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 Post subject: Chop Shop: Bodies of in it's fourth year!
PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:14 am 

Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 26
Location: Edmonds, WA 98026
StoneDance Productions and The Theatre at Meydenbauer
Chop Shop: Bodies of Work
A Contemporary Dance Festival
At The Theatre at Meydenbauer
Saturday, February 12th, 7:30 pm
Sunday, February 13th, 3:00pm

Bellevue, WA – November 30, 2010 - StoneDance Productions and The Theater At Meydenbauer present 'Chop Shop: Bodies of Work', the Eastside's only Contemporary Dance Festival. Returning for its fourth year, this unique festival is a rare opportunity to explore the truly original talents of Seattle-based and Eastside - based artists in two special performances. This is the BEST of the Seattle/Eastside dance community in ONE festival. Chop Shop highlights local contemporary choreography with a focus on dance work that is innovative, accessible and thought provoking. Each of these prolific choreographers has presented work to numerous critical successes throughout Europe, Asia, Latin America and the United States. Though each company/artist presented possesses their own individual voice, they are all unified in the contemporary language of dance and its power to stir the senses through the visceral moving image.

This is an event not to be missed! Last year’s sold out performances established Chop Shop as one of the most highly anticipated dance events in the greater Seattle/Eastside area.


“Reading Dance”: A FREE lecture on Sunday February 13th at 1:00. Experience a “behind the scenes” look at how contemporary dances are formed. Learn about meaning and imagery behind the choreographer’s unique movement language and how the creative process is developed and refined.

Master Classes (2/12 and 2/13) by the Artistic Directors of the performing companies will be held during daytime hours of the festival in the Theater (Saturday and Sunday starting at 10:00 am.) Please call (206) 799-6004 for schedule and reservations. Classes are $18.00 each, three for $45.00 or five for $50.00.

See our promo:

Tickets are on sale now. Go to or call 1-800-838-3006.
Adults: $25.00
Students and Seniors: $20.00
Discounted Tickets for groups of 10 or more.

Meydenbauer Theater is located at 11100 NE 6th St., Bellevue, WA 98104
Chop Shop: Bodies of Work is funded in part by a generous grant and support from 4Culture, The Seattle Weekly and The City of Bellevue Arts Program.
StoneDance Productions is an associated program of Shunpike. Shunpike is a 501(c)(3) non-profit art service organization whose mission is to strengthen the Seattle arts community by partnering with small and mid-size arts groups to develop the business tools they need to succeed. Working in close partnership with these groups, Shunpike helps solve problems quickly and impart vital skills in finance, organizational management and arts administration.

The Performing Artists:

Spectrum Dance Theater, established in 1982, is the largest professional contemporary dance company in Washington, presenting work by Artistic Director Donald Byrd and guest artists, with a focus on Northwest choreographers. Its mission is to produce and present contemporary dance that challenges expectations and calls forth strong emotions, deep feelings and thoughtful responses. Donald Byrd became Artistic Director of Spectrum Dance Theater in December 2002. From 1978 – 2002, he was Artistic Director of Donald Byrd/The Group a critically acclaimed contemporary dance company, founded in Los Angeles and later based in New York, that toured extensively, both nationally and internationally. Byrd created over 80 works for modern dance companies, for his own group, Spectrum, and the Ailey Company as well as for Dayton Contemporary Dance Company and Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco). He has choreographed for classical companies, including Pacific Northwest Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, Aterballetto, MaggioDanza diFirenze and Oregon Ballet Theater. Spectrum Dance Theater will be presenting Longing, a work exploring the themes of desire, longing and loss.

Wade Madsen is a Seattle based choreographer and has received choreographic fellowships from the NEA, King County, and Artist Trust. Wade has also received grants from Seattle Arts and Washington State Arts commissions, along with Art Matters and Bossak/Heilbron foundation. Wade is currently teaching for the 27th year at Cornish College of the Arts, where he is Professor of Dance. Madsen’s work has been commissioned by Co Motion, Spectrum, and d-9 dance companies and most recently with Seattle Dance Project. Wade Madsen and Dancers has been producing and performing in Seattle since 1979. Madsen is premiering Unlucky with music by Miles Davis.

