Windows and Mirrors Across the Seattle Art Scene

Teen Editorial Staff September 2022 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Kyle Gerstel and Aamina Mughal

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As summer yields itself to autumn, a sense of renewal flurries in the air. For TeenTix, this manifests itself most literally in our new batch of TEDS (Teen Editorial Staff) and Newsroom writers, but we also want to consider the importance of increasing the range of stories we consume and how we consume them. Depending on your perspective, the events you’ll see reviewed on the blog this month can act as windows into experiences different from your own, as well as mirrors reflecting and representing voices that are too often left unheard.

Art has served as an outlet for marginalized communities, but the arts community has also historically suppressed these voices, making diverse perspectives inaccessible. We believe it is critical for teens (and all citizens) to see themselves represented in art and expose themselves to the experiences of others. As the school year starts back up, it is our hope that we continue this trend of renewal and are able to introduce a greater feeling of belonging in the arts scene.

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The Illusion of Ripples at CRASH

Review of Crash and Juxtapose by Jacob Jonas The Company at Edmonds Center for the Arts

Written by Ella Scholz-Bertram during TeenTix’s Dance Journalism Workshop at ECA

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CRASH

Once the lights dimmed, I was silent until confusion came over me; I had not recognized the dull hum of the ocean as the starting music for this piece. But soon I settled again once a faint spotlight outlined a body on stage: a man. The sound of waves rose as he moved his arm up and rolled, his legs up, and rolled. Maybe the movement of his body wasn’t to the music, but rather mimicking where the sounds derived from: crashing waves. Other dancers sprang out of the dark of the back of the stage and simultaneously swayed with him. They continuously worked as a whole to create the illusion of ripples. When performing with one another, the atypical collaboration of dancers flush against each other on the floor had them almost toppling over one another, though fortunately that was avoided. They flowed apart as my eyes adjusted to the light that was gradually brightening.

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The Dance of the Ocean

Review of Crash by Jacob Jonas The Company at Edmonds Center for the Arts

Written by Elizabeth Josiah during TeenTix’s Dance Journalism Workshop at ECA

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A shard of light in the darkness. The constant movement of the ocean, drifting in and out like the guitar’s melody. Swirling whitewater becomes the mesmerizing limbs of a dancer, their rolls across the stage becoming the crest of a wave. Two dancers entangle themselves in a complicated lift, like a whale fluke slipping beneath the surface. Large, sweeping movements echo down the line until the dancers fall and slap the ground loudly, suggesting not just the motion of waves, but also emotion connected with the powerful crash. Okaidja Afroso’s song reverberates, his low voice both emotional and nostalgic, fitting exactly with the background sound of the sea. There are no elaborate costumes, and one musician accompanies the dance. Yet, the elements come together to communicate a personal message that anyone could understand, and in a different way than reading a book or watching a movie. The story painted by Jacob Jonas The Company’s Crash is the ocean, both in its simplicity and its mystery.

Lead Photo: Image of dancers in Crash presented by Jacob Jonas The Company’s at ECA. Photo by Matthew Brush.

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.

This review was written as part of a Dance Journalism Workshop at Edmonds Center for the Arts which was held April 30-May 14, 2022. The workshop was taught by Press Corps teaching artist Omar Willey.

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Crash Displays the Seamless Spirit of the Ocean

Review of Crash by Jacob Jonas The Company at Edmonds Center for the Arts

Written by Audrey Gray during TeenTix’s Dance Journalism Workshop at ECA

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The moon pulls the tides to and fro on the shores. Just a few blocks away, flawless choreography pulls the dancers in Jacob Jonas The Company’s production of Crash back and forth across the stage at Edmonds Center for the Arts. The dancers’ movements are synchronized as they duck and bend with the fluid and seamless spirit of the ocean, never stopping for a moment’s rest. The stage is always taken up by the flourishing and spinning of dancers fanning out like a wave smashing on the sand, followed by the gentler movements of calmer moments in the sea. The restlessness of the ocean is the key inspiration behind the work, and indeed shines masterfully throughout the performance. It’s so invigorating, full of emotion and energy, that I could hardly take my eyes off it.

