Relay Dance Collective Presents PASSAGE in Georgetown
This spring, Relay Dance Collective will present its show Passage in the newly-created Yaw Theater -- a new beacon for contemporary dance in Seattle's Georgetown neighborhood.
The historically industrial area is now gaining influence as an arts hub with the enclave of spaces called Equinox Studios. This vibrant community is home to welders, glass-blowers, atelier instructors (Gage Academy), and now, dancers.
Two pioneering dancers Stella Kutz (Yaw Theater) and Dayna Hansen (Base), have created new, multi-use studios next door to one another for rehearsal and performance in the old woodworking factory (across the street from the original Equinox Studios on Fifth Avenue South).
Rehearsing and performing in a working-class community where people may not be as familiar with dance couldn't be more exciting for Relay, a Seattle-based-troupe focused on "creating a broad appetite for dance" and performances "that co-workers and families feel welcome attending." (SeattleDances).
"It is an honor for us to be among the first wave of dancers in this new location for dance in Seattle," said Gabrielle Gainor, Relay Co-Artistic Director. "Stella has created an immaculately beautiful space where all can feel are welcome as artists and audience members. Both our company, as well as Stella's space, stand for community, for calling people into the arts, and for welcoming everyone."
Indeed, while Relay has made Yaw its artistic homebase for rehearsals and performance, the collective is not alone. Anyone can rent Yaw Theater for affordable rehearsal, performance or event space.
In addition to creating Yaw, Kutz has danced with Relay since 2014 (in addition to working with other groups such as Jerboa Dance). Relay's Passage will be her first time performing in her own space in a more formal performance.
"Yaw exists so that many different types of people can come together to create something new," Kutz said. "I'm thrilled that such diverse, exciting Seattle choreographers and performers have been infusing their magic into the space in preparation for Relay's show; and I look forward to welcoming performers of all kinds here in the future."
Emerging and established choreographers featured in Passage include Relay Co-Artistic Director Austin Sexton; Brenna Monroe-Cook, of the Jose Limón Dance Company, Imana Gunawan of Au Collective; Sara Jinks, of Pat Graney Dance Company; and Anna Krupp, an upcoming choreographer for Velocity Dance Center's Strictly Seattle, and Amy Johnson, of AJnC Dance Theater.
"It was a joy working with Relay Dance Collective resetting Incase Anyone Comes Searching, which premiered in 2011 as part of my BFA thesis at Cornish College of the Arts," Johnson said. "Incase reflects upon loneliness, community, and homesickness, all set to klezmer style music. Filled with spunk, sass, grace, and knock-out musicality Incase is a perfect fit for the dancers of Relay who already embody those same characteristics as movers."
Relay will also perform a piece first set on Spectrum Dance Theater called Of Passion You Have Plenty by Mark J. Kane, as well as a solo called Shrinking Women that includes a monologue by poet Lily Myers. Shrinking Women is choreographed by Holly Logan, with whom Relay is thrilled to be working as part of a 2017 choreographer exchange. Resident Choreographer/Co-Artistic Director Austin Sexton will later set a work on Logan's company, Intrepidus Dance, for their June performance at Yaw Theater.
Passage includes a cast of more than 20 Relay collective members as well as guest artists Lauren Linder (Petra Zanki's 365 - A Solo); Randy Ford (Au Collective: House of Dinah); and Hendri Walujo (Jessica Jobaris & General Magic).
Mark J. Kane
RDC Collective Members: Jerene Aldinger, Hailey Burt, Alex Cann, Gabrielle Nomura Gainor, Amber Jackson, Stella Kutz, Katherine Freeman, Tara McFarland, Hannah Rae, Ayako Shapiro, Elizabeth Sugawara, Austin Sexton, Diadra Smith, Fiona Vigdor, Tess Wendel.
Relay Dance Collective Co-Artistic Directors:
Gabrielle Nomura Gainor (Producer, Choreography Curation)
Austin Sexton (Rehearsal Director, Resident Choreographer)
Learn more about RDC at relaydance.org.