Sunday, January 11, 2015

                        CHOP SHOP: Bodies of Work 

                    A Contemporary Dance Festival


Now in its EIGHTH YEAR, this amazing Festival is again on the leading edge of great contemporary dance for the Eastside.  Nine dance companies will be presented in this year's edition of CHOP SHOP.  We are excited to bring such outstanding choreographers like  Alex Ketley (San Francisco), Asher Lev (Israel), Coriolis Dance (Seattle), Donald Sales (Vancouver, BC), Alana O Rogers (Seattle), Gabrielle Revlock (Philadelphia/NY), Lindsay Matheis (Portland/NY) and Jamie Karlovich (Seattle).  An amazing line up of artists, as well as master classes and an extensive and FREE community outreach program.  All the information about this unique event is found at  

Chop Shop:  Bodies of Work
February 14th, 2015 at 7:30pm
February 15th, 2015 at 3:00pm
The Theatre at Meydenbauer
11100 NE 6th St.
Bellevue, WA


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Chop Shop 2014 - Great Contemporary Dance With a Purpose…

When I put out the "Call to Artists" every June, I never have any idea who will apply or what will come my way.  This year, with over 70 applicants from all over the world, I curated a group of artists that I believe have one thing in common…their audience.

Each company that will be performing on February 15th and 16th at The Theatre at Meydenbauer has a unique 'thumbprint' - a creative voice and a choreographic approach that is clear, thoughtful, thought provoking, and engaged in how it is looked at.  Each artists/company is given 10 mins to connect and communicate with the viewer, and each piece being presented this year has the potential to rip your heart out…in one way or another.

I am fortunate to be presenting Grand Rapids Ballet (Artistic Director Patricia Barker) in their first Pacific Northwest performance.  They will be performing an excerpt from Black Swan White Swan, a contemporary version of the classical ballet.  Also on the menu is the return of Adam Barruch Dance with two beautiful solos created in a way that only Adam can do.  Spectrum Dance Theater is a staple, with the legendary Donald Byrd at the helm.  New this year is Anna Conner, a Seattle based choreographer with a wicked bite and a tremendous eye.  Also new to Chop Shop is Bryn Cohn, a New York based choreographer that understands the sensitivity of the human condition.  Rounding out the program is great work by Ballet Arkansas, Vincent Lopez, Price Suddarth and Gerard Regot from Barcelona, Spain.  

If you love modern/contemporary dance but have absolutely now idea what the hell it all means…you are not alone.  This art form continues to push boundaries and abstract itself from itself a million times over…and that is why I host "Reading Dance" lectures:  a free series of lec/dems that deconstruct the creative process.  You can catch one of these events in the theater (1:00 - 2:00 pm) prior to the Sunday performance. Check out the website for details.  

Tickets are on sale here!  Past performances have sold out so don't delay.  More info on the various artists, master classes and free outreach classes are here at  WWW.CHOPSHOPDANCE.ORG

Chop Shop:  Bodies of Work
February 15th, 2014 @ 7:30 pm
February 16th, 2014 @ 3:00 pm

The Theatre at Meydenbauer
11100 NE 6th St
Bellevue,WA  98004

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Less than a month away and everything falling into place.  The outreach classes are going very well and the master classes are filling up.  The mood of this year's festival is much different than last year's.  I think the stress of the 'five year mark' was mostly self generated, so this year is more of an exhale...and it shows in the work that has been curated.  (Last year was definitely more of an inhale.)  I'm excited to presenting all of my particular Bennyroyce Royon...who is a hometown boy with a big New York career yet he has never presented here, Josh Beamish, who's work is so detailed yet fluid like mercury, an artistic premier of sorts for Vincent Lopez,  who's emotional and beautiful work will close the show, and, of course, Spectrum Dance Theater with the incomparable Donald Byrd at the helm.  How unbelievably lucky am I to be surround by such gifted and  authentic artists?!  And the master amazing opportunity to dance and learn and for class fees and reservations.

Master Class Schedule:  

Saturday February 16th:

11:00 - 12:30     Int/Adv Ballet    Shayla Bott, Choreographer, Asst. Professor at BYU (Utah)
1:00 - 2:30         Int/Adv Contemporary     Vincent Lopez, Choreographer, Princlpal dancer
                                                                         at Spectrum Dance Theater, Seattle
3:00 - 4:30         Int/Adv Contemporary      Heather Dotto, Choreographer, Vancouver, B.C.

