Skip to main content

A glimmer of KT Niehoff

One glimpse at the photos, and you can probably tell that KT Niehoff’s latest creation is not for children.

KT Niehoff, Kelly Sullivan, Bianca Cabrera, Ricki Mason
The full title is Glimmer of Hope or Skin or Light, but the choreographer and the dancers just call it Glimmer. “Thematically, it is a very dark show,” said Niehoff, the artistic director of Lingo Dance. “Right now, I’m obsessed with vampires. So this is glitz and glamour, an inner circle I call Coven and an outer circle of showgirls.” And all dictated by the space available in ACT’s Bullitt Theatre.
“At the moment, I can’t imagine this in another space. It’s such an unique room, the architecture is so placed in time, and you feel like you are falling back in time. There is a feeling of permission in that room,” she said.
As for the vampire obsession and how it colored Glimmer, she noted that shows like True Blood on HBO have created “an American cultural obsession with vampires and I’m just as susceptible to that as anyone. Vampires have this invincibility factor and they are larger than life. There’s also that sense of wisdom and darkness that is really intriguing to me. That’s what I’ve been tapping into. I set out to make something that was not safe. That type of creation makes me excited. I have a lot of anticipation, trepidation, and adrenaline in this piece.”

Early portions of Glimmer were staged as interactive performances at the Seattle Art Museum (February-April 2010) as well as a special custom-made solos.

Ricki Mason, Michael Rioux, Bianca Cabrera, Aaron Swartzman
“The show at the Bullitt is the final part of the Glimmer triptych,” said Niehoff.
In it, the dancers and the watchers move throughout the space, interacting in a way that Niehoff dubs a “free-range audience experience.”
“We go into this dark world, we ask people to look into their bodies and their minds, and bring out certain things to light,” she said. “Then we ask ‘now what?’ What is the light?”
For Niehoff, one of the joys in creating as well as performing in Glimmer is a chance to sing with the show’s live band, Ivory in Ice World. “I’m a rabid Ivory in Ice World fan. Ivory is an incredible vocalist who has been so supportive of dance,” she said.

Michael Rioux, Ricki Mason, Bianca Cabrera,
Aaron Swartzman
Glimmer was made possible through support of ACT’s Central Heating Lab, a program that sought to make “every nook and cranny” (as Director of New Works Carlo Scandiuzzi has said in the past) of the ACT's Kreielsheimer Place available to other artists in Seattle. Besides supporting smaller theater productions, like Shadow and Light’s presentation of a series of Pinter’s plays, the Central Heating Lab has also been open to less traditional ideas of theater such as cabaret, music, dance, spoken word, film, and performance and visual art.

“Since 2006, I have taken my work off the proscenium and placed it in non-traditional venues,” said Niehoff. “The Central Heating Lab is a really exciting idea. It’s can be rather rare to have that kind of partnership [with a larger company].”