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otb: pina bausch-trained choreographer makes seattle debut

Jazmin Tesone photo
On the Boards says they have spent six years trying to get the Argentinian Diana Szeinblum’s work on their stage. Success at last! Her Alaska will be their first dance piece of the season.

Cribbing from the On the Boards press notes: “Szeinblum’s work melds the tanztheater tradition of Bausch with the vibrant arts scene of Buenos Aires (not unlike OtB alumni Constana Macras)… Prior to coming to Seattle, Szeinblum will be in a creative residency at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art.” Apart from flooring issues, I love the idea of dance in an art institute.

On the Board’s website
features a conversation between Szeinblum and OtB artistic director Lane Czaplinkski that’s worth a listen to. And here’s the full press release, verbatim minus some formatting, if you want more details on these performances that run November 5–8:

“Argentine choreographer makes her Seattle debut with sensual, fierce dance theater performance

Diana Szeinblum
Thu – Sun | Nov 5 – 8, 2009 | 8pm | $24

(Seattle) – On the Boards (OtB) is thrilled to present Diana Szeinblum and her tour de force production, Alaska. The Seattle debut of Szeinblum has been pending for over 6 years as OtB has continually looked for opportunities to present her work to Seattle audiences. OtB artistic director Lane Czaplinski commented:

“The curator Mark Russell introduced me to Diana’s work in 2002 when he presented her in a festival in Austin. I found the work haunting and she hasn’t left my mind ever since. Every season I look for an opportunity to bring her.”

Alaska, a work for 4 dancers and 2 musicians, melds the tradition of tanztheater honed by Pina Bausch with the vibrant new art emerging from the cultural hotbed of Buenos Aires. Performed on a stage defined by a gray box and scattered with everyday accoutrements (a table, chairs, coffee maker), the dancers sensually and sometimes violently explore the themes of loneliness and interior space. Driving the pace is a live score of piano, violin and laptop “which roils in frenetic crescendos, flirts with static, dips into tango-esque romanticism and, at the finishing stroke, mellows into lullaby” (Oregonian). The show’s title is a reference to the type of place that everyone knows about, but never actually goes to.

Alaska has recently toured to prestigious venues such as Dance Theater Workshop (NYC), Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (Portland) and REDCAT (Los Angeles).

Argentina-based Diana Szeinblum first came to OtB’s attention in 2003 during the Fresh Terrain festival in Austin, Texas. In her US debut (Secreto y Malibu), the Pina Bausch-trained choreographer was lauded for her quiet yet fierce aesthetic and performances imbued with emotion. By picking new artists for each performance and building the show according to their skills, she draws highly charged performances from each individual on the stage and crafts a unique movement vocabulary tailored for each show.

Tickets for Diana Szeinblum’s Alaska
General Admission $24 | Under 25 & opening night RUSH discounts available

On the Boards Box Office
206.217.9888 | | 100 West Roy Street, Seattle, WA 98119