Sunday, February 17th:

10:00 - 11:30     Int/Adv Contemporary     Josh Beamish, Choreographer, New York
11:30 - 1:00       Int/Adv Contemporary      Bennyroyce Royon, Choreographer, New York
1:00 - 2:00         Reading Dance Lec/Dem  Eva Stone and Guests (Free!)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Chop Shop 2013 Is Underway!

Chop Shop:  Bodies of Work, A Contemporary Dance Festival, now in its sixth year is taking form.  The Artists have been curated and I couldn't be more excited about this year's installment.  Here's the line up:

MOVE: the company  - New York - Josh Beamish, Artistic Director

Vincent Lopez - Seattle - Choreographer (and principle dancer with Spectrum Dance Theater)

Mid Columbia Ballet - Richland, WA - Debra Rogo, Artistic Director

Andrew Bartee - Seattle - Choreographer (and PNB company member)

Shayla Bott & Company - Utah - Shayla Bott, Artistic Director

Kiyon Gaines - Seattle - Choreographer (and PNB company member)

The Stone Dance Collective - Bellevue - Eva Stone, Artistic Director

Heather Dotto - Vancouver, B.C. - Choreographer

Bennyroyce Royon - New York - Choreographer

Spectrum Dance Theater - Seattle - Donald Byrd, Artistic Director

Each of these companies/artists have a terrific story to tell and each will be bringing their unique work to the Theatre at Meydenbauer on Feb. 16th and 17th, 2013.

This will be definitely be a feast for the eyes...and the heart!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I just got realized my event is five days away...hey, not panicking! I am so excited and so fortunate to have such a strong line's going to be very hard to top this next year. Hope you all enjoy the performances and master classes and please feel free to give me feedback on what you liked and what you didn't!

In the meantime, got a few mins to shout out about Chop Shop on Art Zone!

See you this weekend!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Two weeks out and things are starting to take shape. Master classes are set and enrollment is off to a great start. The community outreach classes, Experience Dance, were amazing with record numbers of participants. I have almost 100 free tickets to give away to new dance lovers. Man, that feels good!

Trying not to stress over a gig on Art Zone tomorrow. How do I describe five years worth of work in 90 seconds? I guess I don't. I'm really going to try not to look like the world's biggest dork.

A journalist from Beijing, China want to write an article on Chop Shop. Things are really starting to get out of hand.... Tickets on sale now!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Here's the press release...but what it doesn't tell you is Donald Byrd is performing a solo...

StoneDance Productions and The Theatre at Meydenbauer


Chop Shop: Bodies of Work

A Contemporary Dance Festival

At The Theatre at Meydenbauer

Saturday, February 11th, 7:30 pm

Sunday, February 12th, 3:00pm


Bellevue, WA – November 30, 2011 - Now celebrating its FIFTH YEAR, Chop Shop: Bodies of Work is the only annual contemporary dance festival held specifically for the Eastside. Recognized as one of the most important dance events of the year, Chop Shop serves up a unique and prolific sampling of contemporary dance from leading national and international award-winning dance makers from the Pacific Northwest and beyond. The Festival features master classes and lectures by the Artistic Directors and Choreographers from the Festival as well as FREE community outreach programs (the Experience Dance Project in partnership with The City of Bellevue) geared to enhance the viewer's insight and experience. The Chop Shop Contemporary Dance Festival is dedicated to bringing great dance work to both new and seasoned audiences through experience, education and performance. Though each company/artist presented possesses their own individual voice, they are all unified in the contemporary language of dance and its power to stir the senses through the visceral moving image.

This is an event not to be missed! Last year’s sold out performances established Chop Shop as one of the most highly anticipated dance events in the greater Seattle/Eastside area.


“Reading Dance”: Experience a “behind the scenes” look at how contemporary dances are formed. Learn about meaning and imagery behind the choreographer’s unique movement language and explore how the creative process is developed and refined. This event is FREE on Sunday, February 12th at 1:00pm in the Theatre.

Master Classes (2/11 and 2/12) by the Artistic Directors and company members of the participating companies will be held during daytime hours of the festival in the Theater (Saturday and Sunday starting at 10:00 am.) Please call (206) 799-6004 for schedule and reservations. Classes are $18.00 each, three for $45.00 or five for $50.00.

See our promo:

Tickets are on sale now. Go to or call 1-800-838-3006.

Adults: $25.00

Students and Seniors: $20.00

Discounted Tickets for groups of 10 or more.

Meydenbauer Theater is located at 11100 NE 6th St., Bellevue, WA 98104

Chop Shop: Bodies of Work is funded in part by a generous grant and sponsorship from 4Culture, Seattle Weekly, The Bellevue Scene and The City of Bellevue Arts Program.

StoneDance Productions is an associated program of Shunpike.

