Well, I was busy this weekend. Apart from an illuminating concert from the Northwest Sinfonietta (to find out just what difference a conductor makes, go here for the review) I also went along to the Barefoot Collective‘s latest evening show at the Merlino Arts Center. The review’s here, but I just have to say that seeing what Barefoot and Tacoma City Ballet are doing in that building to create a multi-discipline, collaborative arts center is inspiring. The two very different dance companies share rehearsal space, collaborate on projects, join each other in class and even dance in each other’s shows (watch out for Barefoot’s Katie Stricker as The Mouse King in TCB’s upcoming “Nutcracker.”) The building also includes the Merlino artist loft studios, which TCB director Erin Ceragioli includes in her gallery evenings, and of course Two Vaults gallery and The Grand Cinema.
The other side of the dance triangle in the Merlino is MLKBallet. The tuition-free ballet school isn’t officially housed there – they give classes along the street at Urban Grace. But they often hold shows there, and some MLK dancers will also star in the TCB “Nutcracker”: Kate Monthy as the Snow Queen, Joel Myers as the Cavalier.
But you can see them sooner than that. MLKBallet is presenting it’s 15th Move! dance concert this weekend on Friday and Saturday. It’s not at the Merlino, but at the black-box SOTA theater (and to be honest, this is a lot better for contemporary dance than the gilt-edged, purple-ruffled TCB ballroom, beautiful though that space is.) The program features dancers from MLK, Seattle’s Spectrum, the Robin Jaecklein-run Tacoma Dance Collective (haven’t seen them for a while!) and Barefoot themselves. Proceeds go to MLK’s classes.
Move! shows at 7 p.m. Nov. 20, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Nov. 21. $12 advance/$15 at door. SOTA Theater, 1118 Commerce St., Tacoma. 253-906-2190, www.brownpapertickets.com