By Gabrielle NomuraGainor This year, Relay Dance Collective presents "Foreplay Longtime" featuring music by the band Boston, and choreography by Diana Cardiff. Dancing in this piece marks the achievement of one of my lifelong dance goals: getting to work with Diana. A friend of my family's, Diana was an inspiration to me growing up. While, as a tween, I was dancing in spring recitals and The Steadfast Tin Soldier Christmas ballet, Diana was a super-cool grown-up performing at Bumbershoot and Velocity Dance Center; she had her own company D9 Dance Collective, and worked with some of the most exciting artists in Seattle. I remember watching in awe as Diana danced in Pat Graney's "Vivian Girls" at the Moore Theatre. In addition to performing, Diana was actively creating and collaborating, two things I knew little about in the bunhead years of my youth. I was especially amazed by the popularity of one of her creations: Buttrock Suites, a modern-dance homage to bands such as Van Halen, Twisted Sister and AC/DC. Attending a sold-out Buttrockperformance at the old Velocity (at Odd Fellows Hall) was a rock concert--it felt like that at least. Except for maybe Mark Morris' Hard Nut, I've never witnessed a modern-dance performance bring out such excitement and deliver so much theatricality to its audience. Gone were the normally-reserved dance patrons; they had been replaced by people hooting and hollering as if they were in a football stadium. As Relay, our troupe of 80s babies, prepares to perform Diana's piece, I can only pray that we will do justice to Buttrock, and the generation before us who came of age in an era of leather, headbanging and that sweet, sweet HAIR. While working with Diana in the studio (which included learning the worm dance move!) I've thoroughly enjoyed this cultural exploration into Diana's and my parents' generation. What I love about Diana's piece is that she's not simply making fun of buttrock, even though that would be easy to do in a slapstick way, like something off of Saturday Night Live. Instead, her tongue-and-cheek choreography is an honest, albeit hilarious, celebration of music from her youth. As you might expect, the chance to dance in "Foreplay," the first piece Diana ever choreographed for Buttrock, is pretty radical.
What excites you artistically? Things that are surreal, yet still entertain. Nature. Earnestness.
What was the inspiration for your piece? The drama of the music and the nostalgia of hearing it as a kid often played by my brother.
What's your spirit animal? Mermicorn: half mermaid half unicorn. Master of Land and Sea.
What's your guilty pleasure? I don't ever feel guilty for what I take pleasure in. I own it.
Proudest accomplishment as an artist? The absolute success of Buttrock Suites, however d9 Dance Collective is right up there, too.
Most humbling moment as an artist. Nature humbles me constantly. Too many moments, however whales breaching gets me every time.
If you were a color, you'd be: Green mostly with tinges of gold.
How can we learn more about your work in dance? Just come talk to me.
What should we be paying attention to in the dance world? Be wary of art without craft; that relies on being hip only, and, has no integrity; is not earnest; or lacks real substance. _________________________________________________________
RDC3 7:30 p.m., April 3-5, 2015 Velocity Dance Center 1621 12th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122 Contemporary, Seattle-based dance company Relay Dance Collective presents "RDC3," an evening of vibrant, powerful and diverse dances. is happening April 3-5 at Velocity Dance Center featuring a special guest performance by ARC Dance Company.