Quark Contemporary Dance Theatre is a Seattle-based modern dance company driven to create works of dance that captivate, connect emotionally and intrigue through unique and unusual choreographic structure. Artistic Director David Lorence Schleiffers draws inspiration from his experience in musical theater, historic modern dance and contemporary dance. Through this company, he continually creates theatrical pieces which tells stories through movement. It is his artistic goal to present work that is both artistically intelligent and entertaining. Quark will be presenting Once and Never Again, which toys with organized dance structures as a means of highlighting moments of complete destruction and desolation.

Michael Rioux, Artistic Director of The Sho, is your favorite artists’ favorite artist. He seriously insists that since everything is so damn serious that nothing should be taken seriously. He recently got into a Facebook argument about the existence of time. Returning by popular demand, The Sho will be performing site-specific work, People Believe Themselves, in the lobby and various locations throughout The Theatre at Meydenbauer pre-show and at intermission.

Tonya Lockyer has worked internationally as a dancer, choreographer and educator. After dancing professionally in Canada, New York and Boston she founded VIA, a Seattle dance-theater company generating inter-cultural collaborations with artists from the Middle East, Russia, Europe and North America. Lockyer's choreography has been awarded more than thirty-five commissions by companies, festivals and universities in the US and abroad. In 2008, her evening-length solo “Consumed” was commissioned by On The Boards for their main season. She was appointed Visiting Artist at Mimar Sinan University Istanbul, Brigham Young University, The University of Calgary and The University of Maryland. Currently, she serves on the faculty of Cornish College of the Arts where she is also coordinator of the Merce Cunningham minEvent Project. Lockyer presents A tiny ship in a vast outer space where the air is quiet and transparent, taking inspiration from Edvard Greig’s music for Ibsen’s Peer Gynt and excerpts from Mishima’s The Decay of the Angel, this meditation on memory and loss transforms the theater into a vast exterior winter scene animated by the magical fantasies of childhood.

SD/Prism Dance Theatre is a multicultural dance company that explores new ways of artistically expressing the beauty of diversity. Artistic Director Sonia Dawkins is a graduate from University of the Arts (M.A.) and is currently on the faculty of Pacific Northwest Ballet. Professionally, she has performed with The National of Company of Jamaica and with independent choreographers and companies in New York. In addition to her own choreographic works, Dawkins has been commissioned to create for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre Spring Performance, PNB, Nevada Ballet Theatre and various theatre companies in the Seattle area such as Seattle Repertory and Broadway Bound. She is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, grants and scholarships for her choreography and recently participated in the 13th Annual Dance Under the Stars Choreography Festival. Dawkins will premier a new work for this year's Chop Shop Dance Festival.

zoe | juniper: As a visual artist and choreographer, Juniper Shuey and Zoe Scofield are drawn together as collaborators by our respect for and subverted use of classical form, aesthetic clarity and the desire to create a sense of heightened reality. As a choreographer, Zoe is interested in using the self-command and physical distortion of classical ballet technique: i.e. turned out legs that display pointed feet, placement, and disciplined physical articulation. The deconstruction and reassembly of movement takes place through an investigation into the skeletal structure of form. Converted in this way, movement becomes a clear palate for emotion, intention and the viewer’s perception. For his part, Juniper composes the visual and emotional elements of design with simple lines and a spatial clarity to create and highlight an exaggerated or elevated reality. It is within this synergistic space that the performance- and the viewer’s perception of it – happens. Zoe and Juniper both seek a distilled clarity of technique in their discipline so as to offer an unfettered vehicle through which the audience can experience the piece with its own history, desire, and emotion. Scofield will present and excerpt from A Crack in Everything.

Catherine Cabeen and Company (CCC) is a project based, contemporary dance company dedicated to interdisciplinary conversations and collaborations. CCC was founded in 2009 as a forum for investigating both the creative processes and the artistic products that result when artists of different mediums collide. Anchored in the choreographic work of Catherine Cabeen, CCC creates dynamic performances that engage the body as an intersection for ideas. In the last year CCC has engaged 11 interdisciplinary collaborators and presented work in Seattle, New York, Santa Fe, and Dar es Salaam. CCC is currently working on Into the Void, an evening length work that premiers at On the Boards April 28-30, 2011. Cabeen will present Distances, set to original, live music. This complex duet is about finding ways to support individuality within a relationship.