As soon as the audience members took their seats and the lights dimmed to near complete darkness, Crash began a transition into a completely different world from the theater lobby. Speakers started playing, gently and almost imperceptibly at first, the sounds of crashing waves and the calming ambience of the ocean. Then, the first dancers started making an appearance, joining the sounds of the ocean in gentle, rolling movements across the stage. The dim stage lighting illuminated just the sides of the stage, and seemed to simulate morning light. From the very beginning, the lighting and sound design gave the audience a keen sense of the passage of time and the sun’s cycle through the sky. The early show’s silence and emptiness represented perfectly the feel of the dark early morning, and as the show went on, it progressed into more emotive daytime scenes. In the otherwise silent hall, I was taken by just how overwhelming yet tranquil the combination of the dancers’ repetitive movements and the now loud crashing of the waves was. The entire scene started the night off with an unconventional type of bang, filling one’s senses and setting the mood of the whole piece.

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The Relaxing Trance of Crash

Review of Crash by Jacob Jonas The Company at Edmonds Center for the Arts

Written by Nastya Wilcox during TeenTix’s Dance Journalism Workshop at ECA

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I have known about Jacob Jonas The Company for a little bit. When I found out that they were coming to Seattle, I had to go and see their show called Crash. The waves off of the Santa Monica Pier inspired this show and it included the waves and their height/positions that were scientifically researched. For him, Jacob Jonas said that the ocean was a place of healing and relief. This show offered precisely that.

Crash began in the darkness and silence, and you could tell people were afraid to make even the slightest noise not to destroy the pre-show mood. The light slowly came on from the left of the stage, it was a soft white light. This was the sunrise; the dancer's bodies were covered with this one-sided light, and they looked so peaceful. A couple of solos started, then more and more joined in laying on the ground and making wave shapes with their body. It looked exactly like a wave shape you would see in the ocean. The waves were formed with their legs in their hands, moving in ½ second counts. Gradually, dancers got up one by one, with each performing a solo before they went back into the ocean formation. This reminded me of big waves hitting the beach and then going back in the water. The music was the kind you hear in morning meditations: slow, twinkly, and full of energy. The dancers' movements were soft, and they expressed the music perfectly. It was more like the music wasn't for them, but they were there for the music.

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What's So Special About Ballet?

Review of Kent Stowell's Swan Lake presented by Pacific Northwest Ballet

Written by Teen Editor Lucia McLaren and edited by TeenTix Mentor Melody Datz Hansen.

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Swan Lake is one of the most well-known ballets of all time. It is a classic, somber tale of love between Prince Seigfried and Odette, a young woman who transforms into a swan due to a sorcerer’s curse.

As a student of ballet since fourth grade, I was nervous about reviewing Pacific Northwest Ballet’s presentation of Swan Lake, as it was my first time seeing the piece. Would my level of experience do it justice in a review? Would my lofty expectations of it be fulfilled? Tchaikovsky’s music perpetuates just about every ballet class in America, and I was familiar with the performance’s format, but nonetheless, the nerves were there.

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April Showers Bring Art’s Flowers

Teen Editorial Staff April 2022 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Eleanor Cenname and Lucia McLaren

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There is something a bit nostalgic every time spring rolls around. The familiar whiff of flowers that brings to mind the warmer seasons. For those of us going to school, the end of the year starts to come into crisp focus. And best of all, the days grow longer, giving us just a little more time in the day to play. At TeenTix, we like to play by enjoying art. If you would like to join us as we use our new daylight hours, consider visiting the TeenTix calendar for a full list of arts events happening this month. Let us also recommend a few of the April events that we are most looking forward to.

As the weather gets warmer and students get restless, it’s a great month to take a look at some old favorites. If a nostalgia trip feels like the right thing for you this time of year, come down and see a musical adaptation of the classic, fun kid’s book Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! at Seattle Children’s Theatre. Or if you want to engage in some more mature forms of art, Pacific Northwest Ballet will be presenting the unforgettable Swan Lake. Even if you are not much of a ballet enthusiast, this age-old story is truly a delight to watch for everyone, and the dancers performing are sure to be talented and creative.

