Storytelling through Contemporary Dance

Review of This is Not the Little Prince by Whim W'Him.

Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Katherine Kang, and edited by Teen Editor Hannah Schoettmer!

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The movement of the human body accompanied by a simple monotone score, props that seem familiar, and a new musical score can tell a beautiful story with great emotion and power.

After almost two years of brainstorming and eight intense weeks of choreographing and rehearsing, This is Not The Little Prince is now being performed at the Cornish Playhouse. This one hour contemporary dance piece is full of heart, creativity, emotion, and flexibility. Choreographed and staged by Olivier Wevers, this show conveys a well-known story in a new light, with the story of the author. Using the language of dance, everyone can interpret the narrative, no matter what language they speak.Whim W'Him in This is Not the Little Prince. Photo by Stefano Altamura.

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School’s Out, But Art Never Ends

Teen Editorial Staff June Editorial

Written by Teen Editor Lily Williamson!

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It’s June, and as the weather gets warmer and we finally get a break from Seattle rain, most TeenTixers are looking forward to one thing: liberation—from school, homework, teachers, and the dreaded SBA. So, the Teen Editorial Staff has curated June’s shows around the theme of liberation. We’ve picked art events that demonstrate the complex positivity of this theme in celebration of summer. For visual art lovers, MoPOP’s A Queen Within liberates femininity from traditionally associated beauty standards through fashion. If you’re in the mood to see a live show, ACT Theatre’s Pass Over and Whim W’Him’s This is Not the Little Prince reinvent classic pieces of literature, and Strawberry Theatre Workshop’s Take Me Out takes a swing at raising awareness of the constraints homophobia places on a community through baseball. In addition, CUDDLE: The Series at Seattle International Film Festival and later at Northwest Film Forum explores how something as simple as a hug can be liberating. This month’s lineup is incredibly diverse, so, as summer approaches, get out there and see some art!

Photo credit: Ethan Robertson from Unsplash

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Embracing The Discomfort of American History

Review of Strange Fruit by Spectrum Dance Theater.

Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Eleanor Chang-Stucki, and edited by Teen Editor Anya Shukla!

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“Southern trees bear a strange fruit/Blood on the leaves and blood at the root.”

Originally a poem describing lynching in the American South, “Strange Fruit” was written by Abel Meeropol in 1939 and famously performed by singers Billie Holiday and Nina Simone. Strange Fruit, part of the Spectrum Dance Theater’s “Wokeness Festival,” drew its inspiration from this haunting song. This festival was to celebrate, as Donald Byrd, the Strange Fruit choreographer and Spectrum’s Artistic Director, calls it, “the notion of complete awareness.” In his Q&A after the show a few weeks ago, he described lynching, calling it “a method to keep black folks in their place and to assert white supremacy in the south.” Over 4,000 lynchings occurred over a 100 year period in America, so Strange Fruit was an important piece to create and distribute because so many Americans are still unaware of the history that forms our present day systemic inequities. The non-black U.S. population may be somewhat aware of this violence, but they cannot fully absorb the effect that it has had on black bodies, both past and present.

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RSVP for Teen Night at PNB's NEXT STEP!

See this special teens-only preview at PNB!

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Feel like a VIP when you attend this FREE teens-only preview at Pacific Northwest Ballet!

Our friends at PNB want to share their love of new work with TeenTix members at their studio preview of NEXT STEP: OUTSIDE / IN. Space is limited, so RSVP to save your seat!

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Kyle Abraham Channels Greater Power

Review of Kyle Abraham's A.I.M. presented by STG and On the Boards.

Written by Rosemary Sissel during TeenTix’s Theater & Dance Press Corps Intensive.

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Out of the smoky darkness, Kyle Abraham emerges, opening the magnificent four piece Abraham in Motion (A.I.M.) with one explosive solo, "INDY." Four stand-alone pieces that touch on police brutality, love, human connection, powerlessness, and pain, and everything begins with one gloriously powerful solo. An entire piece performed by one man.

Abraham enters through a veil of smoke, walking into an ethereal ray of light. His arms shake, pelting the light with a barrage of questions. It does not answer. Then, slowly, things calm.

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A.I.M. Should Strike a Chord Within All of Us

Review of Kyle Abraham's A.I.M. presented by STG and On the Boards.

Written by Prama Singh during TeenTix’s Theater & Dance Press Corps Intensive.

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“Shut your eyes….”, played repeatedly and the beep, beep, beep, of the sound effects rippled through the theater as the audience watched the fluid dancers take up the stage. Kyle Abraham and his company Abraham In Motion (A.I.M.) presented four pieces on stage at the Moore Theatre this March. They were all beautiful pieces, but there was one piece in particular that stood out along with a specific part of another.

In Abraham’s fourth piece, “Drive”, the music seemed to get louder and louder as fog filtered onto the stage. The dimmed lights were on the dancers as they pulsated in synch, the rhythm of the music pounding along. The feeling of desperation, and the intense need to convey something filled the air as the dynamic dancers unhesitatingly continued to flow and sway. They were swift and unstoppable in their need to get the audience to understand. An ominous feeling filled the theater, yet eyes remain locked on stage. This feeling was amplified after the previous message commemorating any black man who reached age twenty-one from the piece “Meditation: A Silent Prayer.” As the lights dimmed further and the curtains went down, the audience stood for an ovation.

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The Triangularity of Dance

Review of Director's Choice at Pacific Northwest Ballet

Written by Elisabetta Pierazzi, during TeenTix’s Theater & Dance Press Corps Intensive.

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PNB Artistic Director Peter Boal has exalted the path of ordinary life, and sometimes that of thousands of dancers, selecting three different productions that are both well linked and assorted, giving the public a real and proper representation of the stages in which the individual audience member can be encountered.

The number three is one of the recurrences that the audience can see in the production: three different acts, three different stories by three different choreographers. Matthew Neenan's "Bacchus" opens the show, continuing with "The Trees The Trees" by Robyn Mineko Williams, and the curtain falls on the latest movements Justin Peck's "In the Countenance of Kings." The minimalism of the neoclassical ballet is a perfect conductive line for the different technical aspects. The lights and the dancers communicate the stories and emotions instead of extravagant or pompous costumes, cumbersome set design, or too-perfect lines in the movements. All this makes us as audience members focus more on the feeling of self-recognition as if to say ''This is me! ''Pacific Northwest Ballet soloist Margaret Mullin in Matthew Neenan’s Bacchus. PNB is performing Bacchus as part of DIRECTOR’S CHOICE, March 15 – 24, 2019. Photo © Angela Sterling.

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PNB’s Director’s Choice Is a Menagerie of Contemporary Ballet

Review of Director's Choice at Pacific Northwest Ballet

Written by Isabell Petersen, during TeenTix’s Theater & Dance Press Corps Intensive.

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On March 15th, Pacific Northwest Ballet presented Director’s Choice, a collection of three pieces ("Bacchus," "The Trees The Trees," and "In The Countenance of Kings," respectively), two of which ("Bacchus" and "The Trees The Trees") were world premieres.

The first piece of the evening was "Bacchus," set to music composed by Oliver Davis, and choreographed by Matthew Neenan. As a whole, "Bacchus" was quite enjoyable, from the costumes, to the score, to the dancers’ movements themselves. The stage was clean, and the only backdrop provided was the mezzanine. All of the dancers were draped in deep, rich purple hues, which evoked the color and smoothness of wine (costumes designed by Mark Zappone). The movement of the dancers was almost birdlike in the beginning vignette of the piece, with dancers pairing off to intertwine themselves with one another in a courtship dance. James Moore, whose costume was a slightly brighter purple than the others, and which had a cape-like attachment- remained onstage during the entire piece, and his character’s movements seemed to influence the others. During the second vignette, when Moore danced alone, his movements were large, sweeping, and reminded me of a storm or a tempest. A third intriguing choice was when, during the third vignette, the music stopped altogether, allowing the heavy breathing and squeaking of shoes to be heard as the dancers moved around the stage.

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream Awakens Audiences at Pacific Northwest Ballet

Preview of A Midsummer Night's Dream at Pacific Northwest Ballet.

Written by Huma Ali, during TeenTix’s Beyond the Review Press Corps Intensive.

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George Balanchine's iteration of A Midsummer Night’s Dream has taken form at Pacific Northwest Ballet for the first time in five years. Inspired by Shakespeare's play of the same name, the tale regards love in its many forms—and trickery as a means to define it.

Set in the enchanted woods that surround the borders of ancient Athens, the tale follows the interference of the Fairy King, Oberon, and his jester, Puck, in the romantic relationships between mortal lovers Hermia and Lysander, and the soon-to-be couple, Helena and Demetrius. When Puck mistakenly puts Lysander under a spell causing him to fall in love with Helena, conflict plagues the forest. Pacific Northwest Ballet corps de ballet dancer Christian Poppe (with soloist Ezra Thomson and PNB company dancers) in a rehearsal for George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Photo © Lindsay Thomas.

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The Steadfast Preparation for PNB's A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Preview of A Midsummer Night's Dream at Pacific Northwest Ballet.

Written by Sumeya Block, during TeenTix’s Beyond the Review Press Corps Intensive.

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As the dancers in A Midsummer Night's Dream feverishly practice for opening night, Pacific Northwest Ballet prepares for the rush of people who will be spending their night watching the show unfold.

William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night’s Dream tells the story of a fight between King Oberon and Queen Titania, and the quarrel between two mortal couples that leads to absolute chaos and disorder. Pacific Northwest Ballet is known for its vibrant, graceful, and effortless performances. But, this does not come without a great deal of effort, grueling rehearsals, and some kinks to work out.

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Wake Up, Get Woke!

​Written by Teen Editor Hannah Schoettmer!

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Good news—it’s April now, so there’s pretty much a guarantee that it won’t snow again (and after February’s Snowpocalypse, we’re all ready for that). Temperatures are heating up, some early seasonal flowers are blooming, and Seattle residents are finally starting to emerge from hibernation. But leaving the den is difficult, so we’ve lined up a selection of art that’s sure to help you wake up. For theater enthusiasts, we’ve got A Doll's House Part 2 at Seattle Repertory Theatre, The Addams Family Musical at Edmonds Driftwood Players, and Dry Land at Seattle Public Theater, which cover a range of topics from family drama to the struggles of unwanted teen pregnancy. If you want to catch a movie, try the Stroum Jewish Film Festival, a film series that explores Jewish and Israeli identity held at a variety of venues in and around Seattle. There’s also Strange Fruit at the WOKENESS Festival by Spectrum Dance Theater, a dance festival that aims to push against assumptions surrounding race, gender, and culture. With all this variety, there’s sure to be something to catch your eye, so wake up, get woke, and go see some art!

The Teen Editorial Staff is made up of 5 teens who curate the review portion of the TeenTix blog and manage the TeenTix Newsroom. More information about the Teen Editorial Staff can be found HERE.

The TeenTix Press Corps promotes critical thinking, communication, and information literacy through criticism and journalism practice for teens. For more information about the Press Corps program see HERE.

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The Intimacy of Discomfort at [lavender]: a self portrait

Review of [lavender]: a self portrait at On the Boards.

Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Kendall Kieras, and edited by Teen Editor Lily Williamson!

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I have this idea of what someone who’s never lived on the West Coast thinks Seattleites get up to on a typical Tuesday. Visions of hipster tech executives swirl around in their head, and they dream of crowded rooms full of performance art with the kind of convoluted self expression attributed only to Pacific Northwest pheromones.

[lavender]: a self portrait fulfilled this vision. It encompassed all which is beautiful, yet utterly inaccessible about Seattle culture. Certainly, it was bold in its existence, but shedding the elitist pretense required to fully enjoy it was a daunting task. It was performed at Oxbow, a damp, concrete room full of twenty-something hipsters. As I entered the performance space, keyon gaskin, who wrote the piece, gave me hand-bound book with a lavender paint smear on the front, full of poetically deconstructed musings. Every poem felt distinctly as though it was conceptualized at two am—the kind of thing you’d write before passing out in bed.

