Relay Dance Collective presents PASSAGE March 31 | April 1-2, 2017 Yaw Theater 6520 5th Ave S Seattle, WA 98108 Cost: General $20.00; Patron (preferred seating) $30
By Gabrielle Gainor When we selected Constanze Villines from our annual audition this summer, I don't think we had any idea what a gift we were giving to ourselves.
P.s. Sorry for the terrible name puns in these blog posts, but I have to say, it accurately captures the inspirational truth about "Connie." She is a powerhouse of Seattle dance. She performs. She creates. She shows up for other artists (in fact, I just ran into her at Amy J and Markeith's show. Not only had she helped them shovel sand, the show was sold out, so I think she may have ended up sitting with her daughter on her lap. Dedication!). With her involvement in different pockets of the scene, Connie builds bridges and strengthens the community as a whole. In other words, she is extremely Relay-y (Relay-esque?).
Whether it's mastering technical choreography for Amy Johnson's piece (which she was cast in for our Season 5 show, Passage), or being asked to improvise, Connie dives right in. She has something special to offer in so many ways, as both an artist and as a person. I think all of us trying to make art in this city should aspire to be more like her.
Also, her amazing attitude in rehearsal reminds me of how much I love working with "older dancers" (her words to describe herself, not mine). But it's true. Nothing against early 20-somethings, but the humility, sense of humor, and self-confidence of someone like Connie who is more Jedi than Padawan, is pretty great to be around.
The wonderful thing about having an annual audition, as my friend Ella Mahler wisely stated, is that it's not only way more inclusive than simply sourcing from your college friends, it enriches the make-up of the performers, and allows us to draw from a wider net of talented folks. Connie is one of a handful of recent artists (including Hailey Burt, Ayako Shapiro, Christopher Engelbrecht, Siena Dumas, Amber Jackson, Rosemary Adams, Tara McFarland, and Lynn Tofil) whom we crossed paths with exclusively because of the audition.
Originally from Germany, Connie trained in Munich, including at the Munich Opera until age 11. She holds a theater arts degree from Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. She's danced for numerous choreographers in Seattle, as well as on the west coast and abroad. (see full bio on artist page). She is the managing director for Khambatta Dance Company and the founder and artistic director of re:flexion Dance.
What's your claim to fame? I’ll win any lip sync battle!
How would you like to continue to evolve as an artist? I love to be challenged and I love to collaborate. I would like to choreograph a really funny piece, as that seems to be so hard for me. All my pieces so far have been pertaining to serious matters, I’d love to tackle something funny and tickle the audience. As a dancer, I’d love to be in love with my knees more, and give stretchy love to my IT bands.
What's the best show (dance or otherwise) you've seen in Seattle recently? I really enjoyed Kidd Pivot’s last performance “Betroffenheit"
What do you want to see more of? I’d love to see more interdisciplinary performances, performances that are playing with the audience's horizon and leave you satiated as it moved every brain muscle in your body.
How would your loved ones describe you? My husband just described me as beautiful, funny, and creative. My kids would probably describe me as really old, sporty, and warm.
Favorite brunch spot or bar in Seattle? Tough one, as I keep searching every so often, but really enjoyed a recent meal at Lola's.
What is your spirit animal? Oh, probably a mix between a bunny and a salamander
Who is an artist in Seattle whose work you enjoy? I really enjoy Wade Madsen’s work
What's one thing that's challenged you or pushed you to grow this year? Realizing I am one of the "older dancers" and being reminded by my body that this is so - which won’t slow me down, it’ll just make me grow more and be more aware of taking care of my body.
What was your favorite part of dancing for Relay this year? I really enjoyed getting to know all the other dancers, working with Amy J. Lambert was a blast, and having a very calm, creative, non-competitive rehearsal environment.
Best post-rehearsal treat? A Tennessee mule and truffle fries
What's next for you? Out on a Limb 12 minute dance festival in Olympia, SIDF 2017, and rolling out my IT bands.
What else would you like to say? Thank you to everyone at RDC, it’s been so much fun!!!