Bellingham Repertory Dance (BRD) is a dancer-driven repertory company based in Bellingham, WA. Established in 2006, BRD aims to provide the community with high-quality production and presentation of contemporary dance. BRD is presenting Trap Door Party by Canadian choreographer Josh Beamish, Artistic Director of Move: The Company, who's work has been presented throughout Canada and also at The Joyce SoHo in New York. Trap Door Party recently premiered in October of 2010 at WORLD EXPO in Shanghai, China presented by Cirque du Soleil at the Cultural Finale of the Canadian Pavilion.

The Stone Dance Collective originated in London, England in 1993 and became a permanent part of the Seattle dance community in 1995. Artistic Director Eva Stone has a unique approach to her choreographic work with its intent based in humor, human connection and emotion. Her work has been presented throughout the Northwest, the United States and Europe. Stone will present Readymade, a work examining the periodic table in relationship to the basic physical and emotional elements that make us human.

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 Post subject: Re: Chop Shop: Bodies of in it's fourth year!
PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:16 am 

Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 26
Location: Edmonds, WA 98026
"...already one of Seattle’s most talked about and important outlets for dance." - Dean Speer, Critical Dance

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 Post subject: Re: Chop Shop: Bodies of in it's fourth year!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:58 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 14250
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Michael Upchurch previews the program in the Seattle Times.

Seattle Times

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 Post subject: Re: Chop Shop: Bodies of in it's fourth year!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:03 am 

Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 688
Location: Seattle, WA. USA
Insane to Inane
Beauteous to Adventurous

Chop Shop: Bodies of Work
13 February 2011
Meydenbauer Center, Bellevue, Washington

by Dean Speer

Some of the best choreography I’ve seen in a long time, assuaging my thirst after what has seemed to be a long, dry spell – was the second half of ChopShop’s fourth annual edition of its modern dance festival, particularly in the form of Donald Byrd’s creation to the first movement of the Brahms Piano Quartet in G minor, opus 25, one of the famous staples of chamber music literature.

I must admit to having an approach/avoidance relationship with Byrd’s oeuvre – the overall palette of his voice seems to be dark; that of a troubled and agitated soul. Therefore sometimes his material is a little too disturbing for me and sometimes he has trouble fulfilling his vision in the development of his choreography, though the exposition is usually solid.

In this case, however, he gave us great dancing and real, down-to-earth live choreography that, while telling the suggestion of a story [the piece is titled “Longing”] it was a hit from the moment it took off. Big, bold dancing for its quartet of men and trio of women and unafraid to utilize and show off the high technical level of the dancers and their line – no goofy costumes that hid. Everyone was in skin-toned ballet slippers that gave the suggestion of bare feet, allowing the dancers to move completely without the worry of shredded soles or getting stuck during turns. Returning to and building his theme, Byrd follows the music’s compositional structure, moving in and out of mimicking it but only as the springboard for the dance.

One of the best dances, it made me long to see the subsequent movements, particularly with this amazing and impressive cast: Michael Bagne, Kelly Ann Barton, Ty Alexander Cheng, Kylie Lewallen, Vincent Lopez, Joel Myers, and Tory Peil.

Also on the second half was a duet to live guitar music, musicians Kane Mathis and Julian Marthlew [hurray!] that impressed me as Tai-Chi – a meditative dance with Catherine Cabeen and Echo Gustafson who engaged in a gestural dance of hands, arms, followed by feet and legs. Cabeen is one of those dancers who has incredible, natural facility with long legs and arches which she well deployed here.

I liked Zoe Scofield’s “A Crack in Everything” [excerpt]. She gave us a combination of Martha Graham-like descent into madness and use of contemporary visuals – and the film of her moving, projected on the cyclorama truly looked like a hologram. When the image at its end walked “toward” the audience, I thought it was going to burst out right to us, like something from a mind-bending sci-fi movie. Outlining with chalk her own image on an inverted blackboard, the finished rendering looked just like something you see mental patients make, including those made by the great – and insane – male dance icon, Nijinsky.

Eva Stone’s “Readymade” for the Stone Dance Collective could have been titled titillation. Trisha Brown, a modern dance icon from Washington State [Aberdeen] once gave herself the self-imposed assignment of making an entire dance where her back was to the audience.At first I thought Stone was giving herself a similar assignment to see if she could make a complete dance – including development and resolution, particularly since they, the women [after a short solo by Joseph Schanbeck] were semi-nude. Rather, about a little more of a third of the way through her dance, other women came in to “bind” the ones with no tops and then all danced together, concluding with unison spins while clasping their long skirts and looking heavenward.

