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

Nancy Guppy invites Seattle choreographer Peggy Piacenza to dance
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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; washingtonhall.org

LOCATION:
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.

NG:
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 (seattlechannel.org/artzone).

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