“One great thing about the Seattle International Dance Festival: It puts talents on your radar that you may have missed, even if they’ve been performing here in town for years now.”

Michael Upchurch

KT Niehoff, June 9, 2018

“The Story of Just One Person” consists of three impressive sections that, as she candidly admitted in a post-performance discussion, don’t yet hang together. The first section, performed by three pianists, was purely musical (score by Niehoff). The second, featuring hand-balancer Jill Marissa, of Aerialistas fame, was a delightful display of angular/limber prowess. The third found three dancers in identical costumes, wigs and glitter make-up gliding around the stage in a manner that defied belief – until you learned they were on hover boards. Niehoff, who specializes in projects that skirt at the edge of sense (“I mostly think of drawing lines in space,” she says in the piece’s voiceover), will no doubt keep toying with this curious “Story.”

Idan Cohen, June 9, 2018

This B.C.-based troupe “seeks to deepen and re-connect opera and dance.” “Orfeo as a clown” had its world premiere at SIDF and, while its two performers Ted Littlemore and Jeremy O’Neill are clearly gifted, Cohen’s concept is puzzling. What’s the purpose of putting Orpheus in “Patch Adams” drag? The pieces’s combination of spoken word, comedic choreography, live piano music and recorded opera excerpts (from Gluck’s “Orfeo ed Euridice”) feels awkward.


Michael Upchurch and Marcie Sillman work on behalf of SIDF 2018 to provide Dance Diary entries.
Michael Upchurch is a longtime Seattle arts writer who has written about dance, visual art and books for an array of publications, including Crosscut, The Seattle Times, Seattle Gay News and Cascadia. His recent fiction has appeared in Moss, Foglifter, Bellingham Review and Southwest Review.  Visit him at www.michaelupchurchauthor.com.