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The World at Seattle's Feet

If you happen to be in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood this weekend, you’re in for a treat. That’s because the ninth annual Seattle International Dance Festival: Beyond the Threshold starts tomorrow, running through June 22. The event kicks off with a dance party at dusk, complete with food trucks, flash mobs and impromptu performances by b-boy crew Massive Monkees.

The festival’s Inter|National Artists Series, held both weekends at Cornish College of the Arts, features performances by Seattle’s own Khambatta Dance Company; companies and solo artists from Brazil, France, India and Romania; and mixed media collaborations between dancers from the U.S., Peru, Germany and China. In addition, the festival’s Threshold Institute offers a weeklong workshop with an international roster of teachers and choreographers.

From June 17–19, three local dancers (Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Andrew Bartee, Massive Monkees’ Jerome Aparis and KT Niehoff) act as curators for the Spotlight on Seattle series. Each artist pays homage to the city’s thriving dance scene with an evening of selected works showcasing local dance companies. The performances also serve as a competition of sorts—each night, audience members, along with panelists Donald Byrd and Dayna Hansen, award one group or solo artist $500 to develop a work for the 2015 festival. Byrd and Hansen will also serve as mentors to the winners.

And keep your eyes peeled for a cabaret-style performance on June 21—the location will be determined 24 hours beforehand. Participating choreographers will have one week to create a work based on a theme chosen by audience members on the festival’s opening night. June 13–22. Click here for schedule and tickets.

The Conversation
Left: Misa Kuranaga in The Veritginous Thrill of Exactitude. Gene Schiavone, Courtesy Boston Ballet. Right: Sasha Mukhamedov in Apollo. Altin Kaftira, Courtesy Dutch National Ballet.

San Francisco Ballet just announced some major news: longtime Boston Ballet star Misa Kuranaga will be joining the company as a principal dancer for the 2019-20 season, while Dutch National Ballet principal Sasha Mukhamedov will join as a soloist. They join a slew of newly promoted SFB principals and soloists, announced earlier this year.

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The cast of Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise in rehearsal. Photo by Stephanie Berger, Courtesy The Shed

Akram Khan loves to dive into genres he is unfamiliar with. While his own movement vocabulary is a hybrid of kathak and contemporary dance, he has choreographed a new Giselle for English National Ballet, collaborated with flamenco artist Israel Galván and made a dance theater duet with film star Juliette Binoche. Now, in between touring Xenos, his final full-length solo, and several other projects, he's found time to tackle kung fu. Khan is part of the collaborative team behind Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise, a blockbuster musical based on themes of migration and the fight for survival, running June 22–July 27. Directed by Chen Shi-Zheng and featuring a score that remixes songs by Sia, it's part of the inaugural season of The Shed,
a new venue in New York City.

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