DanceSmith  Reviews and Press  Grissel Suhy

Recent Press Releases


Contact: Bob Smith
March 19, 2007 202-577-5366

DanceSmith to Become Resident Performing Dance Company
of the Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington, D.C.

Inaugural program will include three performances May 18, 19 and 20, 2007

Washington choreographer/performer Natalie Moffett Smith’s acclaimed contemporary ballet company, DanceSmith, has been invited to become the Resident Performing Dance Company of the Atlas Performing Arts Center in North East Washington, D.C. The Company, entering its fifth year, completed its first two seasons at the Marvin Theatre in D.C., and two seasons at the Kennedy Center, before becoming resident at the Atlas.

DanceSmith’s history with the Atlas project includes Artistic Director Natalie Moffett Smith’s service on the Atlas Board, and DanceSmith’s narrated performances in the Atlas Lab theatre as part of the opening celebrations for the Atlas in April 2005. DanceSmith will appear on the stage of the Lang Theatre at the Atlas as the resident performing company for the first time in May this year, with performances scheduled for May 18, 19 and 20.

For more information, please visit and

About DanceSmith. DanceSmith is a contemporary ballet company rooted in classical technique informed by modern dance. Founded by Natalie Moffett Smith in 2002, DanceSmith makes ballet accessible to a wide range of audiences. The company redefines the experience of watching ballet by the innovative use of classical ballet technique combined with a strong emotional component that is more contemporary. The company’s style contrasts the flowing movement and extended lines of ballet with the angularity and weight of modern dance. DanceSmith is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC.

About the Atlas. The Atlas Performing Arts Center is the only community-based performing arts center in Washington. Located in a historic movie theatre complex on H Street in Near Northeast D.C., a once-vibrant corridor of the city that was devastated by riots in 1968, the Atlas formally opened its doors in November 2006 after four years of renovation. In addition to DanceSmith, the Atlas is home to a diverse group of outstanding resident arts organizations including theatre companies, symphony orchestras, choral groups and arts education programs.

Note to Editors: Backgrounder and Photograph by Stephen Baranovics attached; additional photographs available on request. 202-577-5366 .

* * *

Previous Press Releases

December 14, 2005
DanceSmith Returns to the Kennedy Center for Three Performances January 13 and 14, 2006

Six Contemporary Dance Works to Include Premieres of Two New Works by Artistic Director Natalie Moffett Smith

November 18, 2004
DanceSmith's Kennedy Center Debut November 18, 2004

Contemporary Dance Works to Include the Premier of a New Work by Artistic Director Natalie Moffett Smith


On-Line Reviews

Washington Post – January 16, 2006

Washington Post - November 19, 2004

Washington Post - March 7, 2005

Excerpts from Reviews and Other Press Coverage

DanceSmith Hot & Cool
Lisa Traiger, TheWashington Post, January 16, 2006, C5

"Moffett Smith, who founded her highly trained, finely tuned DanceSmith just four years ago, knows her way around a choreographic challenge."

". . . the world premiere of Natalie Moffett Smith's ‘Arm's Length,’ an electrically charged pas de deux on the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater . . . Windom displayed an agitated sensibility, steely attack and coolly detached regard for her partner, Florian Rouiller, who couldn't hide his heartfelt regard for this unyielding partner."

". . . ‘Interior Lining,’ a smartly designed piece apportioned out to a vivacious score by Charlie Barnett. Here those women snapped to attention, with military heel-thrusting walks, sharply timed kicks, dashed out leaps and a tightfisted restraint that lent a mid-20th-century feel."

" ‘Disquiet’ also suggested an edgy alienated mien and, underscored by a lushly baroque Handel composition, the dancers seethed through the work, ready to pounce."

Palisades Resident's Dance Company Is On The Move
Andrea Rouda, The Current, April 27, 2005, Page 15

""In this day of instant gratification, it’s no secret that dance performances are somewhat of a hard sell to the movie-going public . . . Moffett Smith is grateful for supportive audiences that grow bigger with every performance . . . ""

In Rockville, Keeping Hampton's Legacy Alive
Kirsten Bodensteiner, The Washington Post, March 8, 2005, C3

""The choreographic gem of the evening was a reconstruction [by DanceSmith] of 'Fon Fon Odeon' (Tangos) by Eric Hampton. . . . The dancers . . . were in complete control of movement combining elements of the tango . . . with ballet's explosive leaps and pirouettes."

" . . . DanceSmith performed 'The Gift,' which, like Hampton's work, shows a strong musical sensibility. Also in the ballet idiom, the choreography is dense and complex . . . The work . . . combines ballet's vocabulary with modern dance's sense of weight and utilization of the floor."

Dancesmith: Extraordinarily Well-Armed
Sarah Kaufman, The Washington Post, November 20, 2004, C1

"Moffett Smith's company, though only two years old, looks more mature and polished than some of the area's established groups . . . "

" . . . her 'Within', for instance, [is] an extraordinarily penetrating look at three different states of human feeling, as danced by three women . . . The dancers created a taut, strained but emotionally authentic atmosphere, aided by Charlie Barnett's intriguingly acid score."

A Variety of Styles Keeps Dancesmith On Its Toes
Pamela Squires, The Washington Post, May 8, 2004, C8

"Multiple personalities in one person may qualify as a disorder in psychology circles. But in a choreographer developing a style, having multiple personalities is acceptable. . . . Moffett Smith's creations . . . for her excellent young troupe DanceSmith ran the personality gamut: from lyrical to hard-edged, pretty to stripped down."

"[In 'Together Alone'] she sprang into his arms like a lioness, all tension and force, and collided with him even in moments of tenderness."

"Likewise . . . ['Interior Lining'] was crisp and direct. . . . The work's tensile strength seemed to spring from the creator's true character."

DanceSmith's Debut: An Energetic Kickoff
Pamela Squires, The Washington Post, January 20, 2003

" . . .Smith is indeed a dance smith. . . . [she] choreographs both ballet and modern dance competently . . . "

" . . . [present in] Smith's new abstract ensemble . . . was the legacy of [Eric Hampton's] solid sense of dancers' placement on the stage, deft ensemble work and ability to keep things moving . . . Yet if this quirky, angular 'Interior Lining' is any indication, Smith seems driven to go her own way."

"Lynn Joslin's dramatic lighting design for Smith's 1999 modern dance trio 'Melange Separe' . . . was instrumental in setting mood (cold and impersonal . . . ) . . . Melange bred tension, . . .the dancers constantly moved into and through positions . . . "

About Us Artists Home Page Repertoire Collaboration Outreach