It’s Number One!
Seattle Dance Project
by Dean Speer and Francis Timlin
[A new dance venture launches itself as one of the babies of the New Year – Seattle Dance Project. We sat down with Artistic Directors Julie Tobiason and Timothy Lynch shortly before Christmas to hear about this exciting new series.]
What was the Genesis for Seattle Dance Project?
Julie Tobiason: Tim and I were part of a group at Pacific Northwest Ballet who talked about performing on our own, deciding who we wanted to work with and making it happen. I had done some work in modern dance with Maureen Whiting and some working with Spectrum Dance Theatre and wanted to continue performing – but where?
Timothy Lynch: I went to Cornish [College of the Arts] to explore more modern work, and my senior research project was on post-major career companies. The model that appealed to me the most was NDT 3 (Netherlands Dance Theatre 3), and I realized that something on this model could fill a niche in the Seattle dance community.
JT: We talked to a lot of dancers who were in similar situations and found that lots of people wanted to be involved. We formed the project a year or so ago. We feel like we are the facilitators and have tried to make our process transparent and welcoming by inviting people in and working to gain community support – such as having to open rehearsals. We feel that the project won’t work without this kind of community involvement.
Our vision is to have high quality dancers, an eclectic mix of choreographers, some familiar faces, and even the occasional pointe shoes – but no tutus!
We’re calling the first event “Project One” and it features modern and contemporary work – to show off the artists involved. These are works created especially for them. There are four world premieres: by Donald Byrd; Pat Catterson; Molissa Fenley; and Olivier Wevers.
While at PNB I was fortunate to have had several parts created on me, but it was more rare for Tim. All of these are new works, so we don’t have to fit into someone else’s part. Everyone is part of a new beginning. It’s very exciting!
TL: There will also be two master classes on that Saturday, January 26, from 11 until 2:00 on the Falls Theatre Stage at ACT. It’s $40 for the two classes: one ballet class to be taught by Julie and a modern class with Pat Catterson.
We want to demonstrate the choreographic process, and each show will have a post-performance talk.
JT: Another exciting thing is that an artist offered to paint the company, and this work is entirely donated, will be on display during the run, and will benefit SDP.
We’re thrilled about the process, and really excited to be performing in a space as nice as ACT.
We want to give something back to the community and everyone involved has had a long career here and wants to add to the Seattle Dance Community.
JT: Project Two! It’s already in the works.
What: Seattle Dance Project – “Project One”