Food & Culture

Ezra Dickinson to Perform a Series of Short Solos

A local dancer creates a moving gift for his troubled mother.

By Seattle Mag May 3, 2013


This article originally appeared in the May 2013 issue of Seattle Magazine.

Seattle dancer Ezra Dickinson has been working on his Mother’s Day gift for the last seven years—a public performance of several short solos called Mother For You I Made This—but it’s unlikely that his mother will see it. A diagnosed schizophrenic, she lives at Western State Hospital. Formerly a ballet teacher, Dickinson’s mother enrolled him in dance classes at age 4 and encouraged his schooling at Pacific Northwest Ballet, where he studied from ages 8 through 20. Meanwhile, her mental health deteriorated to the point that she was homeless and living on the streets. Which is why Dickinson is staging this performance outdoors in downtown Seattle, starting outside the Greyhound bus station. Although public, the performance is also intimate: Each evening of the 14-day run, the official audience will consist of only 20 ticket holders, each given a wireless headset through which a soundtrack of music, industrial noise and conversation is broadcast—voices projected inside each audience member’s head. The unofficial audience of passers-by will be left to interpret (or ignore) the performance on their own. A phenomenally skilled dancer, Dickinson has danced with local contemporary companies such as Maureen Whiting Company, Seattle Dance Project and Zoe/Juniper. But in addition to showcasing beautiful movement, in this case he also hopes to raise awareness about the lack of options for people struggling with mental illness—as well as the people who love them. 5/6–5/19. 7 p.m. $12–$18. Locations vary.


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