Shunpike is a 501(c)(3) non-profit art service organization whose mission is to strengthen the Seattle arts community by partnering with small and mid-size arts groups to develop the business tools they need to succeed. Working in close partnership with these groups, Shunpike helps solve problems quickly and impart vital skills in finance, organizational management and arts administration.


NORTHWEST DANCE PROJECT: (Artistic Director: Sarah Slipper) NWDP was founded in Portland in 2004 by award-winning choreographer, dance mentor and principal dancer Sarah Slipper. She studied at the Royal Ballet School, was a principal dancer with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and appeared as a guest artist worldwide. She has worked with internationally renowned directors and choreographers such as Arnold Spohr, Rudi van Dantzig, Hans van Manen, Jirí Kylián and Agnes de Mille. Sarah Slipper served as Ballet Mistress of Alberta Ballet and Oregon Ballet Theatre, and teaches master classes throughout North America. She was awarded the Grand Prize for Choreography at the International Choreographic Competition at Saint Sauveur in 2000. Sarah has created over 20 works for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Ballet Jorgen, Louisville Ballet, Alberta Ballet, Ballet New York, Ballet Pacifica and The Jefferson Dancers. “A Fine Balance,” her pas de deux created during the inaugural Northwest Dance Project, was a finalist for the prestigious Benois de la Danse award in 2006 and was performed at the Bolshoi Theatre as part of the award's gala celebration.

Northwest Dance Project is dedicated to the creation and performance of innovative, contemporary new dance works from established and emerging dance makers. Dance International Magazine proclaimed that NWDP is "changing the way dance is created…” and Dance Spirit Magazine called them "a true original." The company earned the coveted Audience Award at the prestigious 25th annual Hannover Choreographic Festival in Germany in April of 2011 as well as the Sadler's Wells 2011 Global Dance Contest and will perform in London in June as part of the 2012 Olympics Arts Festival. NWDP will be presenting “A Short History of Walking” by award winning Portuguese choreographer André Mesquita. (

SANDSTROMMOVEMENT: (Artistic Director: Ellie Sandstrom) Ellie Sandstrom is a choreographer, performer and dance educator, originally from Minneapolis. She is a "Spotlight Award" winner from Seattle Magazine and was a featured artist in a book entitled "Seattle 100". Since receiving her BFA from Cornish College of the Arts, she has worked for many dance makers and local companies, including Scott/Powell Performance and locust (from 2000-2010), as well Mark Haim, Dayna Hansen and countless others. Her choreographic work with SANDSTOMMOVEMENT, formed in 2008, has been produced by organizations such as On the Boards, Velocity Dance Center and Perpich Center for the Arts, and has been commissioned by companies such as Seattle Dance Project and Washington Ensemble Theater, among others. Working closely with her musical collaborator, Chad Beieler, Sandstrom will present “the Series For”, a work that aims to unfurl physical responses through movement, sound and lighting. (

MOVE: the company: (Artistic Director: Josh Beamish) In just six short years, MOVE: the company has emerged as one of Western Canada’s most prolific dance companies. Founded in 2005 by current Artistic Director, Josh Beamish, the company has performed across North America at venues such as Montreal’s Tangente and Studio 303, NYC’s Joyce SoHo and San Francisco’s The Garage. MOVE: the company recently received the distinction of a commission from the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC, as well as the only choreographic residency ever awarded to a Western Canadian by the Djerassi Program in San Francisco, CA. The company performed at the 15th Anniversary of the International Ballet Festival in Miami and then continued on to the Quinzena de Danca Festival in Portugal. In October 2010, MOVE: the company had the honor of participating as the only non-Aboriginal Canadian dance company selected by curators Cirque du Soleil for WORLD EXPO 2010 in Shanghai, China, performing the Closing Gala of the Canadian Pavilion. The company most recently performed at the 2011 International Children’s Winter Games and debuted the Alcan Award winning Firebird 2011 in collaboration with Turning Point Ensemble at the Cultch. Josh’s commissioned works have been performed by Toronto Dance Theatre, Sylvain Brochu, Halifax Dance, Ballet Kelowna, Dance Saskatchewan, the Universities of Alberta and Missouri, Ballet Jorgen, Bellingham Repertory Dance and Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance in Kansas City. He is the recipient of a 2009 City of Vancouver Mayor's Arts Award and the 2008 Globe and Mail Dance Award. MOVE: the company will present an excerpt from Beamish’s “Allemande”, described by dance critic Michael Crabb from the Toronto Star as, “…a finely honed dance for three men and three women that bristles with movement intention, musical insight and subtle observations about human manners, decorum and the passions that lie beneath them.” (

