Get into ballet history with Jerome Robbins at PNB. Then branch out with contemporary work at Whim W’Him, Velocity Dance Center, and On The Boards.
Jerome Robbins Festival: This year marks the centennial of Robbins’ birth, and Pacific Northwest Ballet (whose artistic director, Peter Boal, worked with Robbins for many years at New York City Ballet) is celebrating with a big bouquet of the choreographer’s ballets, presented in two different groupings. Program A is “Circus Polka,” “In the Night,” “West Side Story Suite,” “Afternoon of a Faun” and “Other Dances”; program B is “Circus Polka,” “The Concert” and “Dances at a Gathering.” If you can see both, do: I’d be hard pressed to choose between such riches. If forced to recommend one program, I’d say that Robbins’ masterpiece “Dances at a Gathering” is one of the most delicately moving works in PNB’s repertory — it’s almost startlingly intimate, filled with quiet stories — and that seeing it paired with the sparkling comedy of “The Concert” seems an appropriate tribute to Robbins, who moved throughout his career between ballet and Broadway. Either way, you’ll get a glorious evening of dance. Sept. 21-29; Pacific Northwest Ballet; McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., Seattle; $30-$189; 206-441-2424, pnb.org — Moira Macdonald
Fall Arts Guide
- A guide to the Seattle art world, for newcomers and locals alike
- How to navigate the Seattle art world on a budget
- 7 great neighborhood clubs for live music
- Where to see theater in Seattle, from musicals to more adventurous fare
- Where to see dance in Seattle, from classical to cutting-edge
- Where to see author readings in Seattle
Solo: A Festival of Dance: After fielding 98 applications from dance artists worldwide, On the Boards is presenting 16 performers in this festival of new work, which considers the role of the solo as a “fundamental building block” of dance. Though this is Solo’s first outing, plans are in the works to make it an annual thing, opening up from dance to explore theater or comedy. Seeing new performance work — especially when it’s well curated — is a rare chance to get into a dance-makers’ brains, and Solo features some fascinating ones, from Syniva Whitney’s performance influenced by the music played on the jukebox during 1969’s Stonewall riots, to Nora Sharp’s explorations of gender incorporating “childhood, transhood, a looper station, a mini synthesizer, a pile of blue and yellow clothing, daddy issues, repetitive spiraling melodies and song, and a lot of funny stories about bodies and sex (and a donut shop).” Sold! Oct. 4-7; On the Boards, 100 W. Roy St., Seattle; $25-$70, $5 tickets available through TeenTix; 206-217-9886, ontheboards.org — Megan Burbank
Choreographic Shindig IV: You can always rely on Olivier Wevers’ Whim W’Him to subvert dance-world convention, and nowhere is this more evident than in the company’s annual Choreographic Shindig. Launched in 2015, the program allows Whim W’Him dancers to choose for themselves which choreographers will make work for them to perform as a company. This year, they selected (out of a pool of 200 applicants) Alice Klock, 2017 choreographic fellow at Chicago’s Hubbard Street Dance; Omar Román De Jesús, whose award-winning work explores bold subject matter like mental illness and social issues; and Brendan Duggan, who co-founded Brooklyn contemporary dance collective LoudHoundMovement. The result will be seven performances over 90 minutes in a compressed burst of variety and experimentation you’re not likely to find elsewhere. Sept. 7-15; Erickson Theater Off Broadway, 1524 Harvard Ave., Seattle; $30-$55, $5 TeenTix, $15 Student Rush; whimwhim.org — M.B.
“New Dances II”: Kate Wallich is one of those names you can’t miss if you follow Seattle dance even casually. She’s made her name as a choreographer, educator, and the leader of the best dance exercise class you’ll ever go to, cult fave Dance Church, and in 2017, began YC2, a collaboration between Studio Kate Wallich and Velocity Dance Center intended to nurture dancers through space, training, and paid rehearsal and performance time. This fall, the YC2 dancers will perform new work from Wallich; a new piece from Tom Weinberger choreographed on the company; and Sidra Bell’s “Beyond the Edge of the Frame.” Sept. 20-23; Velocity Dance Center, 1621 12th Ave., Seattle; $15-50, velocitydancecenter.org — M.B.
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