Morgan Thorson

Still Life
Aug 1 - 4, 2019

Passed Event Base: Experimental Arts + Space (6520 5th Ave S, Seattle)

Performance Times
Thu, Aug 1: 4 - 9 pm
Fri, Aug 2: 4 - 9 pm
Sat, Aug 3: 3 - 8 pm
Sun, Aug 4: 3 - 8 pm

As this is a durational piece, patrons are welcome to come and go as the work unfolds, and tickets may be used for repeat admission to the installation over the course of the weekend. One ticket is required per patron; IDs will be checked at the door. Tickets are NOT TRANSFERABLE. No exchanges or refunds. 

“Serendipity rules one moment, exquisitely calibrated dance the next. Suspense builds as dancers negotiate fatigue, becoming looser and more courageous as they travel though shifting areas of light.”

– Linda Shapiro, City Pages


On the Boards and Base co-present Minneapolis-based choreographer Morgan Thorson's acclaimed ensemble dance installation, Still Life at Base in Georgetown.

Created for a white-walled gallery space, Still Life is an ensemble dance installation that uses time as both subject and practice to process loss, killing, and extinction. Structured as a dance/time cycle, Still Life explores the death of choreography through the decay of material. As this pattern unfolds, the performers enact aliveness, endurance and anxiety to survive the repetition and loss of material, as well as the indeterminate relationships of light, movement and sound. Staged in close proximity to the viewer, Still Life offers a space for contemplation, processes the violence of the present moment, and creates a long-form choreography that investigates dance as a living and dying thing. Dance and visual art audiences alike will get to experience a singular take on time, extinction, presence, and death. 

The work will run in five-hour durational segments for four days, and features a cast of dancers from Portland, Minneapolis and Seattle, including Alyza DelPan-Monley, Fox Whitney, Jordan MacIntosh-Hougham and Meredith Pellon (understudy).

Watch an Excerpt of Still Life 

Related Events
SUN, AUG 4, 11:30 AM: ARTIST TALK: Stillness & Liveness in Choreography
Presented at and in partnership with Seattle Art Fair.
A conversation with artist Morgan Thorson, On the Boards Artistic Director Rachel Cook, and Base Co-Founder and choreographer Dayna Hanson. Tickets available through Seattle Art Fair. 
Find out more →

About the Artist 

Since 2000, Morgan Thorson has generated a body of work that questions the conventions of western concert dance through interdisciplinary collaboration. Engaged in critical dialogue with the form, and inspired by a subject, physical process or point of view, her work honors the body as complex means of expression as it relates to the site and community in which it is situated. For Morgan, dancing provides communication and connection to people, silence, rage, space, beauty and itinerant imagination.

Thorson is a  recipient of the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award (2016), a United States Artist (2012), Guggenheim (2010) and McKnight (2009, 2002) Fellow, and has received two Sage Awards for Outstanding Performance (2008 and 2007). Thorson is a United States Artist (2012) Guggenheim (2010) and McKnight (2009, 2002) Fellow and has received two Sage Awards for Outstanding Performance (2008 and 2007). Her work has received support from The Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography Residency and Fellowship Program (2009, 2011 and 2015), and she was the resident artist at the Centre Choreographique National De Franche-Comte in Belfort, France, as well as a MacDowell Artist Colony Fellow in 2012.  She has received three New England Foundation for the Arts, National Dance Project grants (2008, 2012 and 2015).

Thorson's work has toured to theaters and festivals worldwide, and has been commissioned and presented by Walker Art Center, On The Boards in Seattle, Red Cat in Los Angeles, PS 122 in New York City and Alverno Presents in Milwaukee among others. She has created works for Zenon Dance Company, James Sewell Ballet, Barnard College and several national universities. Her first three-month public residency/exhibition was installed at Weisman Art Museum June-September, 2015.

A certified Skinner Releasing Technique instructor, Thorson is a Creative Campus Fellow at Wesleyan University where she engages students and professors in interdisciplinary practices and develops pedagogy in Dance, Drawing, Archaeology, and Religious Studies. As a performer, Morgan has worked with Ann Carlson, Jennifer Monson, Tino Segal, Karen Sherman and HIJACK, and provided dramaturgy for Ann Carlson and the group DanceBums. She is a member of the Minneapolis Tuning Club and the founder of ORG, ongoing research group.

About the OtB/Base Partnership
As two of Seattle’s leading advocates for risk-taking, contemporary performance, Base and On the Boards are delighted to partner to co-present Morgan Thorson’s Still Life. The performances represent the long-awaited return of Morgan Thorson, a Guggenheim, MacDowell Colony and United States Artists Fellow in dance whose work was last presented in Seattle by On the Boards in 2010. The Base Occasional residency is an ideal platform for this project, offering Seattle’s diverse dance community a rare opportunity to learn from this extraordinary artist and perform in the work. 
Find out more about Base & Base Occasional →

On the Boards and Seattle Art Fair 

On the Boards is a proud Cultural Partner of the 2019 Seattle Art Fair. Presented by AIG, Seattle Art Fair is an innovative art experience showcasing the vibrant culture and diversity of the Pacific Northwest. Taking place August 1-4 at CenturyLink Field Event Center, the fair features over 90 local, regional, and international art galleries presenting modern and contemporary art.

Still Life is made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts; and is supported, in part, by the Contemporary Art Council and Exhibition Series Sponsors of the Portland Art Museum. This project is made possible in part by support from the National Performance Network (NPN) Creation and Development Fund. The Creation and Development Fund is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency). For more information:


Photo Credit: Morgan Thorson: Still Life by Valerie Oliveiro 



Seattle Art Fair co-presents an artist talk with Morgan Thorson, Artistic Director and Curator, Rachel Cook, and Base co-founder and Choreographer, Dayna Hanson.

Sun, Aug 4 at 11:30 AM at CenturyLink Field Event Center
Tickets available through SAF