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Moisture Festival Is Raucous, Retro Fun for All

Review of Moisture Festival.

Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Erin Croom, and edited by Teen Editor Lily Williamson!

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Seattle’s own Moisture Festival labels itself a vaudeville variety show. But what exactly does that entail? In all honesty, even after attending the event myself, there is no easy answer. With dozens upon dozens of acts in the festival as a whole, and an outlandish lineup of comedians, acrobats, clowns, and more, each show in the four-week run is a unique collection. The lineup caters to all audiences: there are family-friendly shows in the evenings and more risqué performances later in the night.

The festival’s home, Hale’s Palladium, is a brightly painted structure on the backside of the modern and hip Hale’s Brewery. At its entrance, we were greeted by a man in a gaudy orange astronaut costume and a nametag labeling him Zee. Zee scanned our tickets with a smartphone app—the last piece of modern technology we would see for the duration of this event—and ushered us inside. The Palladium is a much humbler and informal venue than such a name might suggest, with an exposed wood ceiling studded with lights of all kinds stretching over many rows of chairs facing a low stage. An acrobat’s swing is tied up in the rafters, foreshadowing acts to come.

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When A Mother Outlives Her Son

Review of Pergolesi's Stabat Mater by Early Music Seattle and Whim W'Him.

Written by Teen Editor Hannah Schoettmer, and edited by Teen Editor Anya Shukla!

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The Catholic Mass is generally structured around the reading and interpretation of a passage from the Bible. At many of the churches I’ve attended, there’s a service after the Sunday Mass for the kids, where they lead you into a classroom and break down the scripture, as well as teach you the general tenants of Catholicism.

It was in these Sunday school settings that I was first presented with an interpretation of the Virgin Mary. She was said to be a feminine ideal, a figure of compassion and mercy. A Jewish girl selected to be Jesus’ mother due to her openness to God’s will, the Virgin Mary is often held up as a symbol of purity and goodness in humanity, as she was born into an ordinary family and lived an ordinary life up to her “choosing.”

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Stories through Movement, Stories through Expression

Review of CHOP SHOP: Bodies of Work.

Written by Teen Editor Huma Ali, and edited by Teen Editor Anya Shukla!

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Going into CHOP SHOP: Bodies of Work, I wasn’t sure what to expect, and felt slightly intimidated. While I’m not entirely new to dance, having seen performances like the Nutcracker, I still classify myself as a dance newbie; I’m unfamiliar with the movements and lingo. However, I was pleasantly surprised to witness an event curated for people like me, with the purpose of presenting “accessible, creative work from artists that want to share their stories.” Bodies of Work offered an introduction to dance through eight captivating performances by various artists—allowing the audience to explore both the medium and their feelings regarding each piece.

The first piece, Lauren Horn’s Text Messages, consisted of Horn performing impressively rapid dance movements. She would elongate her arms and legs, crawling across the floor while intermittently reading text conversations between herself and her friends. It wasn’t exactly the dance movements that appealed to me in this piece, but rather the concept behind it. The story that Horn told—of texting her friends in a manner that would be funny (or weird) to anyone but those involved—was one that I could relate to on a personal level. I’ve undergone similar conversations that could only be understood by myself and the person with whom I was speaking because of both the oddity of the subject, and lack of context. As a result of such reflections, Horn’s work influenced the audience to think about technology’s role in their lives and their composure when behind a screen. Horn addressed the juxtaposition between face-to-face and face-to-screen communication by embodying dramatizations of topics over texts and emojis (through verbal and physical cues) in her piece. Although there were times in which the conversation was not understandable, the sheer weakness of the pronunciation a result of Horn’s breathlessness while dancing, the piece left a lasting impression and sparked a pondering question among the audience about our use of technology in this day and age.

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The Unspoken Geometry of Dying Languages

Review of Alonzo King's LINES Ballet at Meany Center for the Performing Arts.

Written by TeenTix Press Corps Newsroom Writer Annika Prom, and edited by Teen Editorial Staff Member Anya Shukla!

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Throughout the world, ancient languages are fading away at an alarming rate. Alonzo King’s Figures of Speech, performed by his LINES Ballet company, aimed to preserve these moribund dialects by conveying the struggle of maintaining each language’s culture. The ballet recently shared pieces of these dialects, which range from the provincial Hawai’ian language spoken by 27,200 people to the extinct Selk’nam language that has no known native speakers, with the Seattle community.

Bringing his San Francisco-based ballet ensemble to the UW’s Meany Hall, choreographer and artistic director Alonzo King collaborated with slam poet and linguistic advocate Bob Holman to present his latest pièce de résistance, Figures of Speech. The LINES Ballet explored the power behind lost languages, guiding the audience on a touching trek through the sound, movement, and shape of aboriginal languages.

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A Crystalline Tradition: PNB’s The Nutcracker

Review of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® at Pacific Northwest Ballet.

Written by TeenTix Press Corps Newsroom Writer Camille Mauceri, and edited by Teen Editorial Staff Member Huma Ali!

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While it may be controversial to begin the Christmas season so early, I began mine the evening of November 23rd, opening night of Pacific Northwest Ballet’s The Nutcracker. The result of which was a distinct and familiar feeling of jovial warmth—a near impossible emotion to leave McCaw Hall without.

Various candy-inspired photo booths and guests dressed in formalities, ranging from hipster-dressy to black tie, paraded the lobby anticipating the show. The show is inherently a family event, as evidenced by the many children wandering about. It is certainly the least intimidating ballet for new viewers due to its palatable familial storyline; an excellent way to scratch the surface of what can often feel like an inaccessible art form.

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Dust off Your Sugarplums: The Nutcracker is Back!

​This holiday tradition can be yours for just $5.

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As all you old school TeenTixers know, Pacific Northwest Ballet's wildly popular Nutcracker ballet is the ONLY PNB show ALL YEAR that is NOT TeenTix eligible.

HOWEVER, because they love us so much, PNB always puts aside a little stash of TeenTix tickets for one day of Nutcracker each year. It is an AMAZING, annual tradition that draws teens from far and wide. YOU WON'T WANT TO MISS IT!!

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What Happens When You Give Dancers A Say?

Review of Whim W'Him's Choreographic Shindig IV, written by Teen Editorial Staff Member Anya S, and edited by Teen Editorial Staff Member Hannah S!
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I used to be a dancer. When I danced, however, I never felt closely connected with what I was asked to perform. Sure, The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty were classics, but their stories didn’t represent my identity. I didn’t feel that my dancing reflected who I was.

At Whim W’Him’s Choreographic Shindig IV, however, the company could choose pieces and choreographers that reflected them. For the Choreographic Shindig IV, the dancers chose three choreographers—Alice Klock, Brendan Duggan, and Omar Román de Jesús. These artists, using the dancers’ input, created three 20-minute pieces: "Before After," "Stephanie Knows Some Great People," and "Welcome to Barrio Ataxia." Klock’s piece, "Before After," dealt with the death of one world and the birth of the next. It began with the end: a spotlight illuminated a soloist clad in grey, slowly rubbing his hands together. He then moved about the space, clearly suffering. When he was spent, he collapsed to the ground. His death sharply contrasted with what came next. Two dancers, wearing green, created life through fluid extensions and expansive gestures, their movements reminiscent of youthful deer running across a field.

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Announcement: PNB Changes 2 for $10 Day!

​From Sundays to Thursdays, there's a new day to snag the 2 for $10 deal at Pacific Northwest Ballet.

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Hey, PNB fans!

We know you love getting a deal at Pacific Northwest Ballet. Previously, you've been able to get 2 tickets for $5 each on Sundays, but going forward, this is the new policy:

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