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Dance Journalism Workshop with Edmonds Center for the Arts!

Registration is now open!

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The TeenTix Press Corps is collaborating with Edmonds Center for the Arts to present a Dance Journalism Workshop! This workshop is a three-weekend experience, with meetings on April 30, May 7, and May 14, 2022. You'll learn how to approach writing about dance, attend a performance of Jacob Jonas The Company’s CRASH ft. Okaidja Afroso, try your hand at writing a dance review.

Register now by signing up on THIS FORM!

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Announcing: Art Begets Art Creative Writing Workshops!

See cool art and respond with creative writing in these new workshops with TeenTix and On the Boards!

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Calling all creative writers! Join us for a new series of FREE creative writing workshops, hosted by TeenTix in collaboration with On the Boards. In each Art Begets Art mini-workshop you’ll attend a performance at the On the Boards, then produce a piece of creative writing in response to the performance. Mini-workshops consists of three meetings: a pre-meeting to learn about the performance you'll be seeing, the performance itself, and a post-meeting to work on your creative writing.

You'll get to discuss the performance with other art-loving teens, meet the artist after the show, and receive individual mentorship from a professional writer on your work. There will also be an opportunity to publish your work on the TeenTix blog and receive a stipend for publication!

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PNB's Nutcracker is Back In-Person and Ready to Thrill You!

Find out how you can see this Seattle holiday staple!

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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 The 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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The Formation: A Performance of Pride and Power

Review of Let ‘im Move You: This Is a Formation at On the Boards

Written by Teen Editor Disha Cattamanchi and edited by Teen Editor Lucia McLaren

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It was with a force of a lion that the dancers gracefully contorted their bodies to the grand bass of the music. The earth-shaking tracks vibrated through Merrill Theater at On the Boards, mixed live at the sound table. Black dancers displayed their choreographed finesse and pride through This Is a Formation, the final work in jumatatu m. poe and Jermone Donte Beacham series Let ‘im Move You. Though the choreographed performance imbued Black Queer pride into a powerful visual performance, it contained elements of full-body nudity that were not highlighted beforehand, creating a somewhat startling performance experience for me. However, the performance skillfully melded ideas of sexuality, beauty, and playfulness into a piece that supersedes the boundaries of dance.

As poe and Beachman guided visitors into the performance space, onlookers noticed that Merrill Theater was transformed to fit the engaging nature of the performance. The seats were blocked off by a long black sheet, eliminating the use of a traditional ‘audience’ structure. Instead, onlookers of the performance were immersed into the formation of dancers. There was no allocated space for the dancers to perform on, no partition or separation between the performers and the viewers. Instead, people circled around the performance to get a closer look at the turns of the dancers’ bodies: the specific positions of their fingers, the darting of their feet to move them to different levels from the floor. This created an intimate and special atmosphere, calling back to a time where performance art was shared in the streets with crowds passing them in the big city.

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Told in Shadow with Catapult

Review of Catapult at Edmonds Center of the Arts

Written by Teen Editor Lucia McLaren and edited by Teen Editor Triona Suiter

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If you’ve ever seen a talent show before, you know the deal. They’re flashy, short performances that get across impressive qualities to the audience—be that someone’s neighbors or a huge crowd and TV audience. Catapult is an ensemble of dancers that got their start on one of the most famous (or infamous) talent shows of them all: America’s Got Talent. They get their reputation from their quirky, creative choreography done behind a screen, such that the audience can only see their silhouettes in shadow. It’s not something done by many. But with such a niche performance, what happens when they break free of the glossy sheen of television?

