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Cultural Diplomacy Back to Cultural Diplomacy (In)Security: Or Jack and Nikki do the Cold War Tango


From January 20, 1961 until November 22, 1963 the fate of the world lay in the hands of two men. John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th President of the United States. Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev, only the third Head of State of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Between them they controlled the might to annihilate the world. During the Cuban Missile Crisis they came close.

Yet the Kennedy-Khrushchev relationship was vastly more complex than often portrayed. And in that complexity lies also the complexity of the Cold War, and of the possibility for a better understanding.

Kennedy's Assasination in Dallas on November 22nd forever altered both the calculus of a world which might have been and the one he and Khrushchev stuggled with and over.

On May 26 at 6pm and again on May 27, 2017 at 12:30pm and 5:30pm, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts presents the World Premiere of (In)Security: or, Jack and Nikki do the Cold War Tango. Commissioned by the Kennedy Center Centennial Commission and in commemoration of President Kennedy's 100th birthday, (In)Security for the first time ever uses both the North and South Millennium Stages, and the Grand Foyer, to represent the world as seen from two sides.

The South Millennium Stage sees these years through Soviet eyes. The North through American eyes. Above both stages the projection screens show what is on the far stage, and do so as edited by each side.

Company E's Co-Artistic Director, Paul Gordon Emerson, brings to the Kennedy Center a reflection of a time when the world was ever insecure, ever afraid, yet ever aspiring to a greater future. With an original score by Composer-in-Residence Gavin Stewart, live musical performances by Wanzhen Li and Michelle Fowlin and a cast of 40 dancers, (In)Security brings movement and music to a time at once long ago and completely relevant to today.

Company | E's partners District of Columbia Public Schools The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Shakespeare Theatre Company Spain Arts & Culture Washington Performing Arts Embassy of Poland in Washington, DC The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities