Velocity Presents DANCE INNOVATORS IN PERFORMANCE at Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation Tonight

Velocity Presents DANCE INNOVATORS IN PERFORMANCE at Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation Tonight

Part of the world class 20th Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation, for one evening only, Dance Innovators in Performance features a critical mass of exciting artists who have been dancing everywhere but in the mainstream. The evening features all-star SFDI faculty John Jasperse, Sara Shelton Mann, Chris Aiken, Heidi Henderson, Stephanie Skura, Shelley Senter, Michael Schumacher, Karen Nelson, Louis Gervais, Jill Sigman, Salt Horse, Tonya Lockyer, John Dixon, Andrew Wass, Eric Nordstrom and Michal Lahav at Broadway Performance Hall.

SFDI is one of the world's leading festivals of dance and improvisation brings artists from around the globe to Seattle to collaborate, exchange information and share their creative processes. With international faculty, performances by world-class innovators, and daily community events, SFDI is a week of intensives, classes, jams, somatic workshops, performances and discussions focused on fostering the study, practice and appreciation of dance improvisation.

INTENSIVES // John Jasperse + Sara Shelton Mann + Chris Aiken + Shelley Senter + Amii LeGendre + Michael Schumacher

CLASSES // Jill Sigman + John Dixon + Heidi Henderson + Andrew Wass + Karen Nelson + Stephanie Skura + Tonya Lockyer + Louis Gervais + Salt Horse + Vanessa DeWolf + Michal Lahav + Eric Nordstrom

Starting in 2012, the Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation happens alongside Strictly Seattle Summer Dance Intensive to create Velocity's summer festival Maximum Velocity, July 7 through August 4, 2013. This year Strictly Seattle features daily classes, jams, informal showings, Speakeasy conversations and three performances-super-charged new works by some of Seattle's most celebrated choreographers: 2013Stranger Genius finalist zoe | juniper, KT Niehoff, Marlo Martin, Mark Haim, Ellie Sandstrom and Ricki Mason (July 26 + 27, Broadway Performance Hall).

TICKETS for Dance Innovators in Performance
AUG 1 / 8PM
Broadway Performance Hall 1625 Broadway
206.325.8773 |

20TH SFDI COMMUNITY EVENTS - All events are FREE and at Velocity (1621 12th Ave)


Lightning Talks with SFDI Faculty
July 31 / 6:30-8:30pm


Dance Innovators in Performance: Post-show Talk

With Dance Innovators in Performance Artists
August 1 / 10-11pm


SFDI Closing Night Performance

Featuring Participants of the 20th SFDI
August 3 / 7pm


SFDI Closing Night Performance: Post-show Talk

With Performers + Creators from the Closing Night Performance
August 3 / 9-10pm

SFDI 2013 was curated by the SFDI 2013 Panel: Alia Swersky, Beth Graczyk, Cyrus Khambatta and Tonya Lockyer with generous input from the community.

Velocity's presentation of the 20th Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation is made possible by generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts, 4Culture, ArtsFund, The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and The Stuart & Jesse Abelson.


John Jasperse is a Guggenheim Fellow and received a Bessie Award in recognition of his body of work. He has created works for Baryshnikov's White Oak Project, Batsheva Dance Company, and the Lyon Opera Ballet. His work has been presented by major festivals and presenting organizations in Brazil, Chile, Israel, Japan and throughout the US and Europe.

Sara Shelton Mann and her legendary San Francisco-based company Contraband appeared on stages, in warehouses, abandoned buildings and outdoors from 1979-1996. She collaborated with Guillermo Gomez-Pena until 1999, and currently teaches her complex interdisciplinary performance style and movement vocabulary worldwide.

Chris Aiken's work has been significantly influenced through the Alexander Technique, Ideokinesis, yoga and the work of Ida Rolf. Chris has performed and collaborated with renowned dance artists Steve Paxton, Kirstie Simson, Nancy Stark Smith, Peter Bingham, Andrew Harwood, Patrick Scully and Angie

Shelley Senter, a renowned teacher of the Alexander Technique, has been investigating the application of the principles of the Alexander process to the performing body and mind for nearly two decades. She is a member of Lower Left artist collective and a repetiteur of the seminal works of Trisha Brown and Yvonne Rainer, which she stages internationally.

Michael Schumacher has been a member of Ballet Frankfurt, Twyla Tharp Dance, Feld Ballet, Pretty Ugly Dance Company, and Katie Duck's Magpie Music Dance Company. Working as dancer, choreographer, and teacher, Schumacher has developed a unique approach to the discipline of improvisation. He resides in Amsterdam and conducts workshops in movement analysis and improvisation worldwide.

