Dance company premieres new films with Vashon connection

Seattle Dance Collective premieres film series “HERE & NOW,” created during their residency on Vashon.

A critically-acclaimed Seattle dance company that forged a deep connection to Vashon with the premiere of its inaugural season in 2019 at Vashon Center for the Arts, has just announced the fruition of another Vashon-based project.

Seattle Dance Collective (SDC), founded by Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancers Noelani Pantastico and James Yoichi Moore, will premiere “HERE & NOW,” a collection of three new films created during the company’s month-long summer residency on Vashon.

The premiere is set for Nov. 11 and will be available for streaming through Nov. 21. Viewing access begins at $20.

“HERE & NOW” features contemporary choreography from artists including Chicago-based Robyn Mineko Williams, choreographic duo FLOCK (Alice Klock and Florian Lochner), and the young Brazilian-born Juliano Nunes. In addition to Klock and Lochner of FLOCK, the dancers hail from Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Pacific Northwest Ballet and Whim W’Him.

“Having the opportunity to spend an entire month together creating new work was truly a gift, especially given the fact that for most of us this was our first chance to dance with a group of this size since the pandemic began,” said Pantastico, of the group’s time together on Vashon this summer.

Rehearsals took place at two island venues — Vashon Center for the Arts and Open Space for Arts & Community. The three pieces were filmed by Bruno Roque in-studio and on location at Mukai Farm & Garden, a beautiful property listed on the National Register for Historic Places celebrating Vashon’s Japanese-American and agrarian history.

Mukai Farm & Garden greatly inspired Robyn Mineko Williams, who created a site-specific piece for six dancers, including a role for her young son, Knox.

FLOCK’s “5 Favorite Things” includes six dancers who, along with the composer, were each asked to identify five favorite things about themselves. These “nuggets of personal positivity”, as described by Klock, inspired a dance themed around the ideas of community, trust and support. The work was filmed from start to finish in one continuous camera shot, a technique that gave the dancers a heightened sense of performing the piece as if they were onstage.

The third film in the “HERE & NOW” collection was created by Juliano Nunes, a sought-after dancer and choreographer. “To Dust” is a duet for Alice Klock and Florian Lochner, set to an original score by composer Travis Lake.

To find out more about the films and purchase tickets, visit seattledancecollective.org.