Food & Drink

Seattle Choreographer on What She Loves (and Hates) About Dance

Nancy Guppy invites Seattle choreographer Peggy Piacenza to dance

By Nancy Guppy October 21, 2014


This article originally appeared in the November 2014 issue of Seattle magazine.

Peggy Piacenza has been dancing for more than 25 years, collaborating with prominent avant-garde choreographers such as Dayna Hanson, Pat Graney and Deborah Hay. Touch Me Here is her first full-length solo piece, a “movement memoir” informed in part by Lotan Baba (the “rolling saint” of India) and the Fellini film Nights of Cabiria. Using a one-two punch of humor and pathos, Piacenza blends dance, film and theater with original music performed live by cellist Scott Bell. 11/20–11/22. 8 p.m. $15–$20. Washington Hall, 153 14th Ave.; 206.316.7613;

Uptown Espresso in Magnolia
PEGGY’S DRINK: Iced Americano with cream

Nancy Guppy:
Was dance your first love?  
Peggy Piacenza: Yes, absolutely. I was dancing with scarves like Isadora Duncan and choreographing dances for the kids in my neighborhood when I was 7 or 8 years old.  

NG: What do you love most about dance?  
PP: I love to move, the physicality of it. And I love the poetic, abstract language of dance. It’s a way of seeing the world.  
NG: What do you hate most about dance?      
PP: Sometimes it can be really boring.    

NG: How would you describe yourself as a dancer/choreographer?    
PP: Inquisitive. There’s always a philosophical edge, a quest. I’m always searching for something.   

NG: What are you exploring in Touch Me Here?    
PP: The theme of touch is really important—how we’re touched artistically, spiritually, physically, emotionally, sexually, intellectually, all that. How does touch transform us? How does art do so?

NG: I read that the show is a “very personal departure from past work.” How so?     
PP: I’m taking inspiration from something deeply personal in my own life and I’ve never done that quite so literally.

NG: As a performer you are esoteric and comedic. Do you try to be funny?    
PP: I don’t try to be funny, but I think it’s in my blood. I’m also intrigued with how time works in choreography and I think I might have a slight sense of comedic timing.  

NG: What should newcomers to dance know before seeing a performance?     
PP: Don’t try to understand it. Don’t try to have to put a literal meaning. People get in trouble when they try to make a linear story.

Success—what does it look like?     
PP: To see something through. Whether it’s cleaning your house or putting on a show.

Nancy Guppy showcases Seattle artists on her show, Art Zone (


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