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Dickinson Dances for His Mother, Us, a Cause

Dickinson Dances for His Mother, Us, a Cause

: Photo by Anthony Rigano.

Ezra Dickinson (DA ‘07) takes his daring new piece Mother for you I made this to the raw and exposed streets: see it starting May 6.

Not often does a dancer — or any artist for that matter — earn what amounts to a blank check from a reviewing publication. “There are some dancers you want to watch, no matter what they’re doing,” writes the Seattle Weekly, “and Dickinson is one.” Dickinson, classically trained, street wise, as dedicated to the visual arts as dance, is a shape-shifter. He seems to fit into whatever the artistic enterprise requires, and he always seems to know which ones are important. Readers of Cornish’s InSight magazine will remember a profile on Dickinson, Blacktop Ballet (page 15).

On May 6, Monday, Ezra begins performances of a remarkable new solo piece, Mother for you I made this. It is as personal and probing as a work can be. In it, he performs a series of works meant to entertain his mother and reach out to her. As a child, Ezra didn’t realize his mother was slowly sliding into schizophrenia. Her mental illness is still something that he must cope with every day. Dickinson, as always, is daring in the way he forms his work. Deciding against the safe confines of a theater, he will instead let the surroundings be as raw and exposed as his subject matter. And if you want to see this work, you must give yourself over to it: audiences will meet at Seattle’s Greyhound Bus terminal and move on from there.

“Audiences are guided through forgotten public spaces by ushers,” reads the Velocity Dance Center site, “and given a personal audio tour weaving conversations between Dickinson and his mother with sounds from the actual landscape.” Velocity is producing the performances.

According to Velocity, Dickinson hopes his performance will excite something greater than an artistic appreciation. “Part performance and part activism,” Velocity reports, “Mother for you I made this is aimed at activating a conversation about the failed mental health care system in America through memories of Dickinson’s childhood as he lived with and unknowingly cared for his schizophrenic mother.”

Mother for you I made this plays daily at 7:00 pm May 6-19. The environmental performance begins at the Greyhound Bus station. Reservations required. Do not miss this. TICKETS.

Ezra’s appearance on KING’s New Day NW:


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