Amii LeGendre currently teaches dance at Bard College, NY after years of living and making performance in Seattle. Over the last 20 years, she has developed contact improvisation teaching material within a larger contemporary performance practice with an eye toward activism. She teaches dance to incarcerated men, opera singers, college students, colleagues, children and humans at large.

Vanessa DeWolf is an improviser, writer, and performance artist committed to autonomous and rigorous creativity. She runs Seattle's Studio Current, a season of artists in residence, and PROJECT: Space Available, which she co-curates with Mônica Mata Gillam. She is committed to aesthetic articulation, and the sharing of creative process, practice and works-in-progress.

John Dixon has performed nationally and internationally with Kei Takei's Moving Earth, Stephanie Skura's Cranky Destroyers, and the Seattle based dance-theater company 33 Fainting Spells, among others. His ongoing interests in contemplative action and perceptual flux have led him to work with many inspiring artists over the years, including Karen Nelson, Lisa Nelson, Stephanie Skura, Stuart Dempster, Nina Martin and Sheri Cohen.

Louis Gervais, former Marie Chouinard company member, has been exploring the intersection of improvisation, intimacy and spirituality for more than 20 years. His explorations have led to numerous course offerings such as Chakra Balancing, Dancing Energy Systems and Men in Contact. With a focus in somatic studies, Louis received his MFA in dance from the University of Washington in 2009.

Heidi Henderson has danced with Bebe Miller, Nina Wiener, Paula Josa-Jones, Colleen Thomas, Peter Schmitz and Sondra Loring. She lives in Rhode Island and makes work for her company elephant JANE dance. Heidi is a contributing editor at Contact Quarterly and she teaches regularly at the Bates Dance Festival. She serves on the faculty of Connecticut College.

Michal Lahav has taught numerous workshops at dance institutes and festivals around the Pacific Northwest, including Seattle University, Louis and Clark College, and SANCA Circus Arts School since 1998. She also organizes the annual Orcas Island Jam. Michal integrates studies of yoga and dance with a curiosity for movement, human behavior and a great lust for everyday life.

Tonya Lockyer is an acclaimed performer who has taught and performed internationally. She is on the faculty of Cornish College of the Arts and is Executive/Artistic Director of Velocity.

Eric Nordstrom is a dedicated performer, teacher and filmmaker. His performances include a full evening improvisation with Karen Nelson and creating a dance on film with Ann Cooper Albright. He has taught at colleges and universities including the Ohio State University, where he earned a Master of Fine Arts. Recent dance on film works by Eric can be viewed online at

Karen Nelson offers what she has passionately studied, taught, practiced, developed and performed for over 35 years including Material for the Spine, Contact Improvisation by Steve Paxton, Tuning Scores by Lisa Nelson and awareness. She is currently based on Vashon Island and studying with Russell Delman in his work Embodied Life, which draws from Feldenkrais, Zen meditation and guided inquiry.

Salt Horse is a Seattle-based dance/sound company created by dancers Beth Graczyk and Corrie Befort and musician Angelina Baldoz, known for creating visually rich, sensation-based works that illuminate the quiet, unseen, or hidden aspects of nature and the human experience. Company rigorously merge improvisation and composition to create arresting narratives that weave between the literal and the abstract.

Jill Sigman is Artistic Director of jill sigman/thinkdance, founded in 1998, the same year she received her Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton University. Sigman is based in NYC and was a Fellow at the Center for Creative Research (NYU) and a Visiting Artist at Wesleyan University (2012). She is currently at work on The Hut Project, an exploration of issues around waste, sustainability, and real estate through the creation of a series of site-specific structures.

Stephanie Skura, "reliably irreverent" Bessie award-winner, is a choreographer, director, performer, mentor, teacher, teacher-trainer, writer, and innovator. She has toured professionally for three decades in 13 countries and 30 states. Her involvement with permaculture and naturopathy supports a dedication to catalyzing creative process in a holistic and collaborative way. She holds a BFA and MFA in Dance from NYU Tisch and directs Open Source Forms Teacher Certification Program.

Andrew Wass graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a degree in Biochemistry in 1997 and replaced the lab with the studio. His performances have been shown in San Diego, LA, San Francisco, Marfa, Tijuana, and New York. He has taught at festivals and universities in Japan, Germany and the United States and is currently completing his MA in Solo / Dance / Authorship at the Hochschulübergreifendes Zentrum für Tanz in Berlin.,,