Seattle Dance Project brings "Project Orpheus" to the Schools

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Photo by Zebravisual
By Craig Degginger, Shoreline Schools

Seattle Dance Project's feature-length, legendary performance of "Project Orpheus" is returning for another season. Opening September 17 at ACT's Allen Theatre, the highly acclaimed Project Orpheus is a modern interpretation of the famous Greek myth. A special matinee performance will be held for students on Friday, September 24 at 12 noon. The matinee performance is part of Seattle Dance Project's continuing commitment to provide high-quality dance education to the schools.

Photo by Zebravisual
The Parkwood Elementary School in Shoreline, Washington has recently been able to conduct a year-long dance residency as a direct result of a grant awarded to the Seattle Dance Project by the Laird Norton Family Foundation. Teaching artists from the Seattle Dance Project are working closely with teachers to help integrate dance into their curriculum. Seattle Dance Project is now providing ten dance education classes to every student from K-6. 

According to Laura Ploudre, Principal of Parkwood Elementary School, the dance education program brings many benefits to the school's students: "The academic content becomes more accessible and learning is deepened when it is accessed through arts instruction." Ms. Ploudre also noted that "the dance curriculum adds a new element of rigor to the core curriculum and gives students the opportunity to be educated in a rich, meaningful and more comprehensive way."

The matinee performance of Project Orpheus is open to students of all grade levels city wide. In the current educational climate which tends to focus almost exclusively on test scores for reading and math, education in dance is intended to give students an important learning experience about the arts and to explore new ways of thinking. The matinee performance will be interspersed with actual lectures that demonstrate some of the key components of dance as an artistic medium.

Photo by Zebravisual
The highly respected, veteran dance instructor Anita Kuroiwa, who is the founder of Seattle Academy's Dansation program, found Project Orpheus to be so breathtaking and extraordinary that she urged her students to see it more than once in order to realize the full depth of its technical and artistic intricacy.

Timothy Lynch and Julie Tobiason are Co-Artistic Directors of the Seattle Dance Project (SDP), which is now going into its fourth season and has established a reputation for working collaboratively with other arts, theater and music groups. 

Lynch said, "Our dance company is deeply committed to seeking educational opportunities that allow children of all ages to experience dance."

Class Teachers and school administrators and volunteers from all schools at all grade levels are urged to book seats in advance by contacting ACT- A Contemporary Theatre or the Ticket Office located at 700 Union Street, Seattle 98101, 206-292-7676.

About the 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 uses the technical accomplishment and professional maturity of its dancers to push the boundaries of contemporary 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 dancers who are all active teachers in the Seattle dance community. Seattle Dance Project is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. For more information, please see the webpage.  On twitter follow @seattledancepro, or email.


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