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Showing posts from 2017

Jim Kent finds his dream company in Whim W’Him

Jim Kent, a 2005 graduate of Seattle's Cornish College of the Arts, has danced for a number of Seattle choreographers.  A member of Whim W'him since 2010, he has appeared in more than 30 new works staged by that company, including the mammoth "Approaching Ecstasy" which places a choir of 40 men and women on stage with the dancers. Photo: Bamberg Fine Art/Whim W'him

Appearing in the June 2017 performances of Approaching Ecstasy at the Cornish Playhousewill be Cornish graduate Jim Kent. He has been a member of Olivier Wevers’ award-winning contemporary dance company Whim W’Him for the last seven seasons, dancing in numerous world and Northwest premieres of works by contemporary choreographers.

Approaching  Ecstasy is based on 18 poems by Constantine P. Cavafy and imagines what it must have been like to be a gay man in Egypt a century ago. The love poems, chosen and translated by Eric Banks (artistic director of The Esoterics) and choreographed by Wevers, are …

Her brain keeps transmitting dance

Ask Ashleigh Miller how she came up with her title for “Brain is a Radio” and she’ll tell you that it is all about “opening yourself up.”She describes her current work, labeled a dance/media performance, as “like a radio, you’re tuning into different channels to hear what you can.”
Created by Miller with Faunix Media, the immersive auditory and visual experience opens tonight (April 14), 8 p.m., at Velocity Dance Center Founder’s Theater. Two more performances will be given tomorrow at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
A Washington native, Miller “grew up dancing” in Redmond and went to New York University Tisch School of the Arts. While there, injuries sidelined her dancing for awhile. That led to spending more time on music and composing. For “Brain is a Radio,” she’s part of the Floraform, creating psychoacoustic music along with Travis Corwin and Ben Grieshaber.
Back in Seattle since 2013, Miller says she is excited to see how the local dance scene continues to expand. “More and more dancers …

New Cinderella captivates Seattle audiences

“So,” said one member of the audience when leaving last Saturday, "is that how ballet traditionally does Cinderella story?”

“No,” replied her friend, “that was anything but traditional.”

For its first program of 2017, Pacific Northwest Ballet brought Jean-Christophe Maillot’s “Cendrillon” to the United States. From the same creators as the “Roméo et Juliette” previously imported from Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, this work by choreographer Maillot looks to be the same smash hit with older audiences. Like “Roméo et Juliette," the sets and costumes are more suggestive than traditional renditions and there's nothing to get in the way of the romance of the dance.

With a subplot that often becomes the main plot, much of the action revolves around Cinderella’s lost mother, who returns from the dead in the form of a fairy godmother to both help her daughter and haunt her husband. The final duets of the father and fairy godmother give the entire production more poignancy than m…

Georgetown Conservatory is home to Playwrights Salon

The Seattle Playwrights Salon curators Kate Danley and Margaret O’Donnell have created a lively series of works-in-progress at the Conservatory, 5813 Airport Way South, Seattle.

Each month, they present a new work and audiences get free entertainment with their caffeinated beverages, wine, cider, or beer. Next up is “Not Around Gordie” by Jorj Savage, a tale of 1960s southern California. Playwright George Savage Jr. (Jorj) collaborated on the script of "Not Around Gordie" with his father 50 years ago. Now he's presenting it with a number of theater veterans including Bruce McLean (listed as Director and Hummer), Michael Cossette, Alisa Murray, Laurel Clark, Dan Niven, William M. Phillips, Angelina Riley and James Riley.

Danley and O’Donnell answered a few questions about their salon via email in December.

The Conservatory Seattle is a gorgeous space. What does it mean to have something like this available for testing out new works?

Between the historic exposed-brick w…

Porretta's recollections of dance informs and charms

One of Pacific Northwest Ballet's most appealing dancers is principal dancer Jonathan Porretta. Anyone who has attended PNB on a regular basis has a favorite Porretta moment (mine will probably always be is his frolicsome Puck).

Award-winning arts journalist and KUOW personality Marcie Sillman chronicled Porretta's story in a Out There: Jonathan Porretta’s Life in Dance. Through interviews done with the dancer while he was healing from a foot surgery, Sillman encouraged him to talk about his own favorite roles as well as his early experiences in dance. The book’s major message—“Be yourself and people will love you for who you are”— was important to Porretta, who discusses growing up gay and often bullied in his small hometown.

Publisher and designer Rosie Gaynor met Sillman during an NEA fellowship at the American Dance Festival. The pair had long been talking about doing a longer piece about Porretta's performances, more than just articles for Dance magazine or the local…