Things to Do

Ken Burns, Lindy West, and a New Dance and Music Series: Things to Do in Washington, October 19-21

Plus: Fun new Tiny Desks from Ozuna, Carlos Vives, and more.

Illustration by Hannah Good.

Hi folks!

We’ve got dance, music, documentaries and more.

Stretch out in a private screening by renting out an AMC theater.

Here’s what you should check out this week:

Dancing in DC: The Washington Performing Arts is kicking off its free online program Mars Arts DC: Virtual to celebrate dance and music around the city with two new series. The first, “Rhythm & Motion,” showcases films from four different DC artists that are part documentary and part masterclass. The second series, “Dance in D.C,” includes six works directed by local dancer Francisco Campos-Lopez. Start watching tonight with an Afrobeats dance class from choreographer Kara Jenelle. Future events highlight Venezuelan vocalist Jonathan Acosta, Latin, dance instructor Ronald Ríos, and spoken word poet Yusha Assad. Learn more about the program here. Jenelle’s live class is Monday 10/19 at 7 PM; Free, watch it here.

A funny book talk: Writer Lindy West might be best known for her memoir, Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman, which last year became a smart Hulu series starring Aidy Bryant. (I loved the book though I haven’t gotten into the show yet!) In her latest book, Shit, Actually: The Definitive, 100% Objective Guide to Modern Cinema, West digs into popular films including Twilight, The Lion King, Forrest Gump, and Bad Boys II to basically ask how they hold up. She’ll chat about her opinions at a virtual Politics and Prose event. Wednesday 10/21 at 8 PM; $28 (includes a copy of the book), buy tickets here.

For doc lovers: Documentarian Ken Burns will chat with Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden and jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis in a virtual conversation on storytelling, race, film, and music. The event is part of the library’s ceremony announcing the winners of its Lavine/Ken Burns Prize for Film. Tuesday 10/20 at 7 PM; Free, register here.

Kobe: You can now see Kobe Bryant’s Lakers jersey at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Bryant wore it in Game Five of the NBA Finals in 2008, the same year he was named MVP. You can see #24 in the “Sports: Leveling the Playing Field” gallery.

Staff recs: Read up on the books, shows, and podcasts that Washingtonian staffers are excited about in our Culture 10.

Grab the popcorn: AMC is renting out whole movie theaters for $99 to private groups of 20 people or fewer in Maryland and Virginia. That means you can scream through the Conjuring or laugh through Shrek as loudly as you’d like. Learn more here.

Something fun: 

Wish I was there with Ozuna, tbh.

We’ve got a lot of music and dance recommendations this week, so I wanted to highlight a few more dance-worthy performances you might want to see. Last week, NPR released four exciting Tiny Desk At-Home performances celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. You can watch a barefoot Carlos Vives jamming to his rock-infused set and the Brazilian samba singer Bebel Gilberto, whose beautiful backdrop perfectly accompanies her chill electronica sound.

Quirky musician Lido Pimienta—whom my coworker Andrew Beaujon had recently recommended to me—performs with a huge international group of musicians on an amazing bubbly pink stage that’s meant to represent a quinceañera. This décor is intentional. Alt.Latino podcast host Felix Contreras explains: “The visual theme is a quinceañera, a coming of age tradition that Pimienta could not share with her mother who had to flee Colombia. With her mom present at the video shoot, Pimienta uses her energetic performances to close a dramatic circle with her mom as we celebrate with her.”

Plus, I was psyched to see Ozuna performing out of Miami! The Puerto Rican singer is far more familiar with arena stages, but it’s great to hear a pared down and intimate version of Latin trap hits like “Taki Taki” and “Mamacita.” The set is full of funny props (a teddy bear, bird cages, a bright yellow life float) and everyone’s got a badass hat.

Thanks for reading! Tell me what you’re up to at home by dropping me a line at rcartagena@washingtonian.com.

Web Producer/Writer

Rosa joined Washingtonian in 2016 after graduating from Mount Holyoke College. She covers arts and culture for the magazine. She’s written about anti-racism efforts at Woolly Mammoth Theatre, dinosaurs in the revamped fossil hall at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum, and the horrors of taking a digital detox. When she can, she performs with her family’s Puerto Rican folkloric music ensemble based in Jersey City. She lives in Adams Morgan.