This fall, local dance icons and internationally acclaimed dance companies return to Seattle stages for a packed season of classical ballet, contemporary dance, Indigenous performance art and immersive theater. Here’s what to put on your dance card.
FALL ‘22 from Whim W’Him
Seattle contemporary dance company Whim W’Him opens its season with three world premieres from choreographers Keerati Jinakunwiphat, Dolly Sfeir and Nicole von Arx. Chosen by the company dancers in collaboration with artistic director Olivier Wevers, each piece represents vastly different styles of contemporary dance.
Sept. 9-11, 15-17 at Erickson Theatre, 1524 Harvard Ave., Seattle; tickets from $40. Sept. 14 at Vashon Center for the Arts, 19600 Vashon Highway S.W., Vashon; tickets from $35. whimwhim.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 intricate performance 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 to the affiliated after-parties and drag shows can be purchased separately at the door.
Sept. 15-18, 22-25; 12th Avenue Arts, 1620 12th Ave., Seattle; tickets from $20, velocitydancecenter.org
“Radio III / ᎦᏬᏂᏍᎩ ᏦᎢ”
Cherokee/Muscogee artist, composer and performer Elisa Harkins’ “Radio III / ᎦᏬᏂᏍᎩ ᏦᎢ” combines flowy choreography, intricate costumes, catchy rock music and honest discussions of the Indigenous experience. Created and performed with dancers Hanako Hoshimi-Caines of Montreal and Zoë Poluch of Stockholm.
Sept. 22-24; On the Boards, 100 W. Roy St., Seattle; tickets from $32; ontheboards.org
Pacific Northwest Ballet 50th Anniversary Season
Pacific Northwest Ballet’s 50th anniversary season opens Sept. 23 with PNB co-founder Kent Stowell’s “Carmina Burana.” Set to Carl Orff’s dramatic score, the production includes a giant moving Catherine wheel and a live chorus seated on a floating platform above the stage. George Balanchine’s cheerful 1956 classical ballet “Allegro Brillante” and a world premiere from Alexei Ratmansky complete the season opener. Sept. 23-Oct. 2
“The Seasons’ Canon,” the title piece for PNB’s November program from Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite, is set to Max Richter’s recomposition of Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons.” The program also includes George Balanchine’s “Duo Concertant” and a world premiere from Complexions Contemporary Ballet artistic director Dwight Rhoden. Nov. 4-13
McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., Seattle; tickets from $30; 206-441-2424, pnb.org
Becoming: At Home in the World
For Meany Center for the Performing Arts’ 2022-23 season, American contemporary dance pioneer Bill T. Jones curates a collection of contemporary dance encompassing the theme “what it takes to be a well-rounded citizen of the world in these fractious times.” A longtime champion of discussing the differences in human nature that drive us apart, Jones has a keen eye for distinguishing exceptional choreography representing the human condition.
The first presentation of the series is South African choreographer Robyn Orlin’s exploration of the 20th anniversary of the end of apartheid featuring performing artist Albert Ibokwe Khoza.
Abby Z and the New Utility’s new work, “Radioactive Practice,” utilizes movement studies from Indigenous dance, street dance and martial arts. Created by company director Abby Zbikowski and dramaturge Momar Ndiaye, the choreography resonates with back-alley, “Stomp”-style energy.
Robyn Orlin: Sept. 30-Oct.1; Abby Z: Oct. 27-29; Studio Theatre 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 swirl together in choreographer Zoe Scofield and visual artist Juniper Shuey’s “The Other Shore,” a new exploration of the changing relationships between performers and audiences. Instead of viewing a show from the comfort of a theater seat, audience members walk through the show with a docent and lie on the floor to watch the dancers from a perpendicular angle. “The Other Shore” is presented in two sections, running over two weekends with variations on the theme of changing boundaries.
“Always Now” runs Oct. 5-9; “Future Ancestors” runs Oct. 19-23; On the Boards, 100 West Roy St., Seattle; tickets from $32; ontheboards.org
Spectrum Dance Theater “Occurrence 11”
A mainstay of Seattle dance, Spectrum Dance Theater opens the season with “Occurrence 11,” a combination retrospective and re-imagining 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 in an examination of how perceptions of the past and present change, onstage and off.
Oct. 13-16, 20-23; 800 Lake Washington Blvd., Seattle; $20-$25, pay-what-you-can option available; spectrumdance.org
Dance Theatre of Harlem “Sounds of Hazel: The Hazel Scott Ballet”
The world-renowned dance company returns to Seattle with a full-length ballet set to the music of 20th-century jazz pianist, singer, and civil right activist Hazel Scott. Founded in 1969 by New York City Ballet’s Arthur Mitchell, Dance Theatre of Harlem’s style brings a solid classical ballet foundation to this fun, jazzy work.
Nov. 5; Paramount Theatre, 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 company’s new collaborative remake of Graham’s original 1952 work. Records of the original choreography no longer exist, but Graham’s central themes and movement philosophies are upheld in the new work, choreographed by eight choreographers and set to an original jazz score from composer Jason Moran.
Nov. 17-19; 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’s performances at the Erickson Theatre.