This spring, Relay Dance Collective will present an evening of dance called Passage in Yaw Theater -- a new beacon for contemporary dance in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood. The historically industrial area is now gaining influence as an arts hub, especially due to the enclave of arts spaces called Equinox Studios. This vibrant community of artists is home to welders, glass-blowers, atelier instructors (Gage Academy of Art), and now, dancers.
Two pioneering artists, Stella Kutz (Yaw Theater) and Dayna Hansen (Base), have created new, multi-use spaces next door to one another for dance rehearsal and performance in the old McKinnon WoodWorking Factory, across the street from the original Equinox Studios on Fifth Avenue South.
Rehearsing and performing in a working-class community where people may not be as familiar with dance couldn’t be more exciting for Relay, a Seattle-based-troupe focused on “creating a broad appetite for dance” and performances “that co-workers and families feel welcome attending.” (SeattleDances).
“It is an honor for us to be among the first wave of dancers in this new location for dance in Seattle,” said Gabrielle Nomura Gainor, Relay Co-Artistic Director. “Stella Kutz has created an immaculately beautiful space where all can feel welcome as artists and audience members. Both our company, as well as Stella’s space, stand for community, for calling people into the arts, and for welcoming everyone.”
Indeed, while Relay has made Yaw it’s artistic home base for rehearsals and performance, the collective is not alone. Anyone can rent Yaw Theater for affordable rehearsal, performance or event space.
In addition to creating Yaw, Kutz has danced with Relay since 2014 (in addition to working with other groups such as Jerboa Dance). Relay’s Passage will be her first time performing in her own space in a more formal performance.
“Yaw exists so that many different types of people can come together to create something new,” Kutz said. “I’m thrilled that such diverse, exciting Seattle choreographers and performers have been infusing their magic into the space in preparation for Relay’s show; and I look forward to welcoming performers of all kinds here in the future.”
Emerging and established choreographers featured in Passage include:
Relay will also perform a piece first set on Spectrum Dance Theater called Of Passion You Have Plenty” by Mark J. Kane, as well as a solo called Shrinking Women that includes a monologue by poet Lily Myers. Shrinking Women is choreographed by Holly Logan, with whom Relay is thrilled to be working as part of a 2017 choreographer exchange. Resident Choreographer/Co-Artistic Director Austin Sexton will later set a work on Logan’s company, Intrepidus Dance, for their June performance at Yaw Theater.
Passage includes a cast of more than 20 Relay collective members such as Hailey Burt (2016 choreographer for Full Tilt), Hannah Rae (The Buttcracker); as well as guest artists Lauren Linder (Petra Zanki’s 365 – A Solo); Randy Ford (Au Collective: House of Dinah); and Hendri Walujo (Jessica Jobaris & General Magic).
RDC Collective Members: Jerene Aldinger, Hailey Burt, Alex Cann, Gabrielle Nomura Gainor, Amber Jackson, Stella Kutz, Christopher Engelbrecht, Katherine Freeman, Tara McFarland, Hannah Rae, Ayako Shapiro, Elizabeth Sugawara, Austin Sexton, Diadra Smith, Fiona Vigdor, Tess Wendel.
Relay Dance Collective presents Passage
Yaw Theater (Equinox Studios)
7:30 p.m. Friday, March 31
2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. April 1 -2
Tickets go on sale at relaydance.org on Feb. 1. $15 pre-sale; $20 (check or cash) at the door.