by James Holt
Violets on Smoke: First reaction, “oh, clever.” Then: “no, wait, this is great!” Faith Helma: I hate positive thinking, too. You can speak for me anytime. Failing, for the win. Markeith and Nancy: Self-referential, but not self-indulgent. Way to walk the line. LED: Barbarian Princess, indeed. Indeed. Clarke & Kamino: I always love movement in slow-motion. Seattle Irish Dance Company: I did not realize that I needed more Irish fiddle in my life. Now I know. Jessica Jobaris & General Magic: I don’t know what just happened, but I think I like it.
James Holt is a 14/15 Season OtB Ambassador
by Vanessa DeWolf
I sit in my seat after passing, hugging, encountering so many friends and loved ones.
I decide to let the program sit in my lap, perusing it only at the intermission.
The curtain closes, there is a speech, the lights go out.
A ferocity that loses tenderness in momentum and velocity.
A video screen blank with anticipation.
Sounds in the dark of feet and intricacy.
Slippery moments that become too raucous.
Hints of a love story lost in a series of conventional dance constructions of solo, trio, duet and ensemble
Rigorous specific dance that has such an abundance of rapidity and momentum as to never quite settle into more then an exhausting ongoingness.
An evening that skims over the surface without settling. I LONGED for some focused resting places for my attention, instead I found myself tracking disconnections lost in a sea of horizontal...
Adriana Hernandez is a choreographer/performer who grew up in Tijuana, Mexico. Mujer Bonita is a dance performed by all Latina women with a live Latina singer. The choreography explores the nature of the truth and lies, and stereotypes existant in Latin American culture relating to women. The choreography encapsulates ideas of machismo, feminism, gender stereotypes, wanting to maintain good appearances. Mujer Bonita is performed by dancers Adriana Hernandez, Carla Maria Negrete Martinez with Nancy Blanco-Hrivnak, and Nico Tower.
by Mary Ann Peters
Ya gotta love the NWNW Festival. Every bit of "you're kidding me!" shares the spotlight with virtuosity and finesse. Whatever instinct you have to drop a critique the size of a small building on to the performers collapses behind the truth that all these people are simply giving it a go. And that deserves a level of respect that humbles any impulse to be overly critical. So I'll just be respectfully critical, more of a first responder on the scene of a fire.....enjoying and commenting on the chaos of the spectacle while trying to grasp important details.
- Synchronized robotic movements slither into a languid stretch.
- A woman hangs by her fingertips from a stage ladder.
- Percussive taps layered one on top of the other.
- My scarf falling to the ground, tipped by the performer who just stepped over my chair.
- The "peck peck" of a typewriter
Choreographer/performer Jessica Jobaris has been making work for over 20 years throughout the EU and across the US and Canada. In addition to performing on art stages, Jessica is the Movement Director for Freehold's Engaged Theater, that takes Shakespeare into prisons. A Great Hunger reflects on how we cope with loneliness, depression, anxiety and suicide, and having our own unique experiences with grieving and healing. The General Magic team includes artists Laura Aschoff, Ariel Burke, Neil Coffey, Sruti Desai, Jason Franklin, Miguel Aguilar, Alianna Jaqua, Nikolai Lesnikov, Pol Rosenthal, David Verkade, and Hendri Walujo.
Violets on Smoke is a group of musicians/performers led by Sarah Paul Ocampo. Nonchalant dance and alternately catchy/melancholy pop songs examine the confines of apartment city dwelling of people who live at once together and alone. Violets on Smoke features the talents of Karen Garrett de Luna, Bo Gilliland, Aaron Huffman, and Sara Jinks.
Listen to some of the songs here!
Dancers/choreographers Carlye Cunniff and Margery Pulkkinen use their intensive background in Irish traditional step dancing and add a live looping pedal to push the form to new heights. The sound of the shoes is manipulated and looped live, while the dancers create movement to the sound of their own feet. A live fiddler adds to the effect. Cunniff and Pulkkinen are dance professionals and both long-time members of the Seattle Irish Dance Company, an internationally touring, competitive Irish step dance company.
Two artists meet in person for the very first time on the OtB mainstage in The Journey it Takes. Benjamin Kamino, a Canadian dancer who has performed with Compagnie Marie Chouinard, Pigeons International, Dancemakers, and others, teams with performance/visual artist Travis Clarke in a conceptual work culminating live before the audience. Each artist has completed a series of small individual projects prior to the performance, leading up to the idea of being completely present in the moment of two humans meeting in a simultaneously private and public space.
See more of Clarke's work here.
Watch videos of Kamino's work here.