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Weekend Preview


Ashani Dances
Photo by Tim Summers


Ashani Dances
June 79, 7:00 PM, The Erickson Theatre
Now in its second season, Ashani Dances, helmed by Cornish professor Iyun Harrison, will premiere two new works at the Erickson Theater. Both pieces feature music composed by local Seattle artists Ben Morrow and William Hayes. ARTIFACT with music by Morrow, is inspired by the traditional dances of Harrison’s childhood in Jamaica. AFTER SNOW, set to music by Hayes, personifies the fleeting beauty of winter’s first snow and anticipates the darkness the season promises. Ashani Dances is a high-energy concert dance company which showcases some Seattle’s most exciting young talent and several of the city’s finest professional dancers. More info and tickets are available here.


NW New Works Studio Showcase
June 7 at 8:00 PM, June 89 5:00 PM, On the Boards Studio Theater
Four intriguing works make up the Studio Showcase in the first weekend of On the Boards’ annual Northwest New Works Festival.  In choreographer Claire Thomforde-Garner’s own experience as a female performer and varsity wrestler inform her work The Wrestling Match. In her Seattle debut, Dance meets wrestling and gender bias and exhaustion on a 15’ x 15’ crash mat as two performers engage in a humorous and pensive duel. AJA (The A is silent), is presented by, slugs do it real slow and pretty, the first collaboration by trio Alice Gosti, Anh Nguyen, and Jessica Robinson. Inspired by first kisses and lost loves, the seven energetic performers fuel their pedestrian tasks with weighted meaning as a theater/dance/experimental/multi-sensory experience takes shape. Pony World Theater presents A Compelling, Unknown Force that tells the story of nine Russian hikers in 1959. During their excursion these young hikers died in a mysterious way that has confounded investigators ever since. The work not only searches for the facts within the story, but reveals a more personal narrative as Pony World investigates not the hikers’ deaths, but their lives. Also on the bill, PE|Mo (Hatlo & Rosa Vissers) deal with survival, endurance, and hope in the narrative movement experiment, RIGGED. Their work follows an exhausted group of competitors frantically and ridiculously trying to win a high-stakes contest. Tickets are available here.
NW New Works Mainstage Showcase
June 89, 8:00 PM, On the Boards Mainstage  
Elia Mrak unites an unlikely international team to perform a structured dance improv in los samurai. In addition to his gringo qigon b-boy he brings together a non-denominational chaplain from NYC, a gay Jewish Argentinean architect, a former Mexican engineer, a designer and pianist. These five men from three continents combine group scores, solo improvisation and spoken word through English, Spanish and the shared language of the body. The Mystiquesterium presents a visceral dance theater work that sheds light on prejudice and racism in a post-racial America. Led by choreographer and Seattle native Maxie Jamal, Sankofa’s Womb brings poets, dancers, and drummers together to influence and enlighten with an emphasis around hip-hop, modern dance and theater. Allie Hankins takes spacial, aesthetic, and musical cues from the Baroque era, in Misshapen Pearl which examines and recontextualizes the movement and postures of status, nobility and gender as reflected in the ballet de cours of Louis XIV and Jean Baptiste-Lully. The solo dance Leftovers, by Vancouver based Josh Martin, is an experiment in trying to make purely physical decisions; ones that are driven by the body’s memories and choices rather than the head’s. Tickets are available here.

Spectrum dancers in A CRUEL NEW WORLD/the new normalPhoto by Nate Watters
A CRUEL NEW WORLD/the new normal
June 69, 8:00 PM, Emerald City Trapeze Arts Building
Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor who bought out the house to Spectrum’s production of A CRUEL NEW WORLD/the new normal tickets to the company’s encore performance are now free. A meditation on 9/11 and the world that emerged after the tragedy, Artistic Director Donald Byrd’s work is as thought provoking now as it was in his inaugural season ten years ago. Read the SeattleDances review here. Follow this link to reserve your ticket. Space is very limited, so reserving your seat ahead of time is strongly encouraged.
PNB Directors Choice
June 7–9, 7:30 PM, McCaw Hall
Pacific Northwest Ballet closes their fortieth anniversary season with a tribute to George Balanchine, whose works have been vital to the company’s history. (Read the SeattleDances review of here). A triple-bill, the program features Balanchine’s starkly neo-classical Agon and his sensational Diamonds, as well as a world premiere from Christopher Wheeldon, frequently cited as today’s best contemporary ballet choreographer. For a little insight into Wheeldon’s process see the Seattle Times articlehere. Agon has been expertly staged by Francia Russell (an original New York City Ballet cast member) and appears as startlingly avant-garde as its 1957 premiere. The program’s dazzling grand finale Diamonds, is the crowning gemstone of Balanchine’s three-part Jewels, first added to PNB’s repertory by Artistic Director Peter Boal in 2006. More info and tickets can be foundhere.


Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancers Maria Chapman and Karel Cruz
in Kiyon Gaines’s Sum Stravinsky,
Photo © Angela Sterling.
PNB Season Encore
June 9, 6:30 PM, McCaw Hall
Season Encore presents many highlights of PNB’s 2012-2013 season. A gala style performance, the bill includes excerpts of Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco, Agon, and Diamonds, as well as Kent Stowell’s Cinderella, and Swan Lake. A few of the season’s premieres return for a second look as well, like Paul Gibson’s Mozart Pieces, and Kiyon Gaines’ Sum Stravinsky. This is a one-night only show sure to be filled with dazzling performances. Tickets are available at