NEXT FEST NW: TOTAL CHAOS

New works by

Stasia Coup, Symone Sanz + hannah Krafcik and Emily Jones

Next Fest NW is Velocity’s experimental new works festival, celebrating contemporary dance and movement-based artists innovating in our region. For this year’s festival, Hannah Krafcik + Emily Jones, Artie Thomas, and Symone Sanz will each be in residency at SFD+I and will make new works focusing on the theme Total Chaos for the show premiering in December 2024.

For this iteration, artists were asked to respond the idea of TOTAL CHAOS. “Total”, in this context, meaning “complete” but it also “damaged beyond its value”.  In this time of disarray, disorder, and mess. “Total Chaos” is an investigation of cacophony, grief, order, and purpose.

MEET THE ARTISTS

Stasia Coup

About the New Work

This piece playfully documents drag artist Stasia Coup’s real-life endeavors to pursue solo parenthood. Stasia grapples with the emotionally charged transition from No Baby to Baby — a transition which, as a single queer person, requires a staggering amount of planning to accomplish. And yet, Stasia’s highly planned and ordered world will inevitably collapse upon the birth of an actual newborn full of unpredictability, magic, and SO much poop.

Combining rambunctious childhood dreamscapes and intimate storytelling from the artist, Stasia gets elbow-deep in the sweet, salty messiness of life as she reflects on what it means to surrender to total chaos. Expect diapers, dad jokes, and a stage full of stuffed animals. Laugh and cry along with Stasia as she tries to allow life to happen on its own terms: wild, chaotic and gorgeous.

Stasia’s Biography

Stasia Coup (she/her) is the stage moniker of transmasculine performance artist Artie Thomas (he/him). Stasia hails from Seattle’s notoriously weird drag scene, where she has been performing for five years in venues ranging from dive bars, clubs, and living rooms to curated black box theaters. Stasia enjoys turning expectations of drag on their head, pushing boundaries of what drag can be and experimenting with innovative structure. Ranging from magical to mischievous, her work weaves together elements of storytelling, performance art, creative costuming, and postmodern dance. Stasia is known for a signature absurdity, playfulness, and sentimentality, which shine through in most of her creations. 

Stasia’s work has been featured in over fifty local drag shows, perhaps most well-known as a cast member in the experimental drag/art show, Glory Hole. Stasia has also been showcased in On the Boards’ Performance Lab, as a choreographer in Velocity’s Bridge Project, CO-’s Show 6, and as a guest resident for the Drama Tops’ BASE residency Off the Lead.

Emily Jones and Hannah Krafcik

About the New Work

The Swirl (working title) is a performance duet created and danced by Emily Jones and Hannah Krafcik, currently in development. This work takes optical illusions as a conceptual line of inquiry, where “optics” do not simply refer to the function of sight, but rather to how something is perceived in many senses. This work posits the presence of two as a “set” – distinct entities with similarities and differences – rather than a binary or categorizable pair. In a set, qualities can converge and diverge, and differences can be present without existing in direct contrast. As individuated dancers, Emily and Hannah enact fractals of movement, creating ideating patterns elicit the figment of a status quo. Within The Swirl, they seek to build capacity to inhabit shifting vantages, playing with the way multiple meanings hide in plain view.

Hannah + Emily’s Biography

We are Emily Jones (she/they) and Hannah Krafcik (they/them), and we are artistic partners living on unceded lands of Cowlitz, Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Clackamas and many other tribes, also known as Portland, Oregon. We make dance performances and transdisciplinary work together. Our artistic offerings explore the tensions between social power dynamics and unnamed personal needs. We maintain that sensory autonomy—the ability to honor and explore one’s own sensory needs and desires—is an essential step in naming, refusing, and subverting coercive power dynamics that touch every aspect of life.

Symone Sanz

About the New Work

Seattle has been on a mission to reach authentic connection since the quarantine-era pandemic. The “powerful, predator energy” (-Seattle Dances) laid out in ‘WRETCH’ allows for audiences to see parts of themselves that they may have repressed out of shame; it serves an opportunity to reacquaint with the self and with one’s community from a lens evolved by time and personal expansion. The constant uncertainty, anxiety, and isolation inflated by the pandemic drives the work to necessitate larger-than-life performance that only a stage can hold. ‘WRETCH’ explores universal themes brought to life by punk rock and grunge music that embodies Seattle culture at its core. The punk rock soundscape developed alongside past iterations of this work lift traces of Black culture from Seattle’s history, while the movement onstage evokes scenes from cult-classic horror movies. What you’ll experience encourages you to stand up and headbang along as if you were at a muggy basement house concert. 

Symone’s Biography

Symone Sanz is a Seattle-based movement artist, choreographer from Los Angeles. She holds a BFA in dance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her “mesmerizing, energizing, and weirdly gripping” (-The Stranger) choreography is underscored by punk rock and grunge music that embodies Seattle culture at its core. Her current research offers space to explore taboo emotions through rigorous feats and durational exploration. Symone has collaborated with artists Heather Kravas, Cherdonna Shinatra, zoe|juniper, and Amanda Morgan, among many others. Her choreographic work has been presented at On the Boards, Velocity Dance Center, Washington Ensemble Theater, Friends of the Waterfront, and 10 Degrees. Symone facilitates movement and euphoria through her Dance Church® classes and supports the community through her board service for Velocity Dance Center and work as an arts administrator

IN RESIDENCE

The NFNW cohort will be in residence during the 2024 Seattle Festival of Dance and Improvisation (SFD+I), researching the concepts they outlined in their original applications.  These residencies will culminate in a FREE public showing.  RSVP here to join us in community, witnessing the first output from their creative processes! LEARN MORE

MEET THE CURATORIAL PANEL

Amy O'Neal

[Velocity Curating Artist in Residence]

Amy O’Neal (she/they) is a dancer, choreographer, curator, and dance educator merging contemporary and hip-hop dance since 2000 to challenge notions of race, gender, and the sampling nature of innovation. She teaches and performs nationally and internationally and choreographs for concert dance, experimental performance, dance film, music video, and virtual reality. From 2000 to 2010, along with musician and composer Zeke Keeble, O’Neal co-directed locust, a dance/music/video hybrid performance company based in Seattle. From 2010 until now, she works project to project creating dance experiences merging practices and values of hip hop and house dance culture with experimental performance. O’Neal is a grantee of Creative Capital, National Performance Network, National Dance Project, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Foundation for Contemporary Arts among others. She is a two-time Artist Trust Fellow, DanceWEB/Impulstanz scholar, and Herb Alpert Award nominee with a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts, where she earned the first Distinguished Alumni Award in 2014. After 20 years in Seattle (15 of those teaching and creating at Velocity Dance Center) O’Neal moved to Los Angeles in 2016. She joined the faculty of the University of Southern California Glorya Kaufman School of Dance in 2018 where she teaches hip-hop, house, contemporary, composition, improvisation techniques, Pilates mat, and lectures on Black social dance history, practices, and media literacy. She is currently working on her next evening length work A Trio and developing a research and performance platform called The Hybrid Lab: Conversations in Merging Dance Cultures.

Shane Donohue

[Velocity Creative Producer]

Shane Donohue (he/they) is a Seattle based dance artist currently working as co-top with Drama Tops and Creative Producer at Velocity Dance Center. He works closely 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, Whim W’him, Bard Summerscape’s production of “Le Roi Arthus” in 2021. His work has been seen in Next Fest Northwest. He also works as an artistic collaborator and performer with Kim Lusk, Kinesis Project, Scott Shoemaker’s “:PROBED”, and BenDeLaCreme and Jinkx Monsoon’s Holiday Special in the live, national tour and on Hulu. Shane graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point with a BA in Dance.

Allie Hankins

[Guest Curator]

Allie Hankins is a dancer and performance maker who has been creating performance work for over ten years. She is an inaugural Resident Artist and current steward of FLOCK Dance Center, a studio and creative home to Portland’s experimental dance artists, which was founded by Tahni Holt in 2013. In 2014, Allie co-founded Physical Education, a Queer performance research cooperative, with Lu Yim, keyon gaskin, and Takahiro Yamamoto. Physical Education hosts reading groups and lectures, curates festivals, and teaches workshops nationally. Most recently, Allie has danced for Milka Djordjevich (LA), Morgan Thorson (Minneapolis), and Linda Austin (PDX). Outside of Portland, her work has been presented in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Berlin, and Cork, Ireland. Her website is alliehankins.com.

Keyes Wiley

[Guest Curator]

Multi-hyphenate art maker Keyes Wiley (they/them) is a designer of all things surrounding performance. Their next series of works will be in collaboration with Velocity Dance Center under the name NoGoodDoers. They will also be working with Dani Tirrell and crew on Dani’s next project LOL. Wiley has been an arts educator in Seattle since 2009 teaching various styles and genres all over the west coast. You can catch them in action as dj dark_wiley monthly at TUSH at the Clock-Out Lounge. Keyes has performed, collaborated or created work with Kitten N Lou (Jingle all the Gay, Atomic Bombshells) , Dani Tirrell (Black Bois, LOL), Keith Hennessy (Turbulence), On the Boards (Its Not Too Late), the CD Forum, Velocity Dance Center, Gibney Dance (NYC), Cal State San Luis Obispo and more.

ACCESSIBILITY INFORMATION

12th Avenue Arts is fully accessible for wheelchairs and walkers. The lobby, bathrooms and theater spaces are at street level, and seating is available without the need for an elevator or stairs. ASL interpretation will be provided at one of the performances. Bathrooms will be gender neutral.
For specific questions and accommodations, please contact Shirley at operations@velocitydancecenter.org

SPONSORS

NextFest NW is a core residency program, and supported by the Raynier Foundation along with Velocity’s season sponsors and community of individual donors.

SUMMER