KSD/SBQ October 2015 Program Note from Karin Stevens

Note from KSD Artistic Director Karin Stevens:

Kimerer LaMothe states in Why We Dance, “To dance is to evolve.” There have been a few seasons in my life when I have withdrawn from dance to consider this statement. Am I evolving? Is dance my real vocation?

After my first retreat, I began attending dance classes at the University of Washington. Hannah Wiley helped me transform the noise of these doubts into the music of movement. Dance became no longer just a vocation. For me, movement became the way of life, the path to joy.

I found this joy, too, in the music of Samantha Boshnack.  It has been an absolute delight to ride her soundwaves! This evening is a sumptuous feast for your mirror neurons, an exhilaration for your cells, a living, moving, vibrating experience of the now. To quote the quartet’s clarinetist/vocalist Beth Fleenor, “#LIVEHUMANS!!!!”

Coming after another one of my turbulent retreats, I created this concert. Celebrating 50 years of dance with the University of Washington with an encore presentation is a moment I never imagined would have such an impact for all the viewers, all the artists involved, and me personally.

Penny Hutchinson, founding dancer of Mark Morris Dance Group, and I met as graduate students at Mills College. Penny created a deeply moving and memorable work with live/original music for her final thesis, a highlight of my graduate school memories. It was with great pleasure that I asked her to create the work, Body and Soul I & II. Naphtali is a founding KSD dancer and we share in the opening duet a jubilation and joy of friendship that evolved out of the challenges to an upstart dance company.  The profound acknowledgment of body and soul in Penny’s work, of the movement of one needing the other, are important reminders for us today.

I was intrigued by Jurg Koch’s work with Kaleidoscope Dance Company and exhilarated by his 2013 Rite of Spring. I selected the music, which has become my most favorite, and commissioned Jurg Koch to create a work from Switzerland via Skype. With Jurg’s choreographic direction that included movement invention tasks, geometric pattern locomotion, and rigorous structural design, dancers created this piece collaboratively. I appreciate Jurg’s vast rigorous intellectual choreographic approach. Besides his invigorating creative process, I also gained a new fellow choreographer-parent friend!

I feel that there are not enough opportunities for dancers and I desired to create a new work for this encore performance with KSD core members and professionals from the Seattle dance community. Currency of Evolution is a new work that I created as part of my 2015 Velocity Creative Residency.

The finale, Dormant, Exploding Syndrome, Ashcloud, was created out of a time that I was grappling with two people very close to me fighting cancer with the harsh treatments common today. Every week on my way to rehearsal I drive by The Ben Towne Foundation. I would like to give a shout out for their revolutionary research in treatment for pediatric cancer and toward healthy and healing bodies. The Ben Towne Foundation, soon to merge with Seattle Children’s Strong Against Cancer initiative, has been harnessing the power of the immune system to move cancer into remission via successful clinical trials!

For more information about each work and the lead Artists’ Biographies please visit:  http://karinstevensdance.com/ksd-and-sbq-2015-program-information-about-the-artists-and-the-work/

Thanks for dancing with us!

-Karin Stevens


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