The first half was more of a mixed bag.

“Unlucky” impressed as Wade Madsen’s nod to Danny [Daniel] Nagrin’s characterizations that he used to do in the 1950s. In this case, a down-and-out happy-go-lucky guy jazzily treading his way. With fedora and pantomime suggesting some of the seven deadly sins, Cornish College of the Arts dance professor Madsen silkily brought nuance to his solo.

Tonya Lockyer’s solo for Erica Badgeley has a title that’s nearly longer than some dances – “A tiny ship in the vast outer space where the air is quiet and transparent.” What it really was about was a kind of Siberian Matchgirl imprisoned in a Gulag where the protagonist slowly goes nuts, ending up removing whatever protective outerwear might have saved her from becoming a human popsicle and then swirling around with her face up like a Dervish as snow descends.

Which, ironically, led us to Sonia Dawkins, “Freezeframe,” – a trio of females: Taylor Romar, Emma Sanford, and Amber Weiss who give us class-upped Burlesque à la Fosse, some contemporary funk with a slight modern dance flair to some soft oldies but goodies jazz. With the lighting just right, Dawkins’ tableaus were at times, golden.

Closing the first half, Quark Contemporary Dance Theatre’s “Once and Never Again,” by David Lorence Schleiffers began with the troupe standing and holding hands on a diagonal with an ‘outsider’ running around and up to them to be caught prone in midair. Quark’s ensemble of movers are dancers who don’t seem to have a high level of technical training yet move well and Schleiffers' work made use of their collective experience to make a short but interesting dance.

Opening the program, Bellingham Repertory Dance is a collective of very strong modern dancers, with good technique who were deployed in a piece by Josh Beamish. Moving in lit squares, often with settings of three and one, dancers Alona Christman, Vanessa Daines, Sylvia Graham, Angela Kiser, Ella Mahler, and Diane Williams attacked the motifs of “Trap Door Party [Isolation]”with fierce intensity, unison control, and fearlessness. My choreographic fuss is that Beamish, while stating his expository material well, never really developed it. Instead, he used repetition nearly exclusively in various iterations. The work ended, but not satisfactorily, never having gotten out of first and second gear.

The great American modern dance pioneer Doris Humphrey once gave the admonition when talking about making dances, “Never leave the ending to the end.” In other words, where does Beamish want to go with his piece? What does he want to say with it and what message should the audience to come away with? Compositionally, he should think about this first and then build a dance to get there. He gave us some strong visual images that, as he moves the pieces along, could be revised and reworked to make the overall effect stronger and more fully realized.

Speaking of endings, the pre-show and intermission program spaces were filled with The Sho’s “People Believe Themselves” where the dancers create on-site instant dances. In this case, rolling around on the floor and up the theatre’s interior foyer staircase and, during intermission, near an information table by the front entrance, taking an attenuated amount of time to end leaning against each other. These are the kind of dances where the end shape is the process – or where the improvisation is the process, with no particular end in sight, just a calling of the audiences back to their chairs. Ornamental but not intrusive, these were directed by Michael Rioux.

My only disappointment this year, as they did in 2010, they didn’t work in an enclosed stairwell that could only be viewed from the atrium convention center side of the theatre, which was fun as they made they way up some stairs, but which they decided to forego this round. Perhaps not enough potential audience on this side, or it didn’t meet fire code, blocking ingress/egress of dancers backstage. In any case, this kind of dance may make some audience members feel uncomfortable as it takes dance off and out of the stage – and it’s not appropriate for all dance, obviously those that are created with a proscenium in mind. It was fun having them “welcome” us as we came into the theatre experience.

Chop Shop: Bodies of Work producer and director Eva Stone is to be commended on many fronts, not the least of which is taking the vision, initiative, time, and care to pull together all of the many components it takes to mount an annual dance festival such as this one, including the funding.

Her pre-curtain remarks were long on charm – she “wrote” us a Valentine’s Day love letter that, through its wry and deft humor, made us listen and take notice. No wonder Stone is a creative whirlwind putting her art out there...and making an important outlet for similar impassioned contemporary dance makers.

She has announced that 2012's festival will be its fifth anniversary – that while plans are still fluid, she knows there will be lots of cake. I’m marking my calendar now.

Dean Speer

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