Preview: SIDF Festival Guide

Written by Mariko Nagashima

Dancers Meredith Sallee and Chris McCallister in
Art on the Fly 2011
Photo by Cyrus Khambatta 

Seattleis in the midst of festival season. Music lovers are still recovering from Sasquatch, film buffs are reveling in the huge selection of features at SIFF, and, for us dance fanatics, the season wouldn’t be complete without the Seattle International Dance Festival: Beyond the Threshold. Curated by Cyrus Khambatta, a local choreographer and teacher, and director of Khambatta Dance Company, SIDF draws companies from abroad but also showcases Seattle’s extensive local talent. This year, artists hail from Switzerlandand India, to Benin and Germany. A 10-day extravaganza with twenty-five different companies, eight different shows, and loads dance workshops during the day, there’s an overwhelming amount to take in. Fortunately, SeattleDances has compiled this SIDF Festival Guide to help navigate what there is to see and when and where to see it. The festival kicks off on June 1, 2012, and continues through June 10.

Art on the Fly:

A site-specific dance event that engages viewers by placing art in unexpected places (namely the Seattle Streetcar), this event is free and kid-friendly. The kick-off is Friday, June 1, from 11:30–1:00 pm at the Van Voorst Plaza on Terry Streetin South LakeUnion. The place fills up quickly so show up early to get a spot and see dance emerge from the plaza’s structures. The full event, a performance along the Seattle Streetcar with each stop featuring a new dance experience, takes place Saturday, June 2. This fun-filled “art-ride” features short performances and brief dance classes taking place at AmazonPlaza, McGraw Square, and 2200 Plaza from noon to 6:00 pm. These short blips offer glimpses of mainstage performances later in the festival.

Saturday June 2:

McGraw Square

Time:

Company:

12:00

Compagnie 7273

12:30

Folded Paper

1:00

Astad Deboo

1:30

Live Urban Art

2200 Westlake Ave

(at Denny Way) Two Stages: 2200 Stage and Discovery Stage with food vendor area

            2200 STAGE (Contemporary dance performances)

Time:

Company:

12:00

Astad Deboo

12:30

RandAll Dance

1:00

Compangnie 7273

1:30

Pragmatic Dance

2:00

Folded Paper//Pragmatic Dance

2:30

Live Urban Art//Anna and John Dixon

3:00

Anna and John Dixon // Live Urban Art

3:30

Stone Dance Collective//RandAll Dance

4:00

Pragmatic Dance

4:30

RandAll Dance//Pragmatic Dance

5:00

Stone Dance Collective//Anna and John Dixon

5:30

Mendana Productions

DISCOVERY STAGE (classes and traditional dance & music)

Time:

Company:

12:00

Tango Class

12:30

Hip Hop

1:00

Salsa

1:30

Zumba

2:00

Bachata Class

2:30

Yoga Class

3:00

Gansango Performance

3:30

Gansango Class

4:00

Males Capoeira Class

4:30

Zumba Class

5:00

Afro-Cuban drum/dance

5:30

Nia Class

If you still haven’t had your fill of dance in public spaces, check out the mini guided art tour. A five block walk, the hour-long tour features dance created around the neighborhood’s architectural features. See some of your favorite Seattle dance companies off stage and interacting with the city!

GUIDED DANCE DISCOVERY TOUR

4:00

Listen for the horns and gather at 2200 Westlake (at Denny)

4:10

Khambatta Dance/street or tree

4:15

Live Urban Art/Sculpture

4:20

Stone Dance Collective

4:30

Anna and John

4:45

Mendana Productions

Inter│National Dance Series:

Held at Raisbeck Hall, the Inter│National Series features two weekends and three different programs of dance from around the world. Here’s the line-up:

            Weekend 1: June 1-3

8:00 pm, Raisbeck Hall (7:30 on Sunday)

Program A: (plays only Friday, June 1)

          GANSANGO (Benin/Belgium/USA): This West African contemporary and traditional dance company led by Benin-born Etienne Capko will be joined by Benin-born Jean Gnonlonfoun (Brussels), Togo-born Sylvestre Akakpo- Adzaku (New York City), and Benin-born Charles Ahovissi (Nebraska), combining drums and movement in a contemporary fusion inspired by tradition entitled, African Soul/Sole.

          COMPAGNIE 7273 (Switzerland): The company performs Listen and Watch, a collaboration with guitarist Sir Richard Bishop. Bishop is the founder of the cult classic band, Sun City Girls, formerly of Seattle. A mental and physical challenge, the dance has Nicolas Cantillon in an organic fluid trance, never moving from his spot or repeating a single movement. A short teaser takes place outside the theater prior to the show, entitled On Stage.

