Tahni Holt, Cherdonna Shinatra and Tere O'Connor Set for Velocity's Fall 2014 Season

Tahni Holt, Cherdonna Shinatra and Tere O'Connor Set for Velocity's Fall 2014 Season

Velocity's exciting Fall Season includes two world-premieres -- celebrated Portland choreographer Tahni Holt, and Seattle's drag community premiere provocateuse, Cherdonna Shinatra -- and the arrival of major American choreographer, Tere O'Connor, in Seattle for a nine-day Velocity Open For(u)m.




SEPT 4 / 7PM + SEPT 5-6 / 10PM

Velocity Founders Theater / 1621 12th Ave

TICKETS $20 / $25 at the door / $15 student + senior / $17 MVP

Celebrated Portland choreographer Tahni Holt's provocative world-premiere Duet Love plays with our precious notions of hetero-romance. Holt and a stellar Pacific Northwest artistic team, draw from iconic photographs of famous couples as a driving force to disrupt and question how gendered bodies are portrayed in performance. Developed during a June and August 2014 Velocity residency, Duet Love thrives upon queer twists by asking: How does audience desire inflect the experience of masculine/feminine into the movement and emotion of dancing bodies? Performed by Ezra Dickinson, Keyon Gaskin, Allie Hankins and Lucy Yim. Music composed by Luke Wyland with special guest Corinna Repp. Dramaturgy by Robert Tyree. Lighting design by Jeff Forbes. Costume design by Jayme Hansen and Kate Fenker. Artistic advice by Chris Larson.

After the Velocity world premiere, Duet Love heads to PICA's TBA Festival in September 2014.

Interactive People Programs supplementing Holt's performance of Duet Love:

TUES SEPT 2 / 9:30-11:15
Velocity Founders Studio / 1621 12th Ave
$15 / $12 MVP

SEPT 4 / 5:30-8:30PM
Velocity / 1621 12th Ave
LAB $30 / $25 MVP / Includes ticket to THUR performance

Audience Labs aim to demystify dance through an equal emphasis on conversation, presentation, participation and social interaction. Facilitated by Velocity Artistic Director Tonya Lockyer, this audience lab focuses on Tahni Holt's Duet Love. The Audience Lab includes a ticket to the performance, refreshments and a post-show conversation with the artist.

TAHNI HOLT's varied collaborations and solo work have been presented throughout the Northwest and beyond: On The Boards and Bumbershoot, PICA's TBA Festival, Reed College's Raw Art Week, Fusebox Festival, The Lucky Penny (Atlanta); Movement Research's Monday at Judson Church (NYC); as well as far off places in France, Romania and Idaho. In 2010 Holt was curated into the PORTLAND 2010 Biennial and is an Oregon Arts Commission Fellowship awardee (2007). TahniHolt.com

SEPT 5-7 / 7PM
Velocity Founders Theater 1621 12th Ave
TICKETS $20 / $25 at the door / $15 student + senior / $17 MVP / All Access Pass $50

The official kick-off to the Seattle dance season, the 12th annual Fall Kick-off celebrates the talent and imagination of Seattle's contemporary dance scene. Re-live the best performance moments of 2014 and preview what's to come in 2015. The all-star line-up features zoe|juniper, Kate Wallich + The YC, ilvs strauss, Amy O'Neil, Alice Gosti, Cherdonna Shinatra and more! At Velocity's 2013 sold-out Fall Kick-Off, 52 companies represented the breadth and diversity of Seattle dance. Every year at the event, Velocity also celebrates the un-sung heroes of Seattle dance with the annual Dance Champion Awards.

New this year, taking advantage of national presenters being in Seattle for the 2014 Western States Arts Alliance Conference, The Fall Kick-Off will also serve as the first PNW Contemporary Dance Platform. Presenters from state and national arts organizations will be invited to attend the showcases and experience the talent, diversity and innovation of our region's dance artists, raising the profile of Pacific Northwest Dance and cultivating artists' touring and residency opportunities. To help local dance artists take full advantage of the Platform, Velocity will offer a free Professional Development Workshop on best practices in interacting with presenters, pursuing opportunities, and business aspects of sustaining a healthy career in dance.

