CONVERGE Dance Festival has become somewhat of a Seattle staple over the last three years. Uniting local choreographers around a central theme, the festival, produced by Sapience Dance Collective, focuses on building community and creating a supportive environment for artists to present new work without the burden of producing an independent show. From karaoke-singing dancers to giant bunny suits, the festival has had its share of memorable moments and this year, with performances at Velocity Dance Center on May 14 and 15, it is sure to yield more, though with an added poignancy. Sapience co-directors Sarah Seder and Amy Weaver are stepping down from their posts and opening the door for others to carry the torch of CONVERGE in the next few years. SeattleDances caught up with Seder to hear more about this year’s festival and what lies ahead.
SeattleDances: Who are the choreographers for this year’s CONVERGE Dance Festival?
Sarah Seder: This year’s choreographers are Cyrus Khambatta, Lauren Linder, Philippa Myler, Laura Beth Rodriquez, Sarah Seder, Xaviera Vandermay, and Amy Weaver
SeattleDances: Is there an overarching theme to this year’s festival?
Seder: For CONVERGE Dance Festival, the choreographers chose a unique way to incorporate live music/sound into their pieces. Saxophone, drum kits, singers, guitarists and poets will be featured by this year’s musicians: Fred Slater, Nico Tower, Andy Theiruf, Isaac Castilla, Josh Orion, and Nathan Seder.
SeattleDances: What sets this year’s festival apart from previous years?
Seder: This year, Sapience co-directors Amy Weaver and myself are seeking two to three individuals with production, choreographic, and performing experience to run SDC and produce the annual CONVERGE Dance Festival for the next two seasons. After seven years of producing modern dance works in Seattle, Sapience Dance Collective is a thriving dance company. We’ve built the infrastructure to continue growth and community involvement under the new leadership. We plan to help the new directors move into this role smoothly, and will offer mentorship as needed or desired. The sky is the limit as far as what you could create with this company.
Any interested applicants are encouraged to come see the show to get a feel of the festival.
SeattleDances: With this upcoming leadership transition, what do you hope to see in the future of Sapience and CONVERGE?
Seder: A continued emphasis on excellent art, collaboration, and building community among Seattle area dance artists. As a collective we have explored many types of collaboration: collaborations as choreographers working on one concept for a concert featuring works by all SDC directors; collaborations as choreographers working on an evening length work together; collaborations with numerous musicians, filmmakers, large choral ensembles; and collaborations as co-directors working together to produce CONVERGE Dance Festival. We also emphasize building community through giving and receiving feedback on our work, creating a safe place for sharing life’s ups and downs with our dancers in the choreographic process, holding auditions for choreographers and dancers to meet each other, hosting social events, an producing a festival open to all Seattle area choreographers.
SeattleDances: Finish this sentence: You should come see CONVERGE this weekend because…
Seder: You will be delighted by the creativity, inspired by the athleticism, and moved by the passion of 30 dance and music artists taking the stage.
More information about Sapience Dance Collective, including tickets to CONVERGE Dance Festival, can be found on their website.