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Tag Archives: Men in Dance

  • 8th Against the Grain/Men in Dance Festival

    Dioscuri photo by Colleen Dishy, dancers Danny Boulet, Sylvain Boulet, choreographer Donald Byrd.


    Attention Seattle dance fans! There's still time to purchase tickets to the oh-so-fabulous Men In Dance Festival! The biennial treat opens this weekend and is shaping up to be its best year yet! Check out the press release below for more details. {PS: We'll be there on opening night...will you?}




     (Seattle, WA) The 8th biennial Men In Dance (MID) Festival will be held at Broadway Performance Hall on the Seattle Central Community College Campus (1625 Broadway Seattle, WA 98122, (206)325-3113).  The festival will run October 8th & 9th at 8PM, 10th at 2PM and 15th & 16th at 8PM, 17th at 2PM.  Ticket price ranges from $12 to $20.  Tickets can be purchased through Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800-838-3006.  Credit card purchases through Brown Paper Tickets.  Cash and check sales only at the door. 


    As the longest running dance festival in Seattle, MID brings together a broad cross-section of dance. From the genres of classical ballet, modern and tap, to the most current contemporary techniques including, spoken word and site specific work it’s all encompassing.  This powerful showcase will present new upcoming choreographic talent from Pacific Northwest Ballet, Cornish College of the Arts, and The University of Washington as well as some of our strongest choreographers from past festivals.  For the first time MID will expanded it’s reach past the Seattle area to bring in dancers from the Portland, OR based company Northwest Dance Project (Artistic Director Sarah Slipper) to perform a work created by one of our favorite past choreographers Gérard Théorêt.     


    Returning choreographers of note:  Donald Byrd, Artistic Director of Spectrum Dance Theater, known for his thought provoking work will be premiering a new piece choreographed for Peter Boal, Artistic Director of Pacific Northwest Ballet.  Noted in 2008’s festival for his duet "Dioscuri" (inspired by the Greek myth of twin brothers Castor and Pollux) Michael Upchurch at the Seattle Times said the piece was a “sense of being immersed in a world at once rivalrous, tender and hermetic”.  Also returning to the festival will be Olivier Wevers, Pacific Northwest Ballet Principal Dancer and Director/Founder of the contemporary dance company Whim W'Him.  Fresh from his company’s premier last year, Wevers brings a new era of collaboration and artistry with his choreography that is sure to set the bar for the festival.  One of the founding female choreographers, Deborah Wolf, Professor of Dance at Cornish College of the Arts, will be returning to premier a new piece.  Wolf has received acclaim for her 2008 festival submission “The Hip Deep Family” inspired by the gothic humor of illustrator Edward Gorey, by being picked as one of the finalists at On The Boards A.W.A.R.D. Show!, produced by the Joyce Theater Foundation. 


    New choreographers to note: Sonia Dawkins Director/Founder of Sonia Dawkins Prism Dance Theatre will have her premier at the festival this year.  Dawkins is known for explosive powerful movement with rhythm, speed and clarity of intention.  She will create a new piece for five male artists that focus on the “Voices of a Male”.  Also new to the festival this year is Barry Kerollis; dancer with Pacific Northwest Ballet.  Kerollis has been showcased three times at PNB’s annual Choreographer’s Showcase, and has already been noted for his work being “poignant, thrilling, architectural looking and momentum building”.  Kerollis will create a new piece for the MID festival that is inspired by a Brazilian instrumental group.  David Lorence Schleiffers, graduate of the University of Washington and Artistic Director/Resident Choreographer of Quark Contemporary Dance Theatre, will make his debut with our festival this year.  He will be reworking a former piece that looks at multiple aspects of male interaction including playfulness, friendship and a need for affection. 

    Our complete list of choreographers is as follows: Week 1 - Donald Byrd, Barry Kerolis, Cheryl Johnson, Wade Madsen, Jason Ohlberg, David Lorence Schlieffers, Eva Stone, Alia Swersky, Olivier Wevers, Deborah Wolf.  Week 2: Sonia Dawkins, Louis Gervais, Cheryl Johnson, Geoffrey Johnson, Jason Ohlberg, Christian Swenson, Alia Swersky, Gérard Théorêt, Markeith Wiley, Deborah Wolf. 


    As part of our community outreach, MID will be hosting a cross promotional ticket exchange with other performance venues.  In order to support all the great performances in the Seattle area we will offer discounted ticket prices for audience members that show a ticket stub from a participating performance group during the time of our performances.  Another way we are giving back to our community is by participating in the first Arts Crush.  This new month long festival will connect artists and audience with invigoration new experiences at hundreds of events across our region.  We will also be bringing back our family matinee performances, as we are committed to the idea that, dance is for all ages.  We hope that this festival inspires young people, particularly young men, to pursue their interest in dance.      


    For more information go to our website: or visit our Facebook page at:

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