Spring Arts Preview 2016: Dance/Performance

Upcoming ballet and dance performances this spring

By Jim Demetre


February 22, 2016

This article originally appeared in the March 2016 issue of Seattle Magazine.

Brave New Ballet

Seattle choreographer Kate Wallich, who Dance Magazine included among its “25 to Watch in 2015,” is one of the most important and original artists to emerge from the city’s vibrant dance scene in the past few years. Perhaps more than any other dance maker in our midst, the 27-year-old Wallich brings the pressing issues of contemporary life to the forefront of her work. Her latest full-length piece, Industrial Ballet, has been commissioned by Velocity Dance Center as part of its Made in Seattle series and will be performed at The Moore Theatre on March 26.

The work, which she describes as an “innovative performance spectacle bridging the gap between the growing Seattle tech community and its thriving arts scene,” will include live music composed and directed by Johnny Goss with collaborator Andrew J.S. of synth-pop band Heatwarmer. In a city where most artists see only conflict between themselves and a tech industry that has displaced them from their traditional spaces, Wallich’s efforts to connect the two worlds may prove revelatory. 3/26. 7:30 p.m. The Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave.; 206.682.1414




Balanchine’s classic ballet Coppélia, based upon E.T.A. Hoffmann’s dark tale Der Sandmann, returns to McCaw Hall to tell the story of a young man bewitched by a beautiful doll. Times and prices vary. McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St.; 206.441.2424


A Rap on Race


As part of its 2016 season focusing on race relations, Spectrum Dance Theatre presents the world premiere of A Rap on Race, a collaboration between Spectrum artistic director Donald Byrd and acclaimed actress and playwright Anna Deavere Smith. The work is inspired by a famous 1970 conversation between white cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead and black novelist and essayist James Baldwin. Times and prices vary. Seattle Repertory Theatre, 155 Mercer St.; 206.325.4161




The first of a three-part suite, Clock that Mug or Dusted is Jody Kuehner’s conceptual homage to feminist performance artists, from Anna Halprin to Janine Antoni, channeled through her charismatic stage persona: drag/dance bio-fem icon Cherdonna Shinatra. 7:30 p.m. Prices vary. Velocity Dance Center, 1621 12th Ave.; 206.325.8773


American Stories


Pacific Northwest Ballet presents three works that showcase American themes and traditions: Jerome Robbins’ Fancy Free, George Balanchine’s Square Dance and Twyla Tharp’s unwieldy Waiting at the Station, which is set to music by the recently deceased jazz legend Allen Toussaint. Times and prices vary. McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St.; 206.441.2424


Whim W’Him


Out-spoken, the third program in the Seattle company’s Inside Out season, includes choreography by James Gregg, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and artistic director Olivier Wevers. 8 p.m. Prices vary. Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center, 201 Mercer St.; 206.726.5113; Whim W’Him.


Northwest New Works Festival


The annual two-week festival of new dance and performance by artists from throughout the region remains one of the greatest showcases of our vibrant local dance scene. Many of the works may reappear in longer form elsewhere throughout the year. Times and prices vary. On the Boards, 100 W Roy St.; 206.217.9886


Editor’s Note: A Different Seattle Nice

Jonathan Sposato

Life in the Sea Suite

Rob Smith

Temperatures Rising

Heidi Mills