I went to see Catapult at Edmonds Center for the Arts, once a high school in a smaller area called Edmonds just outside of Seattle. The theater was smaller and the audience was older than their call to fame in Radio City Music Hall. It’s a step down, by most standards, but it meant fewer distractions from the performance itself—something I, as a dancer, was very interested to see. Photo by Peter Dervin

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Finding a New Appreciation at Beyond Ballet

Review of Beyond Ballet by the Pacific Northwest Ballet

Written by Newsroom Writer Haley Zimmerman and edited by Teen Editor Lucia McLaren

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I came to Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Beyond Ballet with a bit of skepticism, or maybe insecurity. My experiences of ballet—dance class at age five, occasional viewings of the Nutcracker—were few and far between, and I was supposed to go “beyond”? But I set my fears aside, put on a dress I hadn’t worn since March 2020, and made it to my seat in the very last row of McCaw Hall.

I found myself behind a trio of honest-to-God ballet students, apprentices at PNB, who chatted away about someone’s partnering and someone else’s port de bras, leaving me somewhat in awe. Before the show, three dancers took the stage to be promoted—promotion, I realized, is a big deal in ballet. After the applause from the audience faded, they ducked behind the curtain, where a muffled cheer went up backstage from their fellow dancers. It was a refreshing reminder that for all ballet’s mystique, it’s also a career, and the dancers are out there working hard and celebrating their co-workers. Then the curtain rose, and the mystique was back. Photo by Angela Sterling

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Fall 21: Whim W’Him’s Unique Explorations of Liminality

Review of Fall 21 by Whim W'Him

Written by Teen Editor Triona Suiter and edited by Teen Editor Valentine Wulf

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As we move into the shorter days, Whim W’Him opens their season with their annual Fall Showcase, this year featuring “Nova” by Alice Klock and Florian Lochner, “Underlove” by Mark Castera, and “E=16-0163-TSX” by Rena Butler. Presented as both live performances and as films on Whim W’Him’s streaming platform IN-With-WHIM, these three dances traverse the lands of unreality in ways that manage to hit startlingly close to true.

(The following is a review of the films only, not the live performances.)

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Celebrate the Holidays with Art

Teen Editorial Staff November 2021 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Esha Potharaju and Triona Suiter

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As we settle into the cozy fall weather, November beckons a slew of holiday celebrations. One way to get into the spirit is by enjoying some good old art, maybe to bond with a loved one you haven’t caught up with in almost two years, or maybe to treat yourself on a solitary afternoon. In the coming month, the TeenTix Newsroom will be hurtling through ballet shows, film classes, timeless plays, and holiday thrillers—and we hope you can join us in the journey.

To kick off the month right away with a healthy dose of feminism, we highly recommend checking out From Heartthrob to Movie Star at SIFF on November 4th. This virtual class focuses on the power of stories written specifically for a female audience and the importance of continuing to tell these stories despite the film industry’s increasing disregard for their value. Or, if you’re interested in female empowerment but want something a little more self-guided, Henry Art Gallery is hosting Diana Al-Hadid’s Archive of Longings exhibition, which will showcase sculptures exploring the natural world, Syrian and Muslim histories, and the female body.

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Come Home to Safety, Love, and Joy

Review of HOMECOMING Performing Arts Festival presented by Intiman Theatre
Written by Teen Writer Ava Carrel and edited by Teen Editor Lucia McLaren

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Last weekend’s HOMECOMING Performing Arts Festival from Intiman Theatre was a true celebration of joy. Walking into the festival, the love and effort could be immediately recognized: the patterns on the wristbands were beautifully drawn and the staff had towels on hand, constantly wiping seats off to make the event more accessible for their disabled or older guests. The pride was clear and well deserved.

The media constantly bombards us with news and images of trauma, loss, and marginalization—with the immense suffering of marginalized people becoming a staple in news today. Desensitization to such topics is becoming increasingly, and worryingly, normal. While it's essential to recognize systemic challenges to be able to invoke change, it’s just as important to showcase the togetherness and joy of POC and LGBTQIA+ communities.

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Back in School, Back in Business

Teen Editorial Staff September 2021 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Disha Cattamanchi and Lucia McLaren

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While 2021 renews the all-too-familiar challenges of last year, it also brings something a bit more hopeful: a fall season full of new opportunities. The pandemic may not be defeated, but we are learning to adapt and minimize its spread, which means (you guessed it!) in-person events are returning. So as students pack their bags for the semester and the weather gets cooler, look to see what art we’re reviewing this September.

