

Catch the last weekend of the Iranian Film Festival, located at the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art. “Here Without Me,” Bahram Tavakoli’s adaptation of “The Glass Menagerie,” will be showing at 7 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

Saturday:

See rapper T.I. perform in D.C. for the first time in three years at Love Nightclub. Tickets start at $30. The show begins at 9 p.m.

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Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012 3:58 p.m.

Weekend Outlook

Corcoran Art Gallery. Hatchet File Photo

Get off campus this weekend and try some of these fun events the District has to offer.

Thursday:

Check out Corcoran Art Gallery’s exhibit, “30 Americans,” before it closes Sunday. The exhibit features the work of African-American artists from the past 30 years. Tickets are $8 for students.

Friday:

See the Nakatani Gong Orchestra, led by percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani, perform at the Kennedy Center at 6 p.m.

Saturday:

Go see Cupid’s Undie Run and watch participants complete a 1.1-mile lap wearing just their underwear. The race begins at 2 p.m. after pre-race festivities hosted at the Pour House and the Capitol Lounge next door. Though registration for the race is sold out, you can still go and cheer on the scantily clad runners.

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