Pacific Northwest Ballet to Stage SCULPTURED DANCE, 8/11

SEATTLE, WA- In a first-of-its-kind collaboration with Seattle Art Museum, Pacific Northwest Ballet Artistic Director Peter Boal has announced an evening of new dance works performed in, on, and around Olympic Sculpture Park artworks during the Summer at SAM series. As part of The Wallace Foundation's Building Audiences for Sustainability initiative, PNB has commissioned works from five local choreographers, created in conversation with sculptures on-site at the park. This free public event features five new works created by Donald Byrd, Kiyon Gaines, Ezra Thomson, Kate Wallich and Olivier Wevers, performed by dancers from Pacific Northwest Ballet, PNB School, Spectrum Dance Theater, and Whim W'Him. SCULPTURED DANCE will be presented one night only, 6:00 - 8:00 pm on Thursday, August 11, 2016, at SAM's Olympic Sculpture Park, 2901 Western Avenue on Seattle's waterfront. For more information visit or

"Since the opening of the Olympic Sculpture Park, I've wanted to program dance in and around the art," said Mr. Boal. "In fact, [SAM Director Emerita] Mimi Gates suggested it to me at the opening night celebration in 2006. A lunch two years ago with Kim Rorschach [Illsley Ball Nordstrom Director and CEO] opened the door to this possibility, and now it's a reality. The site is naturally conducive to movement as viewers are lured from one sculpture to the next. Adding dance into the mix seems a perfect fit."

Added Ms. Rorschach, "We are thrilled to have these extraordinary dancers activate the Olympic Sculpture Park with this one-night-only performance. It's sure to be a highlight of our Summer at SAM programs."

Mr. Boal continued: "We have met with great success building our audiences over the past several years through our work with The Wallace Foundation. As a next step in this process we wanted to test the boundaries by literally changing the boundaries and leaving the theater behind. For an art form that has traditionally been presented in a proscenium theater, this is a new frontier for PNB. We are experimenting with the unexpected, and loving it.

"Bringing dance to the Olympic Sculpture Park offers the brilliant backdrop of great art as inspiration for dance. Add in the cross-pollination of unfamiliar pairings between three different dance companies and five innovative local choreographers, throw in a little unpredictable weather and an occasional train whistle, and you get something completely thrilling and fresh. There are elements we can't control and the randomness becomes exciting. No curtain time, no seat assignments, just art, dance and you."

The line-up for Summer at SAM: SCULPTURED DANCE includes:


Choreography by Donald Byrd

Music by Astor Piazzolla

Danced by Pacific Northwest Ballet

Performed at Roy McMakin's Untitled

Do. Not. Obstruct.

Choreography by Kiyon Gaines

Music by Theoretics

Danced by Pacific Northwest Ballet

Performed at Richard Serra's Wake


Choreography and Music by Ezra Thomson

Danced by Spectrum Dance Theater

Performed at Tony Smith's Stinger

Little Bunnies (response to Roxy Paine's "Split")

Choreography by Kate Wallich

Music by Yan Wagner

Danced by Whim W'Him

Performed at Roxy Paine's Split


Choreography by Olivier Wevers

Danced by PNB School Professional Division

Performed at Alexander Calder's The Eagle


Donald Byrd has served as the artistic director of Spectrum Dance Theater since 2002. He has created over 100 modern and contemporary dance works for his own groups as well as for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, and Philadelphia Dance Company (Philidanco), Pacific Northwest Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, Dance Theater of Harlem, Aterballetto, MaggioDanza diFirenze, and Oregon Ballet Theater.

Kiyon Gaines is a former PNB soloist, current PNB School faculty member, choreographer, and stager, most recently staging Twyla Tharp's Waiting at the Station for PNB. Mr. Gaines has created works for PNB's annual choreographers' showcase as well as for the company repertory. He has participated in the New York Choreographic Institute and was recently named resident choreographer for Ballet Arkansas.

Ezra Thomson has danced with Pacific Northwest Ballet since 2009. He is a freelance choreographer and has created works for Spectrum Dance Theater, Seattle International Dance Festival, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, and other US companies and schools.

Kate Wallich is a Seattle-based choreographer, director and teacher - named one of DANCE Magazine's "25 to Watch" in 2015. Her work blends highly crafted dance movement with film, sound and visual designs to create visceral and immersive performances.

Brussels-born Olivier Wevers founded Whim W'Him, a Seattle contemporary dance company, in 2009. Before establishing the company, he was a principal dancer with Pacific Northwest Ballet and Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

Theoretics is a five-piece livetronica band from Seattle, known for their well-crafted instrumentals and collaborations with soulful vocalists. (They will be performing their own sets in addition to accompanying Kiyon Gaines' Do. Not. Obstruct. at SCULPTURED DANCE.)

Founded in 1972, Pacific Northwest Ballet is one of the largest and most highly regarded ballet companies in the United States. Led by Peter Boal since 2005, the company of nearly 50 dancers presents more than 100 performances of full-length and mixed repertory ballets each year at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall at Seattle Center, and on tour.

Pacific Northwest Ballet School trains over 1,000 students each year, including its Professional Division, where invited students concentrate on perfecting technique and developing artistry through a full-time, 40-week comprehensive program designed to help them transition from student to professional dancer.

Spectrum Dance Theater was founded in 1982 to bring dance of the highest merit to a diverse audience composed of people from different social, cultural, ethnic and economic backgrounds. Under Donald Byrd's visionary artistic leadership since 2002, the organization has embarked on an exhilarating transformation that has attracted world-class dancers, produced some of the most ambitious works in contemporary dance, and generated local and national praise.

Led by choreographer and former PNB principal dancer Olivier Wevers, Whim W'Him presents all-new works from global artists and is committed to innovation, collaboration, and high caliber, relevant art that engages and challenges audiences. Since 2009, Whim W'Him has created and presented 40 new works from 25 choreographers.

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