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Category: dance – ballet

April
30th

Tacoma documentary on the MLK Ballet dance company by Mick Flaaen screens next Wednesday at the Washington State History Museum for the Seattle True Independent Film Festival

The Moving Company performs "Funeral" in Mick Flaaen's film "A Funeral Dance." Courtesy image.
The Moving Company performs “Funeral” in Mick Flaaen’s film “A Funeral Dance.” Courtesy image.

Next Wednesday night, two things are combining in the theater of the Washington State History Museum: the Seattle True Independent  Film Festival is making a debut appearance in Tacoma, and T-town filmmaker Mick Flaaen is seeing the final-cut screening of his fascinating 2012 documentary “A Funeral Dance,” capturing the backstage drama at MLK Ballet’s Moving Company as they prepare a new show.

For both festival and filmmaker, it’s a big deal.

“Any time you get into a festival, it’s a big deal,” says Flaaen, who caught STIFF’s attention last year with his short film “Paint” about Tacoma’s graffiti murals. “It’s so competitive now because of digital film. Festivals used to get around a thousand entries; now they’re getting three times that. Sundance got 11,000 entries last year.”

But Flaan is proving he’s got competitive chops. Read more »

April
26th

Critic’s Picks: Tacoma Performing Dance Company, Haimovitz/O’Riley at the Rialto, Gaelic at Museum of Glass and Salish Sea Early Music fest at Trinity Lutheran, Tacoma

 

The Tacoma Performing Dance Company in "Carmen Variations." Courtesy photo.
The Tacoma Performing Dance Company in “Carmen Variations.” Courtesy photo.

Tacoma Performing Dance Company offers new choreography at Stadium

The spring show for the Tacoma Performing Dance Company goes from brand-new choreography by director Jo Emery set to both country-and-western and Adèle, to ballroom-inspired work, to a “Chicago” number, to the ballet works “Carmen Variations” and “Tinkerbelles Fairies.” 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. April 27. $22 adults/$18 youth. Stadium High School performing arts center, 111 N. E St., Tacoma. 253-759-5714, tacomaperformingdance.org

Haimovitz and O’Riley fuse classical and rock at Rialto

Bending genres in a unique collaboration this Saturday are pianist Chritsopher O’Riley, host of NPR’s “From The Top” and acclaimed recording artist, and cellist Matt Haimovitz, in a program blending Radiohead, Arcade Fire and Blonde Redhead seamlessly with Stravinsky, Piazzolla and Bach. 7:30 p.m. April 27. $19-$54. Rialto Theater, 310 S. 9th St., Tacoma. 253-591-5894, broadwaycenter.org

Gaelic songs at Museum of Glass Read more »

Dec.
20th

One more “Nutcracker,” this time from Charisma School of Dance in Lakewood

If you haven’t had your fill of “The Nutcracker” ballet yet, and don’t want the trek (or high prices) of Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle, you’ve still got one more choice. This Friday night Charisma School of Dance in Lakewood offers its version of the traditional ballet that’s “sweet and sassy.”

From the press release: “Because Charisma offers styles of dance other than ballet, it was decided to embellish the usual Nutcracker offerings with some appropriate tap, jazz, and hip-hop numbers. Charisma also embellished the plot a bit. Because ballet is so important to the dancer, regardless of style

Read more »

April
23rd

Inventive, powerful dance from Tacoma City Ballet at Theatre on the Square

TCB choreographer Joel Myers and dance partner. Photo: Jesse Michener.

It was a small but enthusiastic audience in Tacoma’s Theatre on the Square last Saturday night to see a dance renaissance – Tacoma City Ballet blooming like spring daffodils with an evening’s worth of inventive and often brand-new choreography, all home-grown and sparkling with new ideas, live music and mostly skillful execution, in the Spring Dance Extravaganza.

Ballet schools all over Tacoma hold shows in spring. For most of them it’s a chance to show off what students have learned during the year, and that’s true of TCB also; its corps de ballet is comprised of school-age dancers still learning the trade. But the difference comes with the principals: all seasoned, all skillful, and worthy of the creative choreography thrown at them. Read more »

Aug.
31st

Washington Contemporary Ballet moves to University Place

Washington Contemporary Ballet has relocated from its old South Tacoma studio to University Place. The move was partly for space reasons and partly to move to a better location for students, says director Ken Kaiser.

The dance studio teaches ballet, jazz, tap and flamenco to all ages.

WCB will celebrate the new digs with a grand reopening celebration from 2-6 p.m. on Sept. 10. There’ll be a tour, barbecue and a bounce house for kids. You can also register for the new season of classes. 8315 27th St. W., University Place. 253-474-4312, www.wcbdance.org

April
11th

Pacific Northwest Ballet’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” casts a spell at Seattle’s McCaw Hall

Pacific Northwest Ballet corps de ballet dancer Kiyon Gaines as Bottom and principal dancer Carrie Imler as Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, choreographed by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust. Photo © Angela Sterling.

Beneath a canopy of wild roses and columbine, the dancers of the Pacific Northwest Ballet wove an enchanting spell last weekend in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” A remount of the 1962 choreography by George Balanchine, staged for PNB 14 years ago by Francia Russell, this PNB favorite is still replete with charm, featuring a delightful children’s corps and some excellent dancing and acting from the principals to complement the fairy-tale sets and costume.

One of Balanchine’s most famous ballets, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is unusual for this Russian-born American choreographer, the lavish kind of story-ballet he mostly despised. But it’s also one of his best. The choreography combines nimble, creative vocabulary with Balanchine’s perfect eye for tableaux, which the PNB dancers executed in perfect alignment – Puck and the fairies in pyramid, Titania’s retinue laced like a cobweb across the stage, the butterflies collapsed in a heap.

Balanchine also tells this well-known Shakespeare story with clarity, and here the PNB soloists also shone. Read more »

April
14th

Dances of many styles (including Bollywood) at PLU this weekend

Pacific Lutheran University students will bring a wide variety of movement styles to campus during “Dance Ensemble” this weekend.

The event, featuring Bollywood, Modern, Ballet and Step, will be in the Eastvold Auditorium on the PLU campus Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Thirteen original dance numbers will be performed by the university’s School of Arts and Communication. The ensemble is directed by Associate Professor Maureen McGill.

Read more from the press release….
Read more »

Dec.
9th

New guest artists, same wonderful sets and dancing at Pacific Northwest Ballet’s “Nutcracker”

PNB-Nutcracker8It’s always a dilemma – do you support local Tacoma ballet companies dancing “The Nutcracker” or do you make the crowded-freeway/nightmare-parking/expensive-ticket trek to the Seattle Center to see the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s highly acclaimed version with sets by Maurice Sendak? This year, I’m trying to do both.

On Saturday night I did PNB. For 23  years now our nationally-famous Seattle company has done this version, and it’s still marvellous. Thanks to the new film of “Where the Wild Things Are,” the sets by kids’ author Maurice Sendak take on a whole new look: the Stahlbaum’s pink-and-blue Rococo Christmas party where Clara gets her Nutcracker toy, the pale snow scene with lacy stage wings, Clara and the Prince’s magical boat trip (with a Wild Thing peering out from behind an island) and finally the lush palace of the Pasha where all those exotic candy dances are performed.

The dancing, too, is always excellent at PNB. Read more »