The Fall Kick-Off is also Velocity's annual fall fundraiser for 2014-2015 programs.



OCT 17-19 + 24-26 / 8PM

Post Show Conversation + Cocktails / OCT 18 + 25 with Seattle celebs

Velocity Founders Theater / 1621 12th Ave

TICKETS $20 / $25 at the door / $15 student + senior / $17 MVP

This fall, Jody Kuehner aka Cherdonna Shinatra, an icon in the LGBTQ, burlesque and drag communities, premieres her first evening-length solo show/art project, Worth my Salt. Featuring costumes by extraordinary designer Mark Mitchell, visual design by Corrie Befort and Sari Breznaue, and performance mentorship by Guggenheim awardee Dayna Hanson. Drawing on Carl Sagan's series Cosmos and female icons Kate Bush, Diane Keaton, and Marie Antoinette - Worth My Salt looks at the timely theme of gender inequity through the lens of an existential crisis. How do we prove our worth? How do we feel worthy? Cherdonna's unique vision brings together dance and drag with clowning's ability to tug on heartstrings, cabaret's warm intimacy, and performances' ability to shatter taboos to make sharp social commentary.

Founded in 2012, Velocity's Made in Seattle new dance development program has produced and presented four acclaimed, sold-out performances--extended, multi-dimensional projects that have been transformational for artists and audiences alike. Made in Seattle grows the local creative community by commissioning evening-length dance works by some of our region's most talented artists. We increase the quality of new contemporary dance by expanding our multi-dimensional, direct support to artists during the critical development phase of new work. Made in Seattle particularly helps midcareer artists, who are often under-supported.

Interactive People Programs accompanying Kuehner's Worth my Salt include:

SPEAKEASY SERIES: The Art of Politics and the Politics of Queer Part II

OCT 5 / 6PM

Velocity / 1621 12th Ave

FREE and open to all

Kuehner and designer Mark Mitchell share their work, discussing the queer politics of art-making. The audience is invited into the conversation over a delicious family-style meal.


OCT 15 / 9:30-11:15AM

Velocity Founders Studio / 1621 12th Ave

JODY KUEHNER, 2010 Spotlight Award Winner, is part dance artist and part bio drag queen Cherdonna Shinatra. Jody's choreography has been presented at On The Boards, Velocity Dance Center, Northwest Film Forum, Bumbershoot and the Joyce SoHo NYC. Cherdonna Shinatra performs regularly with DeLouRue Productions and periodically with paulanow productions and NARK Magazine. She and Lou Henry Hoover made work as "The Cherdonna and Lou Show" for five years, teaching, producing, performing. In her seventh year dancing for the Pat Graney Company and in her fifth year dancing with Mark Haim, Jody has also been Assistant to the Director for Dayna Hanson's feature length film "Improvement Club" and Hanson's Assistant Director for the most recent work "The Clay Duke". She has performed with d9 Dance Collective, Wade Madsen, KT Niehoff, Laura Curry, and Amy O'Neal among others. She is Velocity's Artist in Residence for 2014 and has been supported by the Seattle Mayor's Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs and 4Culture. Cherdonna.com


NOV 16-23

". . . dance can teach us about a way to experience our presence on Earth, as opposed to looking only for the story to work out. Because that doesn't happen." - Tere O'Connor

For Velocity's fourth Open Forum, Velocity partners with On the Boards in a celebration of master American choreographer Tere O'Connor, culminating in performances of his seminal works BLEED, poem, Secret Mary and Sister.

As part of this educational/community partnership, Velocity and OtB host Irreconcilability, nine days of activities focused on O'Connor's influential views on dance and contemporary culture. Irreconcilability features dance screenings, discussions, classes, book readings, dinners and more, curated by Velocity Artistic Director Tonya Lockyer with Tere O'Connor.

