DancEthos presents Handel’s Messiah Dec. 16 (courtesy image)

Few classics evoke the holiday spirit like the soaring melodies of Handel's Messiah, especially when experienced live. On Sunday Dec. 16 season, DancEthos invites you to enjoy this beloved masterpiece like never before—as the soundscape for an evening of modern dance, choreographed by Artistic Director Tiffany Haughn. Under the direction of Heather Haughn, Samuel L. E. Bonds and Andrew Smith, nearly fifty rising stars of the Instrumental and Vocal Music Departments of The Duke Ellington School of the Arts will lend their talents to a company of twelve “incredibly skilled dancers whose movement seems to come from the soul" (DC Metro Theater Arts 2015).

Ranging from the celebratory and triumphant power of For Unto Us a Child is Born and Hallelujah to the light and bright cheeriness of the Overture and Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter of Zion to the tender and soulful melodies of Comfort Ye My People and He Shall Feed his Flock, this collection of 12 excerpts from Handel’s Messiah has something for everyone. Haughn creates movement that is a musical visualization and takes the viewer inside the score.

About DancEthos
The only constant for DancEthos is change. Since it’s founding in 2010 by Tiffany Haughn, every DancEthos performance has been entirely different than the previous one because we are committed to presenting a variety of artistic voices and visions; therefore, we collaborate with a number of different guest artists on each performance, whether they be choreographers or musical artists.  

By making dances that reflect the beliefs and spirit of our culture, DancEthos works towards representing the true purpose of art in reducing the distance between two people. DancEthos hopes to foster dialogue through dance and broaden the DC metropolitan dance audience base by creating and performing work that is accessible to the non-dancer audience member.  The company’s repertory is moving and high-spirited, and the full ensemble of 12 dancers perform their dynamic works with boundless energy and abandonment. 

DC Theatre Scene declares that DancEthos is where “imaginative choreography collides with extraordinary emotions” (2015) and The Washington City Paper states that our repertory “shows off not only the range of the dancers, but the range within contemporary dance itself” (2015).  DC Metro Theater Arts proclaims that DancEthos is “a local treasure” (2015) and that our performances are  “…stunning, captivating, relatable, romantic – everything I desire” (2013).

To learn more about the company, click here

About The Duke Ellington School of the Arts 
The Duke Ellington School of the Arts' mission is to nurture and inspire passion for arts and learning in talented students who might not otherwise have an opportunity to develop their artistic skills. DESA ensures that our students are prepared for post-secondary education and/or careers in the arts by offering an intensive arts-based program. DESA prepares its students to become productive citizens in our global society through our strong focus on community service.

Starting young, learning in a disciplined yet improvisational manner, flourishing in a tough world, developing a lifelong network of fruitful relationships—all these accomplishments are represented in the life of the composer, bandleader, and Washington, D.C. native, Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington. His are the qualities the DESA has worked to instill in graduates since the Duke Ellington School of the Arts was founded over forty years ago. The school does so by guiding 9th to 12th grade students through a full academic course of study and an arts major: Dance, Literary Media and Communications, Museum Studies, Instrumental or Vocal Music, Theatre, Technical Design and Production, or Visual Arts. 

String Ensemble 
Under the direction of Heather Haughn, the award winning Duke Ellington School of the Arts String Orchestra has gained popularity among Washington, D.C. audiences since its inception in 2009. In addition to giving classical concerts at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, members of the String Orchestra have performed with celebrated artists Earth Wind and Fire, Patti LaBelle, Sting, and Paul Simon at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Strathmore Hall. Members of the string orchestra have performed at the White House, Vice President’s residence, Corcoran Art Gallery, Kennedy Center, French Embassy, and the U.S. Department of Education. The group has won multiple awards including Best Orchestra, Top Rating Ensemble, Gold Medal and First Place at music competitions in Atlanta, Boston, Nashville, New Orleans, New York and at the DCPS Music Festival at the Kennedy Center. The String Orchestra has performed in master classes for Yo-Yo Ma, the Serafin Quartet, the West Shore Trio, Aeolus Quartet, Lee Trio, New World Symphony, and George Mason Professor of Violin.

 Vocal Ensemble 
The vocal department at the Duke Ellington school of the arts strives to give all students the opportunity to grow and learn about how to sing well. At Ellington, we have various ensembles which help teach the skill of ensemble singing. Our Ellington Chorale consists of all students in the vocal department conducted by Mr. Samuel L. E. Bonds and Mr. Andrew Smith. The Ellington Concert Choir consists of all upper class students in the vocal department, as well as all gentlemen, and is also conducted by Mr. Bonds and Mr. Smith. The Sophisticated Ladies are our first year ladies group conducted by Mrs. Sylvia Twine. We also have Voices In Motion, conducted by Dr. Monique Spells, which is our Duke Ellington Show Choir comprising of students throughout the entire school who wish to learn the art of singing, dancing and acting. Lastly, we have the Mellowtones which is our

Ellington Jazz Ensemble, comprising of upper class vocal and instrumental students conducted by Mark Meadows. The ensemble of students participating in this production includes students from various ensembles.

Sunday Dec. 16
Handel’s  Messiah

3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

George Washington University’s Betts Theatre 
The Marvin Center 
800 21st St NW
Washington DC

Ticket info:  In advance online sales
$20 general admission
$15 students, seniors, military
$10 children 12 and under

At door prices on day of show:
$25 general admission
$20 students, seniors, military
$15 children 12 and under