Dust — New Dance Works by Four Emerging Choreographers
February 17-18, 8:00 p.m.
Velocity Dance Center, Founder’s Theater
Just when I begin to despair and become morose about the future of modern dance — and especially in Seattle — along come creative voices from whom I have not previously heard who reaffirm my strong belief in the power of dance art and its beneficial and healing salve.
Invited to attend a run-through of the upcoming show, Dust, I was struck by just how excellent and different each choreographer’s voice was — and of how personal creativity can be. In fact, I’m increasingly convinced that all choreography is autobiographical, even the most abstract of Balanchine’s work.
My overall impression of the artists was that of a very positive, cheerful, and highly intelligent group that was happy to be dancing and preparing to present their collective work. This was proven out as I saw, in order:
Daniel Costa’s Interposition, danced by Costa and Alicia Pugh (who also sang vocals that undergirded the work), is a very kinetic and interactive work, which echoes the dancers’ every gesture and intent, to an original sound composition by Travis Corwin.
The excerpt from Yessir by Kimberly Holloway that I saw at the preview is a duet that uses shared weight and thoughtful motifs, creating an abstract narrative, based on an observation of emotional control. Two women, Holloway and Victoria McConnell, connect, move apart, and depict an evolving (or perhaps dissolving) relationship. McConnell, currently based in Berlin, but back in Seattle for this show, is an excellent mover with superb technique and facility, and these two cast well together. While only the duet was shown at the preview, it’s a group work, and Holloway’s other dancers are Rebecca Barney, Liv Fauver, Hannah Reitsma, and Philippa Myler.
The great dance innovator and pioneer Martha Graham used to talk about showing audiences the “inner landscape” and dancer/choreographer Emma Hreljanovic did this in a most personal and effective way. We — myself and other cast members — got close to her in a semi-circle before she began her You May Miss Something solo. I found her work very intimate (and not just because of our proximity) and deeply emotional — it rose to the level of profundity. When she concluded, it was hard to shake off its effect and come back to the present. Great art, great music, great poetry, moments of spiritual peace, insight or serenity all have this effect — you want to have some time of quiet following to reflect and deepen the experience.
Brain Is A Radio (excerpts) by Ashleigh Miller combines dance and multimedia, which includes sound and moving visuals. A large robust group work, it makes full use of the performance space and varies its cast in numbers and clusters. The excerpt I enjoyed concluded with the lone male lowering, one-by-one, the females to the floor in a diagonal line. When I commented about this, Miller responded that she gets asked about gender roles all the time, and in this case, the dancer who does this is chosen at random.
The duet of this piece featured Hannah Reitsma and Sean Tomerlin. The ensemble included Reitsma and Tomerlin, plus Claire Mitchell, Elizabeth Monsoor, Liv Fauver, Hilary Grumman, Imana Gunawan, and Stacy Brenner.
The first three choreographers have migrated to Seattle, while Miller is an Eastside native who holds a degree from Tisch School of the Arts in New York.
Dust promises to be an excellent showcase of voices new to the Seattle choreographic scene and a “must” to add to your dance-viewing calendar. Dances by Daniel Costa, Kimberly Holloway, Emma Hreljanovic, and Ashleigh Miller.
Tickets may be ordered through Brown Paper Tickets: www.brownpapertickets.com
Program is sponsored in part by Velocity Dance Center’s Access Velocity program and a AIM Hatchfund, private donors and organizations including Fremont Abbey Arts, and the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture.