Next Fest 2019

NEXT FEST 2019 – Ritual and Rebellion
with Lucie Baker, Shane Donohue, Marco Farroni, Vladimir Kremenović, + Hannah Rae
Curated by Nia-Amina Minor, Fausto Rivera, + Cameo Lethem
THURS. Dec. 12 – SUN. Dec. 15 / 7:30 PM
@ Velocity

Ritual is… remembering, repeating, holding sacred.
Rebellion is… refusal, resistance, interruption. 


Come see five brand new works by some of Seattle’s most exciting up-and-coming choreographers! Covering subjects ranging from Brutalist architecture, corporate sponsorship, queer coming of age and Slavic mythology, Next Fest 2019 is the region’s number one destination for discovering the region’s next wave of dance innovators. This year’s artists are: Lucie Baker, Shane Donohue, Marco FarroniVladimir Kremenović, and Hannah Rae.


“Throughout its history, Next Fest Northwest has provided a platform for urgent explorations that will seed projects for years to come. This year the curatorial team…[is] inviting selected artists to experiment with us as we move Next Fest toward a system of multi-year peer support, organizational and artistic collaborations, and community sustainability.” – Next Fest 2019 Curatorial Panel

“These words are about how we relate to the practices and systems we’ve inherited. They are ways we integrate the past into our present moment, and they are the actions that move us closer to who we want to be.” – Next Fest Curatorial Panel


For this year’s Next Fest, Velocity Artistic Director Erin Johnson worked with the curatorial panel to craft a prompt and application process that could respond more holistically to the needs of today’s dance artists. Hoping to go beyond the typical festival model, in which artists get a very limited window to develop and present a project, curators Nia-Amina Minor (Spectrum Dance Theater), Cameo Lethem (James Ray fellow), and Fausto Rivera (Spectrum Dance Theater) were interested in using this year’s Next Fest process to explore how curators can cultivate projects and artists beyond the performance dates. The theme Ritual and Rebellion is also a part of that: instead of giving artists a theme that was hyper-specific or topical, the curatorial team wanted to find a theme that could encompass a broad range of practices, so instead of contorting their ideas to fit a theme, artists could come to the panel with authentic questions and ideas that feel urgent for them today.

That broader approach to curatorial unity has resulted in a series of new works that are wide-ranging in style and content, but all of which wrestle with the integration of the past into the future, and a reckoning with what it means to belong to a collective or community.

PHOTO – Gender Tender, Photo by Tim Summers

about the performances

Lucie Baker, who recently finished her MFA at the University of Washington, will be elaborating on a piece originally developed at the UW entitled “Singing Over the Bones.” Inspired by her Croatian heritage, Baker and her dancers will respond to and build upon the myths and folk festivals of the Rusalki, figures from Eastern European folklore alleged to be the restless spirits of women who have died unjust or untimely deaths. Inflecting her contemporary choreography with references to Balkan folk dance, Baker brings to Next Fest a space that is as reverent as it is wild, in which audiences are immersed in the chthonic realm of the Rusalki.

Shane Donohue, whom Seattle audiences will no doubt remember for his tambourine reverie in Kim Lusk’s 2018 Dance for Dark Horses, once again brings levity, wit, and irreverence to Velocity’s stages with “THIS SPACE FOR RENT”, a self-described “dance meets NASCAR.” Tackling prescient themes of labor and sustainability in the arts, Donohue’s cast will perform amidst a shower of advertisements that fall, appear, and pop up in the most unlikely places. Space on sets, costume pieces, and music will be sold to local businesses to fund the artists’ minimum wage in what will be an undeniably absurd and ultimately delightful romp of hyperbolized capitalism.

As much as ritual and rebellion touch on themes of the collective, they are also where we confront our own memories and lived experience. Marco Farroni’s “(papi)” explores the possibilities of creating spaces that feel nostalgic, spaces that carry past experiences, spaces that asks the body to respond. The work dismantles Farroni’s lived experience to reframe meaning, inviting the viewer to participate in creating the space, using sound, physical placement and levels. Using performance practice as a method to understand displacement, adaptation, love, memory and trauma, “(papi)” is a state of being in real time.

As Farroni takes the audience on an exploration of how the past lives in our bodies here and now, Seattle dance artist Hannah Rae is interested squarely in the possibility of the present moment in “Filter Bubble.” Inspired by the works and theories of luminaries like feminist performance artist Merle Aldermen Ukeleles, composer and sound artist Pauline Oliveros, and installation artists Olafur Eliasson and David Hockney, Rae will work with an ensemble of dancers to create an improvisational score informed by practices of witnessing and repetition, with the ultimate aim of creating a performance that is less a spectacle to be consumed and more a space for reflection. Playing with time and understated performativity, this durational work seeks a place of contemplation and quiet togetherness, with an eye as much towards watching ourselves as watching the other.

Velocity Bridge Project alum and local filmmaker Vladimir Kremenović will also be looking at the relationship between the individual and the collective, but through the lens of Yugoslav era Brutalist architecture in his piece “Utopia.” While growing up in post-socialist Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kremenović was surrounded by buildings that projected cultural values carried over from Yugoslavia’s past: an age of conformity, uniformity, apathy, and obedience. Kremenović and his ensemble draw inspiration from the socialist republic’s built environment and the oppressive regimes they represented to explore the form and politics of conformity and codification, and the potential for bodies to rebel and resist.

about the artists

Lucie Baker image

Lucie Baker

LUCIE BAKER was raised in Seattle and is the daughter of a Croatian mother and American father who met in a Balkan folk dance group. She choreographs, performs, practices, and teaches concert and social dance forms. Graduating from The Juilliard School in 2008, Baker has worked with Jane Comfort and Company, Tamar Rogoff Performance Projects, Erica Essner Performance Co-op, Phantom Limb Company, Adam Barruch, Sidra Bell, Wade Madsen, Colemxn Pester, Yara Travieso, Seattle Opera, Arc Dance, Chamber Dance Company, and Vela Luka Croatian Dance Ensemble, among others. She began her teaching career with Artists Striving to End Poverty in 2005 and is currently a lecturer at the University of Washington where she earned her MFA in June of 2019. Baker is also an Expressive Arts Therapist who received her education at the Tamalpa Institute founded by Anna and Daria Halprin. Inspired by collaboration, Baker’s choreography has been performed in domestic and international venues since 2004.

Related Links

Lucie’s website

Shane Donohue image

Shane Donohue

SHANE DONOHUE (he/him) is a Seattle based dance artist currently working with zoe | juniper as a dancer and rehearsal director. He has set work with, and for, Zoe Scofield at the University of Washington, Strictly Seattle, and most currently, Whim W’him. He is co-choreographer with the Drama Tops under direction of Elby Brosch. He also works as an artistic collaborator and performer with Kim Lusk, Kinesis Project, and has been a Creative Resident at Velocity Dance Center. Shane has professionally performed works by Laura Rodriguez, Mike Esperanza, Dylan Ward, Liz Houlton, Alyssa Casey, Kate Wallich, and David Harvey and holds a degree in dance from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point.

Marco Farroni image

Marco Farroni

MARCO FARRONI born in the Dominican Republic, attended New Jersey Performing Art Center Young Artist Program where he was exposed to modern dance and ballet. He received a BFA in dance from the University of the Arts under the direction of Donna Faye Burchfield. Marco has performed works by Sidra Bell, Earl Mosley, Kevin Wynn, Keelan Whitmore, Katie Swords, Jesse Zaritt, Ronald K. Brown, Tommie-Waheed Evans, Douglas Becker, Mark Haim, Mark Caserta, Jillian Peña, and Donald Byrd, among others. He has participated in the American Dance Festival six-week school, Alonzo King LINES ballet summer intensive/professional workshop, and Earl Mosley Institute of the Arts summer intensive. In 2017, Marco joined Spectrum Dance Theater in Seattle.

Hannah Rae image

Hannah Rae

HANNAH RAE (she/her) grew up in Eastern Washington and Idaho, where small town life instilled in her a desire to indulge in wild creativity early and often. Since moving to Seattle 9 years ago to attend the University of Washington, she has had the delight of dancing for and with many artists she deeply admires, including Alice Gosti, Rachael Lincoln, Molly Scott, Sara Jinks, Kaitlin McCarthy, and Jessica Jobaris & General Magic. Though movement has always been a positive force in her world, over two decades of dancing Hannah accumulated many injuries, which deeply influenced her creative and personal life. These experiences led her to ask-Can we honor our bodies while still using them as vessels for self expression? How does this change what it means to perform? As witnesses to ourselves and others? Thesxte questions are what currently inspires her in the studio, and in her teaching practice as a Pilates Instructor.