If starting school again makes you want to get on your feet and dance, then going to an in-person dance event may be just for you. Let ‘im Move You: This is a Formation, a contemporary dance performance at On the Boards utilizes themes of Black Femme and queerness to tell a vivid portrayal through dance. Whim W’Him is also presenting exciting performances with Fall 21 to get your spirits running high and ready for school. If dance isn’t what you’re looking for, you’re in luck. TeenTix LA has recently expanded to LA, and we will be are featuring the TeenTix LA staff to learn about the arts landscape in LA and what it’s been like to open a new branch of TeenTix.

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Rep 4: Online vs. On-Stage

Review of Rep 4, presented by Pacific Northwest Ballet

Written by Teen Writer Serafina Miller and edited by Teen Editor Anya Shulka

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From The Nutcracker to new works, if you’re thinking about dance in Seattle, you’re probably thinking about the Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB). In their most recent online release, the PNB showcased several premieres—designed to be performed in a virtual world, as well as filmed in early February and March by dedicated PNB dancers—along with older pieces that had been recorded in years prior. As a lover of dance, I was quite excited to see how a professional company had been adapting to this new presentation style.

The show opened with a Western-inspired piece by Donald Byrd. The dancers explored this new frontier with a dance style to almost mimicked line dancing. Using sharp angles and movements one would be hard-pressed to deem classical, the dancers shadowed a style that the audience would typically associate with the Old West. Yet, the movements still held a rigidity typical of older ballets, a far cry from the unfettered appearance I associate with Western dances. This first piece was interesting to watch; the concept was fairly easy to grasp but felt too removed as an audience member. Without being able to feel the collective environment of a theatre, it almost felt too peculiar to grasp through a screen. Rep 4. Photo by Angela Sterling.

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April’s Showers and Flowers

Teen Editorial Staff April 2021 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Anya Shulka and Lucia McLaren

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As vaccination rates rise, we can see the tail end of the pandemic on the horizon (knock on wood!). In this uncertainty-filled year, it's a huge relief to see improving conditions, though exercising caution is more important than ever. Still, warmer weather is peeking around the corner, and there's plenty of art and media for you to explore this month—no matter what you're looking for.

It’s no secret that the news has gotten everyone thinking about what comes next. For those interested in what life might look like in the future, look no further than Unexpected Productions’ Seattle Theatresports, a now in-person improv show. For those who prefer to see what teens envision the coming years to look like, check out SIFF’s Futurewave, an exciting lineup of movies and shorts curated for youth audiences.

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Announcing the Mentorship for Teen Artists of Color Summer Cohort!

Applications are now open!

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TeenTix, in partnership with The Colorization Collective (a teen-run organization that promotes diversity in the arts) is excited to announce our 2021 Summer Cohort of our Mentorship for Teen Artists of Color (M-TAC) program. This program will specifically allow teen artists of color to hone their artwork under the guidance of professional mentors. This is a great way for teens to better their craft, build connections in the arts community, and present their art!

This mentorship is for teens interested in visual arts (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.) and performing arts (musical theater, acting, etc.). Teens will be put into either a visual arts or performing arts cohort, and each group will be paired with a professional artist/mentor of color to create or workshop a piece specifically for the program showcase.SCHEDULE

The Summer M-TAC program will meet for 5 weeks (July 7-August 6), every Wednesday from 2-5 PM PST. The meetings dates are: July 7, 14, 21, 28, and August 4. There will also be a one-hour showcase the week of August 9 (exact time TBD).

Teens in the M-TAC program will also have the opportunity to participate in workshops during the school year, as well as present their finished work during the TeenTix Teen Arts and Opportunities Fair in June of 2022.

Applications are open now and close at 12 AM (midnight) PST on May 31, 2021. APPLY HERE!

Applicants must be ages 13-19 and a current TeenTix member to participate. (Not a TeenTix member yet? Don't worry - sign up for free right here!)

If you need assistance filling out this application, please contact Anya Shukla at colorizationcollective@gmail.com.

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