Sometimes I get jealous of Seattle. Not only am I a huge fan of the rain and good coffee, but they have so much great contemporary ballet!
Aside from the obvious high-quality dancing of Pacific Northwest Ballet, two new companies have recently emerged in the dance-rich city, both directed by former or current PNB dancers: Seattle Dance Project in 2007 and Whim W'him in 2009. There's a lot of cross-pollination between all three troupes, sharing both choreographers and dancers. One of the most interesting artists who has made work for all three is Olivier Wevers, a principal at PNB and the director of Whim W'him. His pieces take ballet away from contemporary cliches, and truly integrate a classical foundation with modern movement and ideas.
You can catch a taste of his work this weekend. Seattle Dance Project is premiering the full-length Project Orpheus, with choreography by three different dance-makers: Wade Madsen, Eva Stone and Wevers. See a preview of the production here.
There will be a pay-what-you-can dress rehearsal tomorrow night at 7 pm (rsvp email@example.com) and talk backs after each performance, September 17-25. Find out more at www.seattledanceproject.org.