Fall Arts Preview 2012: Dance

Four choreographers present new works in Seattle this fall.

By Brangien Davis, Bond Huberman & Dana Standish, with Marianne Hale September 11, 2012


This article originally appeared in the September 2012 issue of Seattle Magazine.

Although ensconced in NYC since the 1970s, Mark Morris must still think fondly of his old stomping grounds—the former Seattleite and superstar choreographer is presenting two different world premieres on two different local stages this fall. First up, at On the Boards (10/4–10/6. 8 p.m. Prices vary. 100 W Roy; 206.217.9888; ontheboards.org), the Mark Morris Dance Company performs three of the choreographer’s older works in addition to a brand-new piece, A Wooden Tree, with music by Ivor Cutler. A month later, Morris sets another world premiere on the Pacific Northwest Ballet (Times and prices vary. McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St.; 206.441.2424; pnb.org), to a cello concerto by Paul Hindemith. Our civic guest room is always available, Mark!

Paul Taylor worked with dance luminaries George Balanchine, Merce Cunningham and Martha Graham before becoming one himself. The classic modern dance choreographer brings the West Coast premiere of his newest work, “The Uncommitted,” along with several other pieces, to Meany Hall (10/4–10/6. 8 p.m. Prices vary. UW Campus, 15th Avenue NE & 40th Street; 206.543.4880; meany.org). As a bonus, the accompanying score by Arvo Pärt will be played live by Seattle Modern Orchestra.

How can you miss a show titled “The Most Innovative, Daring, and Original Piece of Dance/Performance You Will See this Decade”? This new solo piece, by Seattle contemporary dance star Amy O’Neal, uses movement to explore the question “Are we damned for selling ourselves in a culture where we are expected to?” Deconstructing her own influences, from Cyndi Lauper to Ciara, O’Neal presents a tour de feminine force (10/12–10/21. 8 p.m. Prices vary. Velocity Dance Center, 1621 12th Ave.; 206.325.8773; velocitydancecenter.org).

Here’s a tip: Whenever you see the name Crystal Pite on a season lineup, immediately purchase tickets. No need to mull over the description and wonder whether you might like it, because if you like dance, you will like it. Based in Vancouver, B.C., Pite is one of the most mesmerizing young choreographers working today. You can experience her curious, graceful style both at On the Boards (10/23–10/25. 8 p.m. Prices vary. 100 W Roy St.; 206.217.9888; ontheboards.org), where her company Kidd Pivot (see above) performs a haunting piece based on The Tempest; and at Meany Hall (11/15–11/17. 8 p.m. Prices vary. UW Campus, 15th Avenue NE & 40th Street; 206.543.4880; meany.org), where New York based company Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet will perform several works, including a Pite piece that has never before been seen in Seattle. Tickets, people.

Truth in advertising: All Premieres at Pacific Northwest Ballet (11/2–11/11. Times and prices vary. McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St.; 206.441.2424; pnb.org) is an exciting program of world premiere works by choreographers both esteemed and emerging. In addition to a new work by Mark Morris, the company will take on fresh pieces by PNB dance makers, including PNB soloist Kiyon Gaines (whose new work is a tribute to George Balanchine and Kent Stowell; see below), and corps de ballet dancers Margaret Mullin and Andrew Bartee.


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