Seattle Festival of Dance + Improvisation


by G^2 [Beth Graczyk + John Maria Gutierrez]

SAT, AUG 13 | 12:30 PM + 2 PM

Cal Anderson Park | Capitol Hill

Free + Open to All

King Lear In The Forest is a multi-disciplinary performance piece that unravels the perceived, known, and yet to be known identities of the duo-ship G^2 through the lens of race, gender, age, and sexuality, as they traverse a metaphoric forest that generates a chimera of kinetically contemplative and visually-rich psychological territories.

King Lear in the Forest draws on Shaekspeare’s King Lear, and the play’s use of the forest as a metaphor for the unknown, and as a place of exploration, vulnerability, and discovery. Using this framing, G^2 explores the central question: “How do we feel connected to ourselves as we traverse public space and engage within our communities, and how do we build connections to the many intersecting communities that comprise the larger landscape of Seattle?”

Cal Anderson Park is a fitting location for public artistic exploration of this question, which will spur dance research that travels via link light rail to the other two parks. According to Duwamish and Muckleshoot tribes, the land was an old fir and cedar forest known as a crossroads connecting different passageways within the region. Its early history is marked by the stolen land and the subsequent violence of the faulty Treaty of Point Elliott. Since 1904 it has been a public park site and a crossroads where different parts of the communities make the space their own. It’s most recent history of CHOP and a place for resistance echoes into its past.

Feeling into the dimensions of history with physical bodies and the landscape, G^2 will use the written and oral history as a compass for the practices of being-with – ourselves, each other, and the environment. This research will use the arts to explore how Seattle parks, and Cal Anderson in particular, continues to act as crossroads and a vital space for encountering difference and building community.

King Lear in the Forest is presented in partnership with the University of Washington Department of Dance.

This program is a part of the Seattle Festival of Dance + Improvisation. The festival is made possible with generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, and the King County Festival and Events Fund. It is also supported by our community of individual donors, community partners, and arts advocates.


G^2 stems from artistic dialogue between John Maria Gutierrez, a NYC-born, 1st generation Dominican-American, and Beth Graczyk, a Seattle-born 3rd generation Polish-American. Their unique connection celebrates their diverse backgrounds and through a cultivated trust, have found ways to share their intimate struggles, hopes, and dreams with each other in a space that honors their differences while seeking to find empathetic understanding of each other. G^2 manifests material by collaging diverse improvisational concepts, post-modern, modern, hip-hop, and contemporary dance, theater, acting, poetry, and music into a multi-dimensional and imaginative worlds. G^2 has shared work in Detroit, NYC, and China and are faculty for the Peridance Certification Program in NYC where they co-teach Improvisation.

Instagram: @g2_bethjohn | Website