Program B: (plays June 2–3)

          ASTAD DEBOO (India): A pioneer of modern dance in India, Deboo performs Rhythm Divine, a slow metamorphosis out of a plastic cocoon incorporating Kathakali and modern dance.

          COMPAGNIE 7273 (Switzerland):Performing Romance-s by Laurence Yadi and Nicolas Cantillo, this pas de deux is a personal love story of two artists, a collaborative team, and a couple in life, who love each other and their art form. This contemporary work explores the plurality of human relations and love, as well as slices of history of dance, from classical to Oriental, to German expressive, and pantomime.

          YUREK HANSEN (Idaho Ballet Theater) and MANIMOU CAMARA: A West African dance master from Guinea bring two diverse styles together, collaborating on a teaser for a longer work to be presented at SIDF in 2013.

Weekend 2: June 8–10

8:00 pm, Raisbeck Hall (7:30 on Sunday)

          KHAMBATTA DANCE COMPANY(USA/Seattle): Khambatta performs its most recent work India Calling, with an original score by Indian Veena player/vocalist Nirmala Rajasekar and new music composer/cellist Michelle Kinney.

          WE CARRY THE WATER: A film by Kanta Kochar Lindgren shot in the Hong Kong Waterworks in 2011.

          LIZ ERBER / URFLUSS (Germany): The company performs Choro Corpora, with original sound design by Julia Kny and costumes by Ariana Fantin. The work is an investigation of spine—the ancient vertebral backbone, undulation (fluid wave movement), and evolution. It is a tearing away of human culture to reveal kinetic meaning and the memory of cell, bone, and blood. The movement is wave-like, cyclical, continuous, and ever-evolving.

Spotlight on Seattle:

This local portion of the festival features three evenings of dance, each curated by a different figure in Seattle’s dance scene. The diversity of the three programs highlights Seattle’s collective breadth as a community.

            Tuesday, June 5

7:30 pm, Raisbeck Hall:

Curated by Olivier Wevers, artistic director of Whim W’Him and former principal dancer with Pacific Northwest Ballet, the evening runs the gamut from liquid-y contemporary ballet to dramatic narrative-based modern dance. Artists include Matt Drews, Stone Dance Collective, Northwest Dance Syndrome, Andrew Bartee, Perpetuum│Mobile, Whim W’Him, Spectrum Dance Theater, and Khambatta Dance Company.

            Wednesday, June 6

7:30 pm, Raisbeck Hall:

Co-presented by VelocityDanceCenterand curated by Velocity’s Executive Director, Tonya Lockyer, this show shines the spotlight on the work and legacy of Mary Sheldon Scott and Scott/Powell Performance. In a special tribute to Scott, eight dance artists, all former members of Scott/Powell Performance, will create works that reconsider or reflect on their experience in the company. Also featured is a restaging of Praying Mantis, an original company work.

            Thursday, June 7

7:30 pm, Raisbeck Hall:

Curated by Dan Mayer, the Executive Director of the KirklandPerformanceCenter, this is another grab-bag performance with work from many fronts of the Seattle scene. The evening features Kaitlin McCarthy, LKJ Project, Sheri Brown and Company, Kuntz and Company, Pragmatic Dance Project, and Khambatta Dance Company.

Sanity Café:

Saturday, June 9

10:00 pm, Ninth Avenue Studios:

Held at Cornish’s Ninth Avenue Studio Theater, this event blurs the border of sanity. In a Survivor-esque fashion, three choreographers are given 7 days to create a work on a theme chosen by the audience the first night of the festival. Sanity Café is the culmination of their week of artistic trials in a late night cabaret-style event where fresh art and fresh cocktails are served side by side. The three featured choreographers are Erin Nichole Boyt, Joan Laage, and Annie McGhee.

Threshold Institute:

June 4–8

10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Ninth Avenue Studios:

Want to get in on the action yourself? SIDF is presenting the Threshold Dance Institute, which includes daily classes taught by members of both the international and regional companies in the festival. It is slated to include contemporary technique and partnering, ballet, modern, Butoh, and many others. It is available to intermediate and advanced dancers. 

The beauty of SIDF: Beyond the Threshold is that there’s truly something for everyone. Whether it’s experiencing the dance on a plaza in South Lake Union, taking in choreography from around the world, seeing a new side of the local scene, or taking a dance class of your own, SIDF offers a plethora of ways to engage in dance. More information about the festival can be found at: http://www.seattleidf.org/.

Tickets for all performances can be purchased at: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/243996.