I fell in love with the contemporary dance piece Cylindrical Shadows long before it was finished. Choreographed by Colombian/Belgian Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, it debuted in Seattle at a Whim W'Him show in January 2011. Several weeks before the show (maybe months even), artistic director and dancer at Whim W'Him Olivier Wevers invited me to sit in on a rehearsal at PNB's rehearsal studios, where Ochoa was still sketching out the piece with the help of both Whim W'Him and PNB dancers. She hadn't even picked a title yet.
Inspired to create the piece after a close friend died unexpectedly at age 33, Lopez translates remarkably strong emotions of loss and love into subtle strokes that brought me to tears as I watched. As a work in progress, it stunned. I can't wait to see how its developed since.
Cylindrical Shadows will take the stage at McCaw Hall at PNB's New Works program (3/16-3/24). Read about the rest of the program in the Dance section of our Spring Arts Preview.
And watch this lovely video trailer in which Ochoa's choreography invades both strange and familiar corners of Seattle (all train yards should be so lucky):