JASON OHLBERG: Jason has been making dances for the past 15 years. After years of dancing professionally with companies such as Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and Dance Kaleidoscope, he formed his own company, Same Planet Different World Dance Theater in Chicago. Ohlberg's work has been seen all over the United States but most recently at Men in Dance, Cornish Dance, ARC Dance, Fremont Danceworks, Seattle Children's Theater, Chop Shop and Lehua Dance Theater. Jason is excited to be linking up with members of Cool Legumes and Coriolis Dance Theater for this upcoming performance. Ohlberg’s new work, “Apocalyptic Lullaby”, is a soulful dance piece exploring the emotional themes that accompany the societal fear of an apocalyptic future. Set to music by the Wailin Jennys, the theme of this work plays in counterpoint with lush phrasing and rich compositional texture.

BELLINGHAM REPERTORY DANCE: BRD is a collective of accomplished dancers dedicated to bringing vibrant contemporary dance to Bellingham. Established in 2005, BRD has built a reputation for producing fresh, engaging, diverse, audience-pleasing concerts that appeal both to established modern dance enthusiasts as well as new audiences. Past choreographers include Deborah Wolf, Wade Madsen, Josh Beamish, Kate Digby, among others. The company produces two large concerts a year - a fall show of new repertory by guest choreographers and a spring show that includes company choreography and collaboration with writers. BRD will present an excerpt from renown choreographer Daniel Stark’s “Politics, Religion, Sex”. Stark has also set dances on the Beijing Dance Academy in China, Quad Cites Ballet in Illinois, the Aha! Dance Theatre in Kansas City, 940 Dance Company in Kansas, Vandance Inc. in Pennsylvania, and Duarte Dance Works in Iowa City. His choreography has been seen at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. as part of the National ACDF Conference. He was the recipient of the Outstanding Performer Award at the Regional ACDF festival in ’04 and was awarded the Iowa Arts Fellow in ’02. (

DONALD BYRD: Donald Byrd became Artistic Director of Seattle’s Spectrum Dance Theater in December 2002. From 1978-2002, he was Artistic Director of Donald Byrd/The Group, a critically acclaimed contemporary dance company, founded in Los Angeles and later based in New York, that toured extensively, both nationally and internationally. He has created over 80 modern dance works for his own groups as well as the Alvin Ailey Company, the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, and Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco), among others. He has choreographed for classical companies, including Pacific North west Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, Aterballetto, MaggioDanza diFirenze, and Oregon Ballet Theater. His most recent works for Spectrum include a cycle of three evening-length works called Beyond Dance: Promoting Awareness and Mutual Understanding (PAMU), which featured World Premieres of A Chekhovian Resolution, created with Israeli choreographers Nir Ben Gal and Liat Dror; Farewell: A Fantastical Contemplation on America’s Relationship with China; and most recently, The Mother of Us All, a complex meditation on contemporary Africa. In 2010, Spectrum Dance Theater performed Byrd's interpretation of a John Zorn composition at the Guggenheim Museum’s Works & Progress series. Donald Byrd has served on the faculty of the California Institute for the Arts and taught at Wesleyan University, the School of Visual Arts, Harvard Summer Dance Center, California State University Long Beach, and UC Santa Cruz, and currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Dance Theater Workshop in New York. He was a fellow at The Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue at Harvard for three years. Byrd also served for three terms on the Seattle Arts Commission. In 2006, he received a TONY nomination for his choreography for The Color Purple. In 2011, Byrd was awarded a Mayor’s Arts Award for his sustained contributions to the City of Seattle and was selected among the first group of Fellows to the American Academy in Jerusalem, a program of the Foundation for Jewish Culture. (

ADAM BARRUCH DANCE: (Artistic Director: Adam Barruch) Adam began his career as a young actor, performing professionally on Broadway and in film and television--working with prominent figures such as Tony Bennett, Jerry Herman and Susan Stroman. He later received dance training at LaGuardia High School for Music & Art and Performing Arts. After three years, he graduated early and was accepted into the dance department at The Juilliard School. Adam's work has been presented at Dance Theater Workshop, Jacob’s Pillow: Inside/Out, City Center, The Juilliard School, Cunningham Studio, Ailey-Citigroup Theater, SUNY Purchase, New York University, Cedar Lake Theater, The Harris Theater in Chicago and Theatre Usine C in Montreal. Adam has created solo work for modern dance icon Margie Gillis, and most recently is a participant in the 2011 Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation New Directions Choreography Lab made possible by generous support from the Ford Foundation. Adam will present “folie à deux”, inspired by the French phrase for "a madness shared by two”, this work explores the interior landscapes of two people whose acts of intimacy are, in truth, the fantasy that veils their actual demise. (

