After having taken a break from seeing so many dance performances in the last year, back to back (and the subsequent burnout), I reassembled enthusiasm and plunked bootie in the front row of Broadway Performance Hall for Velocity Dance Center’s popular “Strictly Seattle” student show on Friday night. “Strictly” is a three week intensive session, designed to give beginning and professional level dancers an experience with choreographers and each other, in cross discipline studies and to then create new, finished work expressly for this event. The results were a sold out Friday night show of giddy supporters.
I’d actually wanted to BE a participant up there, but it didn’t work out this year, so there I am…projecting all kinds of “what ifs”, taking mental notes and enjoying the view. It’s always kind of a fun, “Where’s Waldo?” exercise to pick out the who’s who in the crowd…and, to check out the many people still wearing shorts from what turned out to be a nice day. Choreographers and professional nut-balls Jody Kuehner and Ricki Mason (aka, Cherdonna & Lou) celebrating Seattle’s version of high holy summer were dressed as pregnant bubble beach babes. Meanwhile, Velocity Director Tonya Lockyer rocked her standard black, looking all the effusive, chic dance goddess that she is. And, I also always look for the hair. The hair-do’s on peeps here is just a sport all by itself! Swept up, shagged, slashed, asymmetrical punked-out and occasionally orange, guaranteed at a show like tonight’s I’ll see an artist (or Joe Shmoe), with a performance happening all over their dome.
And whaddayaknow! This show’s all about crazy wig action! Manic, attitudinal rock chicks pumping the air with fists and frizzed fright wigs, stole the show by grabbing audience members and hauling them on stage for some get-down funk. Rival gangs of wiggified punk ninjas working their ‘Matrix’ moves and slamming bodies against imagined super powers. I felt naked without the ironic hair piece I’d had on only an hour earlier (improv show coming up!).
I’ll admit, there were the predictable sleepy moments where the thing just goes on and on and you want to scream, but that’s just me. Seattle loooves it’s expressive flailing, twitching inner school of pain weirdness (and frankly bores the shit outta me), but this is their show and OMG are they having FUN! It is super fun to see people who have little experience make it happen up there. Kudos to brevity and guts. Love that. I also love that as I was walking up to get my ticket, there goes Cherdonna (aka Jody), scampering out in preggers drag: “OMG I forgot the music!” It’s amazing shit like that…the show MUST go on! Even if she’s gotta run home real quick dressed up like a bumped-up beach bimbo. Yea.
Words and Pictures: Eric Pitsenbarger
About Eric Pitsenbarger: “I’ve managed to live a really interesting life of minor success, spectacular failures and occasional peril. I’m a freelance graphic designer / illustrator and love many things and many people. As a cock-eyed optimist, I see beauty everywhere…except when it’s just fugly. I’ll probably explode someday from laughing so much.”