WASHINGTON (AP) — Hip-hop artists including rappers Nas and Somalia-born K’naan will take center stage in an unexpected place next year, highlighting their generation and art form alongside opera, ballet and theater at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
The center, a memorial to President John F. Kennedy, announced Tuesday that its 2013-2014 season would include the weeklong festival “One Mic: Hip-Hop Culture Worldwide.” It also plans to feature an international theater festival with works from at least 10 different nations and new American works commissioned in theater, opera and music.
The 2014 hip-hop festival will open with Nas rapping with musicians from the National Symphony Orchestra on music from his classic debut album “Illmatic.” The festival will also feature Puerto Rican musicians Calle 13 and a graffiti exhibition.
The mix of rap, DJing and graffiti with more traditional arts at one of the nation’s busiest performing arts centers will make the year unique, Kennedy Center President Michael Kaiser said.
“Hip-hop is clearly something new and different for us,” Kaiser said, noting the center had also created festivals around country music and gospel, which are also less familiar in its concert halls. “I think to do something very current is important. We’re trying to speak to many different audiences.”
The season will include more than 2,000 performances in a wide array of theater, music and dance. It includes the center’s first international festival devoted to theater, featuring companies from Chile, China, Israel, Kuwait and the United Kingdom, among other places.
Separately, the Kennedy Center will host the Bolshoi ballet, which is especially notable because of recent scandal in the famed Russian dance company. In January, an assailant threw acid in the face of the company’s artistic director, possibly in retaliation for his selection of certain dancers over others for coveted roles. Police in Moscow announced Tuesday that a suspect has been detained.
In musical theater, the Kennedy Center is developing a new production of Henry Krieger and Bill Russell’s “Side Show,” with La Jolla Playhouse — the first major revival since the musical’s original 1997 run on Broadway. Oscar-winning director Bill Condon, who recently directed both parts of the “Twilight” series “Breaking Dawn” is directing the show.
Opera star Renee Fleming will lead a three-day festival of “American Voices,” examining the different ways Americans sing, from country to jazz and gospel to pop.
The Washington National Opera’s season at the Kennedy Center will underscore its vision to embrace American and nontraditional productions. It includes a new holiday opera for families entitled “The Lion, the Unicorn and Me,” with a score by musical theater composer Jeanine Tesori. It will tell the Christmas story from the perspective of the donkey. The season also will include the East Coast premiere of “Moby-Dick,” Wagner’s “Tristan and Isolde,” and new productions of Verdi’s “The Force of Destiny” and “The Magic Flute.”
Kaiser said the season endeavors to make opera “more accessible to some audiences and … more up-to-date for audiences — but also putting a focus and an emphasis on the American achievement in the opera field.”
In the year ahead, the National Symphony Orchestra will host a two-week festival combining new musical works with newly commissioned choreography in “New Moves: Symphony + Dance.” The orchestra also will offer an homage to George Washington in a new co-commission and a performance of “Der Rosenkavalier,” featuring Renee Fleming as a tribute to Richard Strauss’ 150th birthday.
This is the last full programming slate Kaiser will lead at the center before stepping down at the end of 2014.
“For me, it was a very personal season,” Kaiser said, as he prepares to help hand off leadership to a new president. “Every decade or so, an institution like this needs a fresh artistic voice.”
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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