Dance: Spring Arts Preview 2012

Upcoming performances in contemporary and modern dance we want to see.

On the Stage at On the Boards
Contemporary dance fans may as well camp out at On the Boards this season—it’ll be easier than driving home and coming back and finding parking for each of these stellar performances.

3/1–3/3 Portland dance company Teeth (which won the A.W.A.R.D. Show contemporary dance competition at On the Boards in 2011) returns with a new show, Make/Believe, which explores anxiety and obsession via four dancers and innovative sound play. Able to pull off everything from profoundly disturbing to lump-in-the-throat touching, Teeth never fails to bite.

3/29–4/1 Beloved Seattle choreographer Mark Haim presents two, two, two shows in one, with X2. The double bill includes an expanded version of the hugely popular This Land Is Your Land (first seen at Northwest New Works in 2010), wherein fashion runway meets personal metamorphosis. Also on tap is The Time, which sets experiments in velocity against a stage set by the phenomenally talented Ben Zamora and Etta Lilienthal.

4/19–4/22 New York–based Kyle Abraham brings his unique blend of hip-hop dance and classical ballet to Seattle with Live! The Realest MC, in which the award-winning choreographer questions definitions of female, male and celebrity in the black community. 

All shows at 8 p.m. Prices vary. On the Boards, 100 W Roy; 206.217.9888; 

Pacific Northwest Ballet's most exciting show every year, New Works, presents work by cutting-edge choreographers from all over the globe. This season, behold the beauty of two world premieres: Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Cylindrical Shadows, whose emotional landscape is the death of a friend; and a (yet to be titled) piece by Victor Quijada, whose choreography blends ballet, capoeira, modern dance, yoga and martial arts. Also being performed for the first time at PNB is A Million Kisses to My Skin, David Dawson’s tribute to the physical joy of dance.
3/16–3/24. Times and prices vary. McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St.; 206.441.2424;


Never before seen on the Meany Hall stage, Australian contemporary dance company Chunky Move (photo left) blurs the line between human and machine in Connected, featuring a mesmerizing feat of engineering: A huge, hovering mechanical grid attached by hundreds of strings to a pulley system, which dancers use to manipulate the mechanism into wavelike motions. Or is it the grid that is moving the dancers? This truly must be seen in person.

4/12–4/14. Times and prices vary. Meany Hall, UW Campus, 15th Avenue NE & NE 40th Street; 206.543.4882;

Fresh off reenvisioning the dance numbers in the controversial Oklahoma! for the 5th Avenue Theatre’s production, Seattle’s esteemed contemporary dance choreographer Donald Byrd has programmed his Spectrum Dance Theater’s spring to reflect the many moods of love. First up: Petruchska (4/13–4/22), a Pinocchio-like tale in which characters yearn for the forbidden. In Miraculous Mandarin (5/17–5/26), seduction stands in for love when money is at stake. Finally, Byrd presents the world premiere of his own LOVE (6/21–6/30); at press time the jury was still out as to whether this last take would reflect more rainbows or regrets. Times and prices vary.

Spectrum Dance Theater, 800 Lake Washington Blvd; 206.325.4161;