Velocity Hosts Next Fest NW: TOUCH, Dec 2013

Velocity presents Next Fest NW: TOUCH, a week of performances, screenings, installations and participatory audience labs featuring fresh new voices in contemporary dance from the Pacific Northwest. This year's festival focus is TOUCH - interaction and sensation. Performances for blind audiences. Sing-alongs. Artist-constructed social experiences. TOUCH means everyone in this room is in this dance. TOUCH means to perceive through the tactile senses.

Next Fest NW 2013 launches with Next Dance Cinema - this year expands to include the best in local, national, and international dance on screen.

Next Fest NW Performance unveils new work by GENDER TENDER, Nathan Blackwell, Coleman Pester/Tectonic Marrow Society, Alana O Rogers, Dylan Ward, Matt Drews + Coulliette [the Pendleton House], kt Shores + Lexi Hamill.

Leading up to Next Fest NW, ticket buyers can join artist Vanessa DeWolf for Closer Through Other Means, a series of three participatory audience labs in which an intimate group of curious participants cultivate new ways of perceiving performance. The lab includes a ticket to Saturday night's performance and post-show Q+A.

Nest Fest NW was established to support new work and to encourage investigation of different approaches to dance, not bound by discipline or criteria.


FRI - SUN / DEC 13 + 14 + 15 / 8PM

Velocity Founders Theater 1621 12th Ave

SAT // POST-SHOW Q+A with the artists

Selection Panel: Juniper Shuey, Kate Wallich, Tonya Lockyer and Kim Lusk.

- Syniva Whitney and Will Courtney are the co-founders of GENDER TENDER, a performance project that began out of the desire to make work in a safe and rigorous environment for trans*, queer*, questioning and allied artists of all kinds to investigate identity through movement. A real-life couple, they test the limits of romance in GO/LONG, a duet using the elastic strength of a single jock strap. Fueled by the sounds of Ariskany Records, they attempt to go the distance. Drag and drills connect one body to another. GENDER TENDER's work has been featured in Mo'Wave: Seattle's Queer Arts and Music Festival and seen at On the Boards.

- Coleman Pester (Tectonic Marrow Society) is a recent transplant from Australia where he was Assistant to Choreographer Anouk van Dijk on her inaugural creation An Act of Now as Artistic Director with Australia's Chunky Move. Coleman earned his BFA from the LINES Ballet/Dominican University program and has presented original work in Israel, San Francisco, New York, and Melbourne.

Working with a stellar Seattle cast featuring Erica Badgeley, Fausto Rivera and Markeith Wiley, Pester's new work 30 unsure steps to my seat guides the audience through a multi-layered experience beginning with sight deprivation. Blindfolded, the audience experiences the choreography through touch, hears it unfold throughout the space, and finally sees the performers' movement visually.

- You've seen newcomer Dylan Ward blazing through the work of Jeffrey Fracé, Matt Drews [the Pendleton House] and Cabin Fever and on the stages of Velocity and On the Boards. His new work, MELODY NELSON is an intergenerational dance project exploring the line between appropriate and inappropriate touch, set to sampled music from Serge Gainsbourg's infamous album Histoire de Melody Nelson.

- Seattle transplant Nathan Blackwell's new work #selfie refers to the sensation and tactile perception of self-touch and the narcissistic tendencies of pop culture. His work has been described as an "immersive dance-theatre experience ... exquisitely crafted and passionately performed" and has been presented at the Atlas Institute for Technology, The Garage SF and The Laundry/Control Group Productions in Denver. For #selfie Blackwell will be working with dancers Devin McDermott, Jamie Maslach and dramaturg Lexi Hamill.

- Alana O Rogers investigates gender identity in her new work SIGHT. Audiences choose how to experience the work through "vision-obscuring devices." Rogers's work has been showcased at the BOOST Dance Festival, On the Boards, MOVE! and Full Tilt. As a sought-after performer she has worked with Jason Ohlberg, Deborah Wolf, Veronica Mendonca/VAM, Sonia Dawkins, Danny Herter, Mark Haim, Coriolis, ARC, and Spectrum Dance Theater. She is also a Velocity Teaching Artist.

More On: Dance Company, Dayna Hanson,

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