TWO’S COM­PANY

THIS MARCH, JULIE NT AND VIC­TOR BAR­BEE PUT THEIR STAMP ON THE WASH­ING­TON BAL­LET WITH A NEW STAG­ING OF GISELLE.

Capitol File - - CONTENTS - BY STEPHANIE GREEN

Julie Kent and Vic­tor Bar­bee put their stamp on the Wash­ing­ton Bal­let with a new stag­ing of Giselle.

Ask the Wash­ing­ton Bal­let’s new artis­tic di­rec­tor, Julie Kent, how she’s en­joy­ing her life in

Wash­ing­ton and you’ll re­ceive a not-so-sur­pris­ing re­ply: “Well… I’ve been in the stu­dio work­ing pretty much since we ar­rived.” This dogged work ethic has been the en­gine be­hind her grace­ful jour­ney from Bethesda’s home­grown dancer to world-class star at the Amer­i­can Bal­let The­atre, where she per­formed some of bal­let’s most iconic roles as a prin­ci­pal dancer from 1993 to 2015.

Last year she and her hus­band, Vic­tor Bar­bee, an­other ABT prin­ci­pal dancer, re­turned to the area to take the reins of the Wash­ing­ton Bal­let. (Bar­bee is the as­so­ciate artis­tic di­rec­tor.) It’s clear her col­lab­o­ra­tion with Bar­bee keeps her in­spired. “He brings decades of ex­pe­ri­ence in a spe­cial­ized way of trans­feral of in­for­ma­tion,” she ex­plains, tick­ing off the dance lu­mi­nar­ies with whom he’s worked.

This March, at the Kennedy Cen­ter, they re­veal the fruit of their la­bor with Giselle, a time­less story of “be­trayal and for­give­ness,” she says. Their take on the bal­let is “very straight­for­ward… so it doesn’t stray from the heart of the story.”

“The foun­da­tion for bal­let stands upon the clas­si­cal mas­ter­pieces,” adds Bar­bee. “The Wash­ing­ton Bal­let, by start­ing with Giselle, will fur­ther en­hance its pres­ence as a source of cul­tural pride in our na­tion’s cap­i­tal.” March 1–5, John F. Kennedy Cen­ter for the Per­form­ing Arts, 2700 F St. NW, 202-4674600; kennedy-cen­ter.org

“I’VE BEEN IN THE STU­DIO WORK­ING PRETTY MUCH SINCE WE AR­RIVED.” —JULIE KENT

Tak­ing flight: Julie Kent dances the ti­tle role in Giselle op­po­site José Manuel Car­reño for Amer­i­can Bal­let The­atre in 2009. The piece is close to her heart: It made up the back­story to the 1987 film Dancers, in which she starred with Mikhail...

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