An evening of living, breathing dance

Lula Washington Dance Theatre has graced the roster of the Virginia Arts Festival several times over its 21 seasons, offering impressive, creative dance. Its return appearance in this year's Festival, Friday, in the Peebles Theatre of the Ferguson Center for the Arts, was met with joyful anticipation.

That anticipation was well rewarded in a program that highlighted the diverse dance styles that are artistically blended into Lula's unique form. Created to offer an outlet of expression for inner city African-American youths, the company has evolved into one of the more innovative ensembles in the dance world. Largely featuring dance derived from African and Afro-Haitian movement,...