Acclaimed dancers create new work in residence on Vashon


Throughout July, Vashon is the temporary artistic base for eight acclaimed dancers from across the continent, who are here to create and film new work, for the Seattle Dance Collective’s upcoming season, “Here and Now.”

Seattle Dance Collective (SDC) has a special connection to Vashon – the company gave its first dance concert at the Vashon Center for the Arts in 2019. The company is directed by artistic directors Noelani Pantastico and James Yoichi Moore, both of whom are principal dancers at Pacific Northwest Ballet.

Pantastico, in an email, said the July residency on Vashon reaffirmed the company’s connection to Vashon.

“With the amazing artistic presence on the island, we know that great things can be produced here on Vashon,” she said. “The development of new works rarely receives the time and attention it needs, but with the support of the Vashon Artist Residency, the Vashon Center for the Arts, Open Space, as well as many other members of the community. , we’re on our way to creating three unique and compelling dance films.

On Vashon, Pantastico and Moore lead an ensemble of eight month-long residency dancers. The group includes members of SDC as well as dancers from Whim W’Him, FLOCK and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.

Choreographers Robyn Mineko Williams and FLOCK (Alice Klock and Florian Lochner) are also present at the residency, who watch the ensemble bring their new works to life in rehearsal at Open Space and the Vashon Center for the Arts. A new work by another choreographer, Juliano Nunes, will also be refined during the residency.

According to Pantastico, the residency gave all of these artists the time and space to create and come together as a team.

“In addition to getting our bodies back into action, the whole process has become organic and calm in this environment,” she said.

For the residence, SDC laid a 56ft x 36ft floating floor on the existing concrete floor of the Open Space Grand Hall to make the surface suitable for dancing. Laminate floors were brought to Vashon from Seattle by truck and will be removed upon completion of the residency.

Vashon Artist Residency, a new artist residency founded by islander Cathy Sarkowsky, welcomes a number of dancers and choreographers for their month on the island.

Sarkowsky said she and residence manager Hannah Hirsekorn were delighted to include SDC as residents during their inaugural summer.

Anything missing? Due to the uncertainty surrounding COVID when planning the residency, the SDC will not have a public performance as part of its July stay on Vashon.

But Elizabeth Dougherty, a representative for the company, said the dancers looked forward to when they could perform on the island again in the near future.

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