Skip to content

Molissa Fenley in Performance and Discussion

Dance Pioneer, Molissa Fenley, will be co-presented by the Fremont Abbey Arts Center and Seattle dance Project on December 17th at 7:30 in the Great Hall performance space of the Fremont Abbey Arts Center, 4272 Fremont Avenue North.  This is Molissa Fenley’s third recent visit to Seattle: her masterpiece solo, State of Darkness (premiered in 1988), set to Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, was presented as part of Pacific Northwest Ballet’s 2007 program in honor of the 125th birthday celebration of the composer.  Rachel Foster, James Moore and Jonathan Porretta alternated in the role.  In 2008 Seattle Dance Project commissioned Castor by Fenley for their Project 1 with ACT Theater.  During her return to work with SDP this December the Fremont Abbey Arts Center is honored to host this rare opportunity to witness Molissa Fenley perform her work for the Seattle dance audience.
The evening will feature two works danced by Molissa Fenley, and a preview of her new work set on Seattle Dance Project for their upcoming Project 4.  Guest speaker Peter Boal, Artistic Director of Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Julie Tobiason and Timothy Lynch, Artistic Directors of Seattle Dance Project, will join Fenley after the performance in an informal conversation about her work.
There are three works on the program:
Regions—Chair, Ocean Walk, Mesa, with music by Maggi Payne, set by Roy Fowler, and costume by Jeffrey Wirsing.  Performed by Molissa Fenley.  Regions was commissioned by the 92nd Street Y and premiered there in December 1995.  The revival of Regions has been made possible through the American Masterpieces Initiative of the National Endowment of the Arts, 2010. 
Mass Balance, with music by Cenk Ergun, prop created by Todd Richmond, and costume by Jill St.  Coeur.  Performed by Molissa Fenley.  Mass Balance is the term referring to the equilibrium between the accumulation of snow and the ablation of glacial ice.  Yearly measurements have shown a disequilibrium caused by global climate change.  Mass Balance premiered at the Crowley Theater in Marfa, Texas, July 2009.
“In Mass Balance, a solo set to Cenk Ergun’s ominously thrumming 120408, Ms.  Fenley manipulated a long pole (designed by Todd Richmond), now advancing like a jouster, now angling it over her shoulder like the oarsman on the River Styx, now extending it in front of her at an angle, so that the pole, the floor and her perfectly held body formed a triangle in space.

It is a ruthless geometry Ms.  Fenley is after, in which even lushly curving hands adhere to strict rules.  Yet what possibilities bloom in that hushed, concentrated space.  The imagination rushes in.”
          —Claudia La Rocco, NY Times 9/20/2009
Planes in Air with music by Joan Jeanrenaud, props by Roy Fowler.  Performed by the Seattle Dance Project, this showing tonight is in preview of their upcoming season Project 4 in January 2011.

Tickets range from $15 – 25 and can be purchased at or at the door for cash/check only.  Fremont Abbey Arts Center, 4272 Fremont Avenue North, 7:30pm.