Molissa Fenley in Performance & Discussion with Seattle Dance Project
Fremont Abbey Arts Center
Seattle, WA
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Molissa Fenley in Performance & Discussion with Seattle Dance Project

Space available in back rows, and standing room


Distinguished Choreographer Molissa Fenley

In Performance and Discussion

Dance Pioneer, Molissa Fenley, will be co-presented by the Fremont Abbey Arts Center and Seattle Dance Project on December 17th at 7:30 in the Great Hall performance space of the Fremont Abbey Arts Center, 4272 Fremont Avenue North.  

This is Molissa Fenley's third visit recently to Seattle: her masterpiece solo, State of Darkness (premiered in 1988), set to Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, was presented as part of Pacific Northwest Ballet's 2007 program in honor of the 125th birthday celebration of the composer. Rachel Foster, James Moore and Jonathan Porretta alternated in the role. In 2008 Seattle Dance Project commissioned Castor by Fenley for their Project 1 with ACT Theater. During her return to work with SDP this December the Fremont Abbey Arts Center is honored to host this rare opportunity to witness Molissa Fenley perform her work for the Seattle dance audience.  

The evening will feature two works danced by Molissa Fenley, and a preview of her new work set on Seattle Dance Project for their upcoming Project 4. Guest speaker Peter Boal, Artistic Director of Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Julie Tobiason and Timothy Lynch, Artistic Directors of Seattle Dance Project, will join Fenley after the performance in an informal conversation about her work.

There are three works on the program:

Regions - Chair, Ocean Walk, Mesa, with music by Maggi Payne, set by Roy Fowler, and costume by Jeffrey Wirsing. Performed by Molissa Fenley.

       Regions was commissioned by the 92nd Street Y and premiered there in December 1995.         The revival of Regions has been made possible through the American Masterpieces         Initiative of the National Endowment of the Arts, 2010.  

Mass Balance, with music by Cenk Ergun, prop by Todd Richmond, and costume by Jill St. Coeur. Performed by Molissa Fenley.

       Mass Balance is the term referring to the equilibrium between the accumulation of snow and the ablation of glacial ice.  Yearly measurements have shown a disequilibrium caused by global climate change.  Mass Balance premiered at the Crowley Theater in Marfa, Texas, July 2009.

"In "Mass Balance," a solo set to Cenk Ergun's ominously thrumming "120408," Ms. Fenley manipulated a long pole (designed by Todd Richmond), now advancing like a jouster, now angling it over her shoulder like the oarsman on the River Styx, now extending it in front of her at an angle, so that the pole, the floor and her perfectly held body formed a triangle in space.

It is a ruthless geometry Ms. Fenley is after, in which even lushly curving hands adhere to strict rules. Yet what possibilities bloom in that hushed, concentrated space. The imagination rushes in."

Claudia La Rocco, NY Times 9/20/2009

Planes in Air with music by Joan Jeanrenaud, props by Roy Fowler.  Performed by the Seattle Dance Project, this showing tonight is in preview of their upcoming season Project 4 in January 2011.

Tickets range from $15 - 25 and can be purchased at or at the door for cash/check only.  Fremont Abbey Arts Center, 4272 Fremont Avenue North, 7:30pm.

About Molissa Fenley:

Molissa Fenley has choreographed over 70 works in her 33-year career in dance. As a soloist working in collaboration with visual artists and composers and with her company, Molissa Fenley and Dancers, founded in 1977, she has performed throughout the United States, South America, Europe, Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong.  Fenley's work has been commissioned by the American Dance Festival, the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival, the Dia Art Foundation, Jacob's Pillow, Lincoln Center, the New National Theater of Tokyo, The Kitchen, Dance Theater Workshop, and many others.  Both Cenotaph and State of Darkness were awarded a Bessie for Choreography in 1985 and 1988 respectively.  Fenley has also created many works for other ballet and contemporary dance companies. She is an Associate Professor of Dance at Mills College, in residence in the spring semesters, and often teaches choreography at the Experimental Theater Wing of NYU.  Recent awards include the Rome Prize in 2008, a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2008, and an award from the American Masterpieces Initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in 2010.  For more information,

About Seattle Dance Project:

Founded in 2007 by artistic directors Julie Tobiason and Timothy Lynch, the Seattle Dance Project is a new modern dance company that seeks to use the technical prowess and professional maturity of its dancers to continually push the limits of contemporary dance.  The Seattle Dance Project creates movement methodology where muscular strength and classical lines of ballet converge with the emancipating movement of modern dance. Choreographers who have worked with the company include Donald Byrd, James Canfield, Pat Catterson, Betsy Cooper Molissa Fenley, Kiyon Gaines, Mark Haim Edwaard Liang, Wade Madsen, Eva Stone, Kent Stowell, Heidi Vierthaler and Olivier Wevers.  In addition to Tobiason and Lynch, the company is composed of world-class performers including David Alewine, Alexandra Dickson, Oleg Gorboulev, Dana Hanson, Kory Perigo, Michele Curtis, Joseph Anderson, Lara Seefeldt, Mara Vinson, and Betsy Cooper. Reflecting Seattle Dance Project's commitment to high quality performing arts, all company members are active teachers in the Seattle dance community. Seattle Dance Project is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. For more information, please see .On twitter follow @seattledancepro, or contact

About The Fremont Abbey Arts Center:

The Abbey is a 9000 square foot nonprofit and non-religious Arts Center where people can learn and develop through education and performance in many different art mediums. Striving to be a "3rd place" in North Seattle for performance, the Abbey is a comfortable and welcoming space where a wide variety of people from different income levels, skills, ethnicities and backgrounds interact.  Both art students and the general public experience high quality performances by artists from Seattle and around the world. A beautiful 1914 brick church building, the Abbey underwent major renovations completed in March 2008.   For more information, visit


Source:  Karin Stevens, Dance Curator/Fremont Abbey Arts Center

Contact:  Karin Stevens, 206.428.8042 or


Fremont Abbey Arts Center
4272 Fremont Ave North
Seattle, WA 98103
United States


Arts > Dance

Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: No
Wheelchair Accessible: No


Owner: Abbey Arts Seattle
On BPT Since: Jun 06, 2007
Karin Stevens