Choreographer Shirley Jenkins Presents WOMEN... GOTTA LUV 'EM, Now thru 1/26

Tonight, January 24 Seattle Choreographer Shirley Jenkins will premiere her newest and most personal modern dance pieces on the Cornish Playhouse stage. Women...Gotta Luv 'Em reflects Jenkins' triumphant and turbulent dance journey that includes her own battles with cancer and debilitating injury.

As Jenkins explains, "My choreographic intentions come from my heart's desire to express deep emotions from my life's experiences. Dance has always been my reason to live, and Women...Gotta Luv 'Em takes my stories and exposes them to the world. It is the culmination of the past few years of my life-my battles with cancer, my recovery and my rebirth to dance. I am bringing a total celebration of survival, strength, hope, and pure love of life to the stage."

For Shirley Jenkins the road from founding company member of Bill Evans Dance in 1975, to celebrated choreographer and Artistic Director of one of Seattle's newest modern dance companies, DanceJENKINSDance, has been extraordinarily fulfilling and personally challenging.

This celebration through movement showcases the vibrant spirit and vitality of women and features an all-female troupe of professional dancers. Women...Gotta Luv 'Em is a joyous, spirited dance celebration of everything one adores in women-it's playful, beautiful, strong, resilient, and passionate. In it Jenkins unveils two world premiere pieces, 'Pink Diary' and 'Diario Rosado.' Jenkins has also completely restaged her critically acclaimed 2011 pieces, 'Dear William,' a tender reflection of the demise and return of a dancer's physical prowess, and 'Soliloquy of A Soul,' a movement symphony of poetic metaphors acknowledging the past, present and future.

Both new chapters are set to the emotionally-rich, eclectic world-music sounds of Mexican-American singer-songwriter Lhasa de Sela (1972-2010), with additional music by Portuguese Fado queen, Mariza:

'Pink Diary' (chapter one): Part memoir and part meditation on the power of mind over body, this highly personal and introspective work reflects Jenkins' triumphant journey from illness to recovery. Poignantly drawing upon childhood memories and recent experiences to paint a glorious, life-affirming dance tableau, 'Pink Diary' delivers sultry Jazz sections, classic waltzes and a few surprises.

'Diario Rosado' (capitulo dos): This soothing and lyrical new work powerfully embodies the unique depth of musicality, rhythm and beauty frequently enjoyed in Jenkins' choreography. Playful, sensual, dramatic and fluid, 'Diario Rosado' shares the raw transformative power of dance and the resiliency of the human spirit through whirling montages, lush movements and ethereal moments.

Dancers include: Taylor Augustine, Amie Baca, Holly Batt, Naphtali Beyleveld, Carrie Dossick, Belle Wolf, as well as Jenkins. Costume design and construction is by Shirley Jenkins and company; lighting design is by Meg Fox.

Performances of Women...Gotta Luv 'Em are Friday and Saturday January 24-25 at 8:00 pm. There is a matinee on Sunday January 26 at 3:00 pm. Tickets, on sale now, are $25 for general seating ($27 at the door). Student and senior tickets are $20 ($22 at the door). For more information and tickets, visit

About Shirley Jenkins

Shirley Jenkins' love affair with dance started at the tender age of two and three quarters when she took her very first dance class. She went on to receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) from the University of Utah, majoring in Modern Dance with an emphasis in Performance, Choreography and Teaching. While completing her BFA requirements in 1975, she was asked to be a founding member of the celebrated Bill Evans Dance Company. In 1976, the board of directors of Dance Theater Seattle invited the company to move to Seattle. Jenkins had a prolific career as a touring member and master instructor of the Evans Company, performing in major cities and rural communities via the National Endowment for the Arts Dance Touring Program.

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by Barnett Serchuk