Things to Do

Wale Tiptoes Out of Ballet

The rapper was scheduled to perform in a ballet in London earlier this month but never managed to make an appearance.

Photograph by Kyle Gustafson.

The announcement that
Wale, the DMV’s pride and joy, was scheduled to perform in a ballet at the Royal Opera House in London this month might have seemed
unusual, to say the least. But this was no ordinary ballet–titled
Carbon Life, it was a mashup of music and contemporary
dance, choreographed by the Royal Ballet’s
Wayne McGregor and set to music by super-producer
Mark Ronson (who discovered Wale), alt-rock performer
Andrew Wyatt, and singer-songwriter
Rufus Wainwright. Along with Wale, the performances were billed to feature
Boy George,
Alison Mosshart of the Kills,
Johny Pierce of the Drums,
Hero Fisher, and Wale’s protégé,
Black Cobain, who would take Wale’s place after opening night.

Unfortunately, opening night came and went on April 5, and Wale wasn’t there. According to Mark Ronson’s press rep,
Barbara Charone, and Wale’s own rep,
Rich Kleiman, he wasn’t able to make it due to
a scheduling conflict. Interestingly enough, Wale was in DC April 9 to
perform at the Howard
Theatre, the first performer to headline the venue since it
closed in 1980. Whether it was hometown pride that summoned him
back, or an unwillingness to cross the Atlantic for pirouettes
and pointe shoes, remains to be seen. But at least Black Cobain
got something out of the trip (beyond performing with the man
who gave the world “Karma Chameleon”)–he recorded his latest

for the song “Cheers,” while he was across the pond
(and at the gates of Buckingham Palace, no less).