It's wintertime! Even in Seattle's bleakest months of the year, vibrancy and inspiration are definitely not gone from Seattle’s arts scene. This month our writers will be putting on their explorer hats and experiencing art from around the globe. So join them on experiences ranging from Indonesian Gamelan to Nordic sculptures to contemporary Seattle experimentation.
Seeking to disrupt and reinvent, NextFest NW 2023 at Velocity Dance is a celebration of experimentation. Northwestern artists Maximiliano, Kara Beadle, Danielle Ross, and Sophie Marie Schatz present a singular yet cohesive experience from dancing, movement, and light. NextFest runs December 7-9 + 14-16, so don’t miss the contemporary event of the season at 12th Ave Arts.
Run, don’t walk, to Inspired by Gamelan at Emerald City Music. Gamelan is a traditional percussion orchestra, originating from Indonesia. Unfortunately, the Balinese Gamelan Ensemble will not be able to make it this year, but be ready for a Gamelan-inspired program featuring various contemporary and classical artists such as Maurice Ravel, Steve Reich, and Claude Debussy, and many who have drawn inspiration from the music.
And if you’re looking for “unmatched joy, reverence, and beauty,” check out Pacific MusicWorks’s Navidad! The Mystery of Mary, a festive collection of music from across Latin America with performances Dec 16 - 17th. It’s an unmissable celebration of syncretic art, inspired by a keystone figure in many cultures across the American continents, featuring Cecilia Duarte, Antonio Gomez, Stephen Stubbs, and the Pacific MusicWorks band.
At the National Nordic Museum, the striking, life-size sculptures of Steinunn Þórarinsdóttir: Wayfinders guide museum-goers through the gallery spaces, in a stately exhibition that draws from immigrants’ journeys from Nordic regions to North America. You can visit the Museum, open Tuesday through Sunday from 10am to 5pm, and meet these aluminum-cast figures all the way through this coming January 28.
And lastly, Langston Hughes’ rousing gospel play Black Nativity runs at Intiman Theatre from December 12 to December 30. Black Nativity was a staple of Intiman from 1998-2012, and it’s back, complete with the chance to sing along to timeless carols and be inspired by the brand-new cast and crew’s rediscovery of a classic Seattle tradition.