NOV 16-23

November 16: O'Connor Workshop Making Dances, Velocity
November 17: O'Connor Happy Hour Book Club, The Sitting Room
November 20 - 21: performance of BLEED, OtB
November 22: performance of poem and Secret Mary, OtB
November 23: performance of Sister followed by O'Connor Community Forum, Velocity Dance Center

For a full schedule of events, visit velocitydancecenter.org.

This Open For(u)m is a partnership between Velocity and On the Boards.

Velocity Open Forums invite one-and-all into open, free wheeling conversations on issues in contemporary art and society. This week of dance screenings, discussions, classes, book readings, dinners and more takes place alongside Tere O'Connor's performance of Sister.


SEATTLE PREMIERE followed by O'Connor Community Forum

NOV 23 / 5:30PM
Velocity Founders Theater / 1621 12th Ave
TICKETS $12 / $9 MVP

Performed by fearless and unparalleled NYC dancers (David Thomson and Cynthia Oliver), Sister weaves various dance vocabularies into an intimate, complex, yet often playful tapestry, creating an unexpected universe.

Sister is one of three interconnected works O'Connor "collapsed" into his singular masterpiece BLEED. The three shorter dance pieces that are BLEED's source material will be performed over the nine days of Irreconcilability - Sister, poem and Secret Mary. All three pieces use O'Connor's lifelong obsession with the vast possibilities of human movement to create a brand-new choreographic language.

After the performance of Sister, O'Connor -a major force in contemporary dance equally renowned for his inclusive empathy and wit- will lead an informal community conversation over appetizers inspired by his favorite recipes.

SUN NOV 16 / 12-4PM

Velocity Founders Studio / 1621 12th Ave

Rejecting a "good/bad" paradigm, O'Connor's desire in teaching choreographic method is for artists to create problem-solving systems based on the structure of their own thought process and to rigorously pursue the "science" of their poetics. Through the daily creation of little dance works, the artist focuses attention on developing an analytical eye for the fundamental metaphors in the work. The process involves locating, through a hyper-personal investigation, the seeds of a universal voice.

O'Connor Happy Hour Book Club

The Sitting Room / 108 W Roy St

A celebrated writer on dance and ideas, O'Connor will engage in hearty conversation and debate around his writings on BLEED over cocktails. Readings will be available on Velocity's website.

TERE O'CONNOR is an influential American choreographer based in NYC. The 1993 Guggenheim Fellow, 2009 Rockefeller Fellow and three-time Bessie award winner has been making and teaching dance for over three decade. A tireless investigator and educator, he has taught at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, University of Illinois in Urbana-Champagne, and Movement Research in NYC. Velocity first brought Tere O'Connor to Seattle in 2007. This will be the first time his company's work will be seen in Seattle. TereOConnorDance.org


Find contextualizing information on Velocity's Fall Season and our fall Feature Focus: Acts of Labor. Velocity's online journal encourages new voices and new ways to talk about dance. With conversations, curated writing, podcasts, artist interviews and videos, STANCE is a vital online destination for the exchange of ideas connected with Velocity's Fall Season. Send submissions to stance@velocitydancecenter.org.

ABOUT VELOCITY - Mayor's Arts Award and Genius Award winning Velocity Dance Center is Seattle's forward-thinking laboratory and essential incubator for dance and emerging ideas. It is recognized as a leader in new dance development in the US. With artist-driven, community-centered artistic programs, Velocity is instrumental in making Seattle a destination city with one of the most active dance communities in the nation. With artist-led classes and workshops every day, performances every week, three annual dance festivals, ongoing humanities programs that activate thoughtful conversations, as well as weekly community events from social dances to family-style dinners, Velocity is a portal for those new to dance and an important community resource. Home to hundreds of independent dance artists and renowned for producing innovative, cutting-edge work, Velocity has featured performances and master classes by art stars Pat Graney, Reggie Watts, Miguel Gutierrez, Tere O'Conner, Anouk van Dijk, Deborah Hay, Faye Driscoll, 33 Fainting Spells, KT Niehoff, Zoe Scofield/Juniper Shuey, Danielle Agami and many more. Velocity is Seattle's only dedicated contemporary dance venue where groundbreaking work and disciplined practice coexist.