PENNY HUTCHINSON: Penny, a Seattle native, was a founding member of the Mark Morris Dance Group and has lived and worked in danced in Seattle, NYC, Belgium, Denmark, Singapore and Germany. She was a recipient of the New York Dance and Performance BESSIE Award in 1990. Her choreography has been performed at the Green Street Studios Boston, Substation in Singapore, Electric Lodge in Venice California, The Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida, NYC's 92nd Street Y's "Molissa Fenley and Friends", Leo K. Theater (Seattle Center) for 3 seasons with ARC Dance, Seattle International Dance Festival's “Spotlight on Seattle”, and is currently working on the Liebeslider Waltzer by Brahms with Inverse Opera for Seattle Dance Project. She has collaborated with New Jersey visual artist Sarah Wolfe; composers Fei Wu of Beijing, Michael Bajuk of Bellingham, WA, and Vyautus Germanavicius of Lithuania and architect and set designer Regan McClellan, Seattle. She has choreographed and assistant directed for opera and theater with directors, Peter Sellars, Tony Taccone, and Stephen Wadsworth. She is currently on faculty at Western Washington University. Hutchinson will present “Alien Dances”, a trio of unearthly sorts with music by Lithuanian composer Vyautus Germanavicius.

THE STONE DANCE COLLECTIVE: (Artistic Director: Eva Stone) Eva’s company originated in London, England in 1993 and became a permanent part of the Seattle/Eastside dance community in 1995. Her approach to choreography, evolved from learning the art form in reverse (choreography before technique) is unique with its intent based in humor, authentic human connection and emotion. Her work has been presented at On the Boards, Men in Dance, the ArtsEdge Festival, Bumbershoot and the Seattle International Dance Festival where she also served as guest curator. Her work has been commissioned throughout the Northwest on companies such as Spectrum Dance Theater, Seattle Dance Project, Bellingham Repertory Dance, Whidbey Island Dance Theatre, Peninsula Dance Theatre, ARC Dance, Fremont Danceworks and others. As a commissioned choreographer for Regional Dance America/Pacific she has made works for South Bay Ballet in Los Angeles and Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre. Her work has been presented in both Europe and Russia. “Pinata”, is a new work by Stone that is inspired by irrational thought and the processes we use to convince ourselves that a bad idea is a good one.

KHAMBATTA DANCE COMPANY: (Artistic Director: Cyrus Khambatta) Since moving to Seattle from New York City in 2001, Khambatta Dance Company (formerly Phffft!) has presented works to over 30,000 people abroad, on West Coast and here in Washington. Cyrus founded Phffft! while at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, studying dance and theater. His choreographic works have been presented in twelve US states, throughout Europe, in Russia, Latin America and Canada, commissioned by companies such as Ririe Woodbury Dance (Utah), Pisorrojo (Venezuela), Spectrum Dance Theatre, Evergreen City Ballet as well as KDC and others. His work has received California's Damen New Choreography Award, a 2006 Artistic Leadership grant (Paul G. Allen Foundation), National Endowment for the Arts support and he is currently Artist in Residence at Seattle University. The company presents a summer dance program in Pennsylvania and produces the Seattle International Dance Festival ( Its most recent work, India Calling, co-commissioned by Kirkland Performances Center and Mryna Loy Center for the Arts in Montana, explores how personality traits and even our movement may be inherited. The work premieres March 16, 2012 at Kirkland Performance Center ( KDC will present “Centrifugal Force,” a piece that begins with the concept of having all the movement rotate in a counterclockwise direction, just as the Earth rotates as seen from the North Star. (

BodyVox: (Artistic Directors: Jamey Hampton and Ashley Roland) Led by the Emmy Award-winning choreographers Jamey Hampton and Ashley Roland, BodyVox is known for its visual virtuosity, distinctive wit and unique ability to combine dance, theater and film into breathtaking productions rich in imagery, athleticism and humor. Created in 1997 to fulfill a commission from Portland Opera, the company has since created eleven original shows (including three operas), and toured both nationally and internationally to critical acclaim. Adding to its full-evening shows and repertory pieces, BodyVox’s films have won numerous awards in national and international festivals. “Modern Daydreams” – composed of “Treadmill Softly,” “Islands in the Sky,“ Unleashed” and “Deere John” – won the prestigious American Choreography Award for Outstanding Achievement in Short film in 2002. Jamey Hampton and Ashley Roland, in collaboration with award winning filmmaker Mitchell Rose, present two dance works, “Advance” (2009) and “Deere John” (2000). (