Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus




Photo by Tim Summers

APR 26-28 / 8PM
Velocity Founders Theater 1621 12th Ave
>>TICKETS $18 / $15 MVP / $12 students + seniors

+ World premiere MAUREEN WHITING DANCE COMPANY (Seattle)
SCUBA Master Class

“Ready. Fire. Aim.”Contemporary Dance Practice with Shannon Stewart
Friday April 26 / 9:30-11:15AM

This class fully warms the body and gets the creative juices flowing using improvisation and set material from Stewart’s SCUBA piece: An Inner Place That Has No Place to access technique, freedom and creativity. Open to the community. $15 drop-in.

Happy Hour Speakeasy ConversationNext Wave?
Sunday April 28 / 5:30PM
Boom Noodle 1121 E Pike St

What are the new directions in dance (aesthetic, political, digital. . .) that we see happening in Seattle and the rest of the country? Join the conversation with this year's SCUBA artists then head over to the closing night of SCUBA. Free

Two weeks ago I got back from taking An Inner Place That Has No Place on tour to Philadelphia.  The eight people in the cast and crew landed in a city that was unfamiliar to most of us and were shuttled from hotels to Temple University were we taught and performed.  We shared the bill with the smart and charming Green Chair Dance Group and were presented in a beautiful theater.  The whole thing was a whirlwind and an incredible experience.  It helped me to see my work in a new way and through the eyes of people who have no idea who we are.  The cast rose to the challenge of filling a huge space with their performance.  They worked their butts off and An Inner Place transformed and deepened. One reviewer said it was a “homerun.”

Velocity Dance Center and Philadelphia Dance Projects gave us a small stipend to make this tour happen.  The rest was supported by an amazing collection of individuals, not least of which were the performers, composer and video designer who worked for next to nothing. 

Almost ten years ago, KT Niehoff and Kathleen Hermesdorf dreamt up a partnership that would allow them to take their work on the road and named the program SCUBA. The idea being that motivated, resourceful artists who were used to self-presenting just needed a little boost (like an oxygen tank) to get their work into the national circuit.  Also, they realized there needed to be a network of smaller presenters that could take bigger risks, support emerging artists, and create a bridge to the more established national touring network opportunities. And voila, they created the breathing apparatus with just enough air for artists to pack their sets in their suitcases and venture to new territory.

Since then, many awesome artists from Seattle, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Minneapolis have been part of the SCUBA National Touring Network for Dance. Kara O’Toole and Tonya Lockyer have fought to keep the program alive despite major funding cuts from the National Endowment for the Arts and I’m extremely lucky to find myself the beneficiary in 2013, a year when there was almost no SCUBA.

It’s not easy—not for the artists, the performers, the tech crew, the presenters, the fundraisers, not anyone.  There is not enough time, space or money to really make this thing happen.  But somehow it does.  It's hugely important to developing as an artist and understanding how your work connects to a larger field, to other artists and other communities. And it’s totally fucking worth it.

I hope to see you at the shows!


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