dance

photo courtesy Pacific Northwest Ballet

When Kent Stowell and his wife, Francia Russell, took over artistic leadership at Pacific Northwest Ballet more than 30 years ago they wanted to build the tiny regional dance company into a national ballet powerhouse. To help them reach that goal, they decided to create a signature holiday production at PNB, a ballet that would distinguish them from all the other American ballet companies.

The logical choice was a new adaptation of "Nutcracker," the story of a young girl who's given a nutcracker doll that magically comes to life. Different versions of this Christmas story are performed across the country.

Courtesy On the Boards

Amy O’Neal is a formally trained white dancer who feels more at home with hip-hop culture and movement than with she does with Western European contemporary art.

Flickr Photo/Balletstar011 (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with former New York City ballerina Jenifer Ringer about her new book, "Dancing Through It: My Journey In The Ballet."

Velocity Dance Center/Jacob Rosen

When you ask Seattle dance insiders which young artists they've got their eyes on, 24-year-old Kate Wallich's name almost always rises to the top of the list.

Courtesy of Bamberg Fine Art

Olivier Wevers remembers the first time he took a dance class; It ended badly. Wevers' mother found her very young son crying at the side of the dance studio.

"They gave me tights to wear," Wevers said. "I wanted a tutu."

Seattle Times Photo/Erika Schultz

It's a sunny Sunday afternoon, the kind of late autumn day made for raking leaves, or watching the Seahawks annihilate yet another challenger.

Pacific Northwest Ballet Photo/Lindsay Thomas

Pacific Northwest Ballet's Studio C is a big rehearsal hall, with the same dimensions as the stage at nearby McCaw Hall where PNB performs. Despite its size, on this afternoon the room feels packed to the gills.

From DASSdance's Facebook page.

Artists are inspired by all sorts of things: a song, an image or a story they want to tell. Choreographer Daniel Wilkins and his company, DASSdance, will premier a new work this weekend, “Tale of Ten Green.”

It springs from the story of the Awa people, an indigenous tribe that lives in Brazil’s Amazon River basin. The Awa haven’t had significant contact with the outside world until recently, and according to Wilkins, the experience has been both violent and exploitative.

“Tale of Ten Green” premiers Friday evening at Seattle’s Washington Hall. 

Francia Russell hasn't performed in 50 years, but she says as soon as she hears the music for George Balanchine's Concerto Barocco, her body starts to move: "I could do it in my sleep, you know, get up and sleepwalk and do it."

Bettina Hansen/The Seattle Times

If Seattle’s dance community had a mayor, it might be Tonya Lockyer. As executive artistic director of Velocity Dance Center, Lockyer oversees a busy hub of classes, performances, lectures, and even potluck dinners. Professional dancers mingle with aspiring amateurs and visiting artists check in at Velocity to learn more about the city’s dance scene. Velocity is busy seven days a week, and you’ll often find Lockyer at her desk, taking in the activity and plotting to create more.

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

The Kings Stay In Sacramento
The inevitable was confirmed yesterday in Dallas by NBA commissioner David Stern. In a 22-8 vote, the NBA Board of Governors voted to keep the Sacramento Kings in Sacramento. Investor Chris Hansen said the struggle makes the payoff sweeter and that he hopes the Sonics will return to Seattle eventually. We’ll talk with Ben Adler from Capital Public Radio in Sacramento and Art Thiel in Seattle on how the decision came to be.

Art Of Our City: The Massive Monkees
Earlier this year the hip-hop dance troupe Massive Monkees opened their first official dance studio, called the Beacon.  As part of a Seattle program to invigorate empty storefronts in the city, the Monkees applied for and received a three-month residency in a storefront in the Chinatown-International District.  Over the course of that residency, the Beacon offered classes for students as young as three up to their 50s and beyond. Now Massive Monkees' official residency is over, but they have the opportunity to make the Beacon permanent.  The landlord has agreed to a longer lease with one catch:  They need to raise some money for capital repairs.  To that end, they’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign. We revisit a tour we took to the Beacon in February of this year.

The Book Of Woe
The American Psychiatric Association is currently revising the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, a tool used by clinicians to diagnose patients with mental disorders. According to Gary Greenberg it is more like an “anthology of suffering.” Greenberg is a psychotherapist and author of the new book, “The Book of Woe: The DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry.” In his book he explains the history of the DSM and how the current revision of the DSM-5 is, as he argues, the most flawed yet. He says the DSM turns suffering into a commodity, leading to over- and misdiagnosis of mental illness.

Crisis In Syria, Winning The White House, And Ezra Dickinson

May 2, 2013
Flickr Photo/Beshr O

  A Look At The Humanitarian Crisis In Syria
President Obama has said that although we have evidence of chemical weapons being used inside of Syria, they don’t know when or who used them. While the administration is considering increasing aid to the country, it has stopped short of providing lethal aid to rebel groups. Two years after the start of the revolution, Syria has descended into a civil war with over 70,000 citizens killed and over one million refugees seeking asylum outside of the country.

Winning The White House In 2016: Rule 5
Are presidents today more empathetic than they were in the past? To win the presidency in 2016, a candidate must seem to deeply care about American citizens. University of Washington department of communication chair and professor David Domke explains why that is the expectation now and how it is different from the past.

Art Of Our City: Mother For You I Made This
Dancer and choreographer Ezra Dickinson created a series of solos to honor the woman who guided him to a dance career, his mother. But Ezra Dickinson has a different relationship with his parent than the one most of us have.  Dickinson’s mother is schizophrenic, and she spent a good portion of her adult life on the streets.  He has woven the solos together into a single performance he hopes will spark conversation about the American mental health system.

Howard Bloom On How A Godless Cosmos Creates

Mar 28, 2013
Howard Bloom
Photo Courtesy/Wikipedia

How does the universe create itself out of nothing, then keep going for billions of remarkable, evolving millennia? Can you even have "nothing," or do you have to bring God into the equation? These are the kinds of questions that arise when you're trying to explain the origin of life in the universe. Questions that Howard Bloom — science prodigy, former PR man for Prince, friend of Buzz Aldrin — tackles in his new book, “The God Problem.”

POC Photo/Paul O'Connell

When you hear the word burlesque, what comes to mind?

Some of us envision down and dirty night clubs populated by weary strippers clad in not much more than feather boas and G-strings. For most of the past century, burlesque has been synonymous with women doing a little bump and grind for mostly male audience members. Remember the musical "Gypsy?"

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