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Category: Contemporary dance


Ten Tiny Dances is back at Jazzbones, thanks to Tacoma’s MLKBallet

MLKBallet returns this weekend with Ten Tiny Dances, the evening of dance performance confined to a four-by-four-foot stage that they’ve produced in the past to great success. While the venues have varied from Annie Wright Great Hall to the SOTA theater, this Sunday it’s back at Jazzbones nightclub, where the audience surrounds the stage and the atmosphere’s relaxed.

Begun 10 years ago at a Portland bar and still produced by Portland choreographer Mike Barber, Ten Tiny Dances challenges dancers to invent solos, duos, even trios and quartets lasting around eight minutes each on a platform just

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Indie rock trapeze: Tallhouse Arts Consortium and Romanteek collaborate at Olympia’s Capitol Theater

The Tallhouse Arts Consortium trapeze ensemble. Courtesy photo.

It’s pure Olympia onstage: a grungy, bass-heavy indie rock band with mournful female vocals next to a group of muscly dancers performing on an assortment of aerial hoops, ropes and bars. The collaboration this Saturday night of the Tallhouse Arts Consortium trapeze ensemble with live band Romanteek isn’t just a loud, starkly lit trapeze show: It’s an example of Olympia artists doing highly original things in cool venues.

It’s also the first full-length narrative show from Tallhouse, a group of Olympians who got together a few years ago after taking aerial classes in Seattle circus schools and began practicing in a refurbished barn. You may have seen them doing their high-bar stuff at the Brotherhood Lounge or the Illuminated Ball. Now they’re branching out into an evening show.

In the words of the press release: “Set in the shadows of a dense wood, a dark heart, a deep sea, the show winds through an otherworldy soundscape. Tallhouse and Romanteek entangle in the human experience of struggle and synchronicity, among a crowd, between two people, within a single self…it is music.” Read more »


Metropolitan Ballet of Tacoma holds second annual Community Dance-a-Thon

Following the success of last year’s inaugural Community Dance-a-Thon, Metropolitan Ballet of Tacoma will hold the second annual fundraiser this Saturday at its studios. The 12-hour event offers community dance classes, including African dance, musical theater, modern, classical and Pilates.

Class participants ask friends and family to sponsor them per class taken, with all proceeds benefiting MBT; at the end at Grand Finale Dance Party will showcase all dancers for the sponsors.

According to the press release, the goal of the Dance-a-Thon is to gather professionals and students in a wide range of dance forms on the same day

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D.A.S.H. center kicks off summer choreographer series with Justin Bieber dancer Isaiah Spence this Friday night in Tacoma

Washington native Isaiah Spence, a dancer for artists such as Justin Bieber, Chris Brown and Kelly Rowland, will teach a Master Hip Hop Dance Class at the D.A.S.H. Center for the Arts this Friday night.

The class, for all ages with intermediate/advanced dance skills, is the first in the Center’s “Dances in Color” series of workshops highlighting the work of young African American choreographers. In August the guest teacher will be Anthony “Redd” Williams, who has danced and choreographed for Pink, Lady GaGa, Chris Brown and more.

The D.A.S.H. Center for the Arts offers classes in hip hop, modern

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Barefoot Collective presents “Ides of May” as part of Spaceworks Tacoma

This weekend sees a contemporary dance concert unusual in a number of ways. Firstly, it’s put on by the Barefoot Collective, but features not only their professional work but that of Gig Harbor High School students as a result of free workshops given there recently by the group. And secondly, it’s not at a theater: Instead, the show is at an empty storefront space on Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, as part of the Spaceworks program.

The high school workshops are new to Barefoot, a contemporary dance collective which has been giving creative and unusual performances over the last few years

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More flamenco in Tacoma at Washington Contemporary Ballet

A few weeks ago I wrote a profile of a Seattle-based flamenco dancer, Savannah Fuentes, who has been bringing herself and international flamenco musicians to the New Frontier Lounge, of all places, as well as up and down Puget Sound cities. I wrote that Tacoma isn’t known for flamenco, and that’s true, but if I implied that it doesn’t have any, then I certainly didn’t mean to. Marisela Fleites has been teaching flamenco with Metro Parks and Washington Contemporary Ballet, as well as performing with her company Tacoma Flamenca, for a number of years now, and the company

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Beatles, “Moulin Rouge” and more from the Tacoma Performing Dance Company

This weekend you can see dancers moving to everything from the Beatles through Tim Burton to “Moulin Rouge” in “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah,” the Tacoma Performing Dance Company’s Spring Concert at Stadium High. The company, part of the venerable Jo Emery Dance School, will premiere new works by artistic director Jo Emery (“Money,” staged to music by the O’Jays and “Almost Alice,” set to the Tim Burton movie score) as well as new work by choreographers Amity Howell-Sloboda (to four Beatles tunes) and Anna Herron (“The Color Green.”)

There’ll also be the can-can from the movie “Moulin Rouge,” and much more.

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On stage this weekend: the complete “Furniture Dances”

It’s the moment the dance community has been waiting for: The complete series of Robin Jaecklein’s “Furniture Dances,” at the SOTA theater this Friday and Saturday.

Over the last few years Jaecklein (who manages to combine a dancing and choreographic career with teaching at SOTA and managing an energetic young family) has been mounting these pieces one at a time – a rocking chair here, a bed there. The vibe is whimsical, with giant pieces of furniture based on Jaecklein’s own, elf-like costumes and mischievous gestures. The complete series of 11 (including “Couch,” “Bed,” “Chair,” “Chandelier,” “Table” and more) will

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