Dance in the ‘Extreme’ Kicks Off a Robust Series
Daredevil dancers open an exciting series of performances at the UW’s Meany Center, and a robust lineup of new dance works take stage around Seattle in January.
Meany Center: STREB EXTREME ACTION presents Time Machine: From Ringside to Extreme Action
A retrospective where dance and daredevils converge
Runs 1/20-22. In Seattle (UW main campus)
Over what’s left of January, Seattle’s stages are teeming with new dance works. But for Elizabeth Streb’s New York-based company, new work begins with looking back. Her dancers will perform a retrospective of her work, attempting to capture both the old and the new, at the UW’s Meany Center on January 20-22.
Streb’s company, amusingly (but aptly) called STREB EXTREME ACTION, dubs its performers Action Heroes who play in the overlap between dancer and daredevil — flying high, incorporating big acrobatic machinery, and welcoming big falls.
The latest composition, Time Machine: From Ringside to Extreme Action (2021), explores Streb’s earlier work building into the current explosive form. Per the company’s own summation, Time Machine revisits the company’s roots “with a retrospective of Elizabeth Streb’s classic solos from the ‘70s and ‘80s, experimentations from the ‘90s, and jaw-dropping extreme action opuses on the large-scale ‘action machines’ the company has become known for in the 21st century.”
If the past is a guide, Streb’s company is not likely to perform in Seattle again anytime soon: their last visit was 15 years ago. Their giant-scale performance style is likely one reason; it’s hard to imagine many stages well-suited for the intimacy of a technical performance (no arenas, please) with the loftiness the work requires.
It’s that rarity and vastness — plus our collective need for distraction right now — that make Time Machine a must-see for fans of dance and daring.
STREB EXTREME ACTION kicks off a dance season at Meany that’s rather loaded with talent.
In March, the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company explores issues of identity, community, and isolation in What Problem? In April, Mark Morris — who hails from Seattle and performs here semi-regularly — returns with his Mark Morris Dance Group & Music Ensemble to perform “three joyous works.” Also in April, Third Coast Percussion combines with choreographers of Movement Art Is in the new music and dance production, Metamorphosis. And in May, the dancer-illusionists of MOMIX reimagine Alice in Wonderland in Alice.
Tickets for STREB EXTREME ACTION are $49-$61. Tickets and information on the full season are available here.
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More in Dance This Month
Velocity Dance Center: Bridge Project 2022 @ Base
A pressure cooker for hot & fresh new works
Runs 1/27-30. In Seattle (Georgetown)
Velocity’s Bridge Project 2022 is underway, with three choreographers creating new works “in the pressure cooker of a three-week residency.” That culminates in performances at Base Arts + Space, inside the Equinox Studios in Georgetown.
The artists and their works are: Elise Beers Aachix̂Qağaduug’s exploration of Indigenous pride and persistence, inspired by light and color in the night sky; Ashley Menestrina‘s examination of women’s ongoing work to claim space in a society intent on defining and binding it; and “Dream Box” by Stasia Coup (Artie Thomas), in which a gay trans man explores his anatomy with unconventional drag and the power of play.
Tickets for the three-show performance are $22-$54 (sliding scale available for all), here.
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Throughout January, several other stages will host brand new works:
January 20-30: Dance students at Cornish College of the Arts will present their New Moves through a virtual-only showing.
January 20-23: Faye Driscoll returns to On the Boards for the third installment of her series, Thank You for Coming: Space. [Update 1/14: This show has been postponed, date TBD.]
January 21-27: Whim W’Him presents new works by Ethan Colangelo, Jakevis Thomason, and Olivier Wevers in New Creations: Winter 2022. Performances start and end in Seattle at Cornish Playhouse, with performances on Vashon and Whidbey Islands in between.
January 25-26: Washington Ensemble Theatre hosts the latest in its long-running Six Pack Series, which showcases new work in several genres (including dance).
Ticketing links for most shows can be found on the Performance Calendar page here.
Chase D. Anderson is Editor & Producer of NWTheatre.org.