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Cornish Dance Theater Fall 2015 Concert Features New Work by Sidra Bell

The Fall 2015 Concert of Cornish Dance Theater, the performing ensemble of the Dance Department at Cornish College of the Arts, features a new work by Sidra Bell as well as the choreography of Dayna Hanson, Pat Hon, Veronica Lee-Baik, and Paula J. Peters.

New York choreographer Bell was an artist-in-residence at Cornish this fall. She worked collaboratively with the student dancers to create “3 durations.” With an emphasis on pure movement, Bell and the dancers created a vocabulary that allows for a sense of play that can shift from performance to performance. The piece is set to new electronic music by acclaimed composer Dennis Bell (also Bell’s father).

As the artistic director of Sidra Bell Dance New York (SDNY), Bell’s choreography reveals aspects of the human condition through a distinctly female lens. Her process is intuitive and collaborative, emphasizing the integration of multiple design elements. Her work combines design, media, and fashion creating a singular vision in contemporary dance. SBDNY has an extensive educational and mentorship program and works with institutions for dance and theater internationally with a particular emphasis on young artist development.

Hanson’s “13 problems” is a choreographic translation of the contents of a discarded piece of scratch paper. Inspired by the space between knowledge and its absence, “13 problems” uses a made-up movement language to render a series of equations that escape the choreographer’s intellectual understanding. Hanson is currently working on a new dance, “Keep On Smiling That Beautiful Smile,” as well as a multidisciplinary performance cycle, “The Clay Duke.” With colleagues Peggy Piacenza and Dave Proscia, Hanson will open a new dance/performance space in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood in 2016.

“Moon Falling,” choreographed by Lee-Baik in collaboration with The Three Yells performance company, draws inspiration from many sources— a painting by her son, daily headlines on environmental degradation, and a passage from James Joyce’s Ulysses as well as her own identity as an artist, mother, and citizen of the world. The common thread in these sources is the moon and the harmful ways our pursuit for perfection and convenience is hurtling us toward an irreversible new moon phase. Lee-Baik co-founded and co-directed Exit Space School of Dance in Seattle.

“ETUDE” is a restaging of Hon’s 2000 creation to music by Grieg for Cornish’s sophomores. It challenges the second-year students to perform with speed, musicality, lyricism, and technique in a study of color in a balletic setting. Hon has taught at Cornish for 36 years. In 1983, she received the National Endowment for the Arts’ Choreographic Fellowship, and since then has choreographed for the Atlanta Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Summer Inventions, Singapore Ballet, Ballet Concerto of Miami, Goh Ballet in Canada, Federal Ballet Company of Malaysia, Ballet Petit, and for dancers competing in the International Ballet Competitions in Jackson, Mississippi. She teaches in the summer at the School of Arts in Singapore.

Long-time Seattle dancer, teacher, and choreographer Paula J. Peters’ “ Tethered” pulses with the rhythmic and expressive energy of jazz dance’s signature aesthetics. The three vignettes are set to music by DJ Day, Billie Holiday, and Justin Hurwitz. Each brings to life the quintessential shapes of classic jazz, the emotional intricacies of relationships, and the complexity of jazz dance’s relationship to rhythm brought to life through explosive physicality. Peters received her BFA at Cornish in 2007 and a MFA in dance from University of Washington. Peters performed with Spectrum Dance Theater for 14 years. Her performance and scholarly research includes serving as a guest artist with Catherine Cabeen and Company, the implementation of pedagogies and programs which serve the 21st century dancer, and the creation/performance of contemporary jazz dance works which represent the diverse movement forms of American culture.

Cornish Dance Theater Fall 2015 Concert
November 20 at 8 p.m.
November 21 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center
Tickets: $12 general, $7 seniors, $5 students & Cornish alumni

Presented with support from the Bossak Heilbron Charitable Foundation. The November 21 matinee performance will be followed by an informal question-and-answer period. For more information on how to purchase tickets, please visit www.cornish.edu/events or call Brown Paper Tickets, 800.838.3006.