This fall, local dance icons and internationally acclaimed dance companies return to Seattle stages for a jam-packed season of classical ballet, contemporary dance, Indigenous performance art and immersive theatre. Here’s what to put on your dance card.
AUTUMN ’22 by Whim W’Him
Seattle contemporary dance company Whim W’Him opens its season with three world premieres by choreographers Keerati Jinakunwiphat, Dolly Sfeir and Nicole von Arx. Chosen by the company’s dancers in collaboration with artistic director Olivier Wevers, each piece represents very different styles of contemporary dance.
September 9-11, 15-17 at the Erickson Theater, 1524 Harvard Ave., Seattle; tickets from $40. September 14 at the Vashon Center for the Arts, 19600 Vashon Highway SW, Vashon; tickets from $35. caprice.org
Drama Tops “Boys! Boys! Boys!”
Using Seattle’s changing social and economic landscape as a muse, dancer/choreographers Elby Brosch and Shane Donohue present fast-paced, technically complex performances rooted in local queer culture. “Boys! Boys! Boys!” examines how gay male capitalist culture relates to their own white privilege and identity as dancers in Seattle’s struggling arts economy. Tickets for affiliated after-parties and drag shows can be purchased separately at the door.
Sept. 15-18, 22-25; 12th Avenue Arts, 1620 12th Avenue, Seattle; tickets from $20, Velocitydancecenter.org
“Radio III / ᎦᏬᏂᏍᎩ ᏦᎢ”
“Radio III / ᎦᏬᏂᏍᎩ ᏦᎢ” by Cherokee/Muscogee artist, composer and performer Elisa Harkins combines fluid choreography, intricate costumes, upbeat rock music and honest discussions of the Indigenous experience. Created and performed with dancers Hanako Hoshimi-Caines from Montreal and Zoë Poluch from Stockholm.
September 22-24; On the Boards, 100 W. Roy St., Seattle; tickets from $32; ontheboards.org
Pacific Northwest Ballet 50th Anniversary Season
Pacific Northwest Ballet 50th Anniversary Season opens September 23 with “Carmina Burana” by PNB co-founder Kent Stowell. Set to a dramatic score by Carl Orff, the production features a giant moving Catherine wheel and a live choir seated on a floating platform above the stage. The joyful 1956 classical ballet “Allegro Brillante” by George Balanchine and a world premiere by Alexei Ratmansky round out the season opener. Sept. 23-Oct. 2
“The Seasons’ Canon”, the centerpiece of PNB’s November program by Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite, is set to Max Richter’s recomposition of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons”. The program also includes George Balanchine’s “Duo Concertant” and a world premiere by Complexions Contemporary Ballet’s artistic director, Dwight Rhoden. November 4-13
McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., Seattle; tickets from $30; 206-441-2424, pnb.org
Becoming: at home in the world
For the Meany Center for the Performing Arts’ 2022-23 season, American contemporary dance pioneer Bill T. Jones is curating a collection of contemporary dance around the theme “what it takes to be a complete global citizen in these times.” agitated”. A longtime champion of discussing the differences in human nature that separate us, Jones has a keen eye for distinguishing exceptional choreography depicting the human condition.
The first presentation in the series is South African choreographer Robyn Orlin’s exploration of the 20th anniversary of the end of apartheid with performance artist Albert Ibokwe Khoza.
Abby Z and New Utility’s new work, ‘Radioactive Practice’, uses movement studies from Indigenous dance, street dance and martial arts. Created by company director Abby Zbikowski and playwright Momar Ndiaye, the choreography resonates with the energy of a sidewalk à la “Stomp”.
Robyn Orlin: Sept. 30-Oct. 1; Abby Z: October 27-29; Studio Theater at Meany Hall, 4040 George Washington Lane, University of Washington, Seattle; tickets from $28; 206-543-4880, meanycenter.org
zoe | juniper “The Other Shore”
Contemporary dance, video, technology and immersive theater intertwine in “The Other Shore” by choreographer Zoe Scofield and visual artist Juniper Shuey, a new exploration of the changing relationships between performers and audience. Instead of watching a performance from the comfort of a theater seat, audience members walk through the show with a guide and lie on the floor to watch the dancers from a perpendicular angle. “L’Autre Rive” is presented in two parts, taking place over two weekends with variations on the theme of changing borders.
“Always Now” runs October 5-9; “Future Ancestors” runs October 19-23; On the boards, 100 West Roy St., Seattle; tickets from $32; ontheboards.org
Spectrum Dance Theater “Occurrence 11”
Seattle’s dance mainstay, Spectrum Dance Theater opens the season with “Occurrence 11,” a combination of retrospective and reimagining of the company’s existing works. Artistic director Donald Byrd developed the first Occurrence performance in 2016 and this show will be the 11th iteration of an examination of how perceptions of the past and present are changing, on and off stage.
Oct. 13-16, 20-23; 800 Lake Washington Blvd., Seattle; $20 to $25, pay-as-you-go option available; Spectrumdance.org
Harlem Dance Theater “Sounds of Hazel: The Hazel Scott Ballet”
The world-renowned dance company returns to Seattle with a full ballet set to the music of 20th-century jazz pianist, singer, and civil rights activist Hazel Scott. Founded in 1969 by Arthur Mitchell of New York City Ballet, the style of Dance Theater of Harlem brings a solid classical ballet foundation to this fun, jazzy work.
November 5; Paramount Theater, 911 Pine St., Seattle; tickets from $25; stgpresents.org
Martha Graham Dance Company “Canticle for Innocent Comedians”
Often referred to as “the mother of modern dance,” Martha Graham’s “Canticle for Innocent Comedians” comes to Seattle with the new collaborative remake of Graham’s original 1952 work. Recordings of the original choreography no longer exist, but Graham’s central themes and philosophies of movement are maintained in the new work, choreographed by eight choreographers and set to an original jazz score by composer Jason Moran.
17-19 Nov; Katharyn Alvord Gerlich Theater at Meany Hall, 4040 George Washington Lane, University of Washington, Seattle; tickets from $63; meanycenter.org
This story has been updated with the correct dates for Whim W’Him performances at the Erickson Theater.