Center L. to R.: Maki Onuki (Snow Queen), Jonathan Jordan (Snow King), Albert Gordon (The Nutcracker Prince) and Lilly Casscells (Clara) in The Washington Ballet’s production of Septime Webre’s “The Nutcracker.” Photo by Paul Zambrana.
The new 49-room Capella Washington D.C., Georgetown opened this past spring with a bevy of cultural partnerships curated for the world’s most sophisticated travelers. If you’re planning any Washington, DC meetings, groups up to 120 pax can go behind the scenes at the rehearsal studios of The Washington Ballet.
For 55 minutes, attendees can watch up to 35 core dancers perform mesmerizing routines from whatever ballet is in-house at the time. Before or afterward, planners can also create cocktail receptions with some of the dancers and performance directors in attendance.
The Washington Ballet has designed these events specifically for corporate groups by integrating business development discussions around the art of dance.
“The takeaway for corporate groups is the grace and poise that is ever present in the ballet performers, which idealizes our own movements in our daily work lives,” says Arthur Espinoza, managing director of The Washington Ballet. “It’s about the ability to emote without words. We discuss and design programs about how to use your body to communicate. It’s a vocabulary all of its own, and it’s something that resonates with all of us.”
There are two other smaller programs for groups with Septime Webre, artistic director of The Washington Ballet. For up to 35 people, create a “Salon Evening” in one of Capella’s F&B venues or group spaces. Inspired by the salon culture of 19th century France, when members of the literary and arts circles discussed cultural academia, this event is a chance for attendees to talk to Webre about his artistic vision with the dancers and choreographers.
The business parallel is clear. There are few team situations more precise than ballet, where the entire success of an event relies on everyone completing their roles to near perfection.
“People never realize exactly just how much thought and discipline goes into ballet,” says Capella GM Alex Obertop. “It really elevates a meeting to a whole new level when you can interact with these professionals.” Obertop adds that Capella’s rooftop is the hottest venue in the city now for events like this up to 30 guests. And even though the hotel is new, the CSM staff has received multiple RFPs for buyouts.
Septime Webre also participates in an “Arts Coffee” session for up to 25 people. This is a more casual conversation typically revolving around things to do in the destination, as seen through the eyes of an artistic luminary.
“It’s a true insider experience about the local culture in Washington,” says Espinoza. “It’s about how art affects our lives, and what we can learn from trends in all fields of artistic pursuit to help us grow professionally.”
Obertop adds, “These events are not just about a dinner and a show. Everyone today is hungry for knowledge and being in the know. Our groups want to connect with the local culture. They want to feel, know and learn about where they are.”