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 Post subject: A "Dance Opera" in Seattle
PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:45 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2003 11:01 pm
Posts: 222
A ''dance opera" - what an interesting collaborative art form. From

January 20, 2006
'The Onion Twins'
Two years ago, composer Katell, author Brown and dancer-choreographer Martin began to toss around the idea of a collaborative dance opera. Martin, who loves dragons, found the Swedish tale of "The Onion Twins" in a children's library book. Despite a lack of funding, the idea took hold, and this weekend's well-designed production is the result.

"Rebecca (Brown) did the libretto," says Martin, co-founder of BetterBiscuitDance, "and that gave me the structure for the scenes and interactions, while I was thinking about the music and the arc of the whole piece." When Katell began composing the music, details were changed or fine-tuned.

At a retreat 18 months ago with the dancers, the group began to develop the characters and physical aspects, "and it all pretty well flowed from that."

The five dancers -- four plus Martin, all women -- take all the roles, first one, then another, with the delineation of who is who shown through posture or gesture. "It serves the piece to take it away from the literal, it's more dreamlike, the audience has to think a bit more," Martin says.

Two singers, soprano Megan Hook and baritone Craig Garretson, are commentators more than individual characters, while a quartet of horn, oboe, cello and violin provide the instrumental line. The whole is held together by narrator Vanessa DeWolf, but the dancers' actions speak for themselves clearly.

"The Onion Twins": a dance opera in two acts, will be performed at Richard Hugo House at 1634 11th Ave., tonight through Sunday and Jan. 27-29, Fridays and Saturday at 8, Sundays at 4. Tickets: $15-$20, with student/working artist discount, at Brown Paper Tickets, 1-800-838-3006 or

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