Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Amanda Morgan Never Stops


Dancer and choreographer Amanda Morgan, photo @ Jessamy Lennon

Last week Amanda Morgan was tapping her heart out in the Pacific Northwest Ballet production of Justin Peck’s sneaker ballet, The Times Are Racing. This weekend, Morgan is at the helm of a new show she’s producing under the auspices of her own venture, The Seattle Project.

The show, truth be told, includes three dance films and three live dances, including a duet Morgan created for Marco Farroni and her PNB colleague, apprentice Zsilas Michael Hughes.

Morgan launched The Seattle Project at the end of 2019, just before the pandemic hit. She wanted to provide a creative outlet for her own work, and for that of other BIPOC and Queer artists. Although the Project isn’t limited to dance, Morgan cheerfully admits that, as a dance artist, she gravitates to the art form.

Morgan describes her latest choreographic effort as “more experimental” than work she’s made in the past. This new duet is literally split in two: Hughes and Farroni spend 2/3 of the performance separated from one another, on the different stages--one a platform built directly over the main floor, accessible only via a steep wooden ladder.

Farroni, an experienced performer (including work with Spectrum Dance Theatre and choreographer Dani Tirrell) starts on the upper level, while Hughes first appears directly below Farroni, seated on a stool. Eventually, the two dancers join forces, and when they do, their distinctly different movements converge as well.

This weekend’s show also features work by Akoiya Harris, Devin Munoz, Christopher D’Ariano, Leah Terada and the Seattle premier of a film by Nia-Amina Minor, called Without Ever Leaving the Ground (She Flew).

Because Morgan holds down a demanding day job with PNB, she doesn’t schedule Seattle Project performances very far in advance. Look for her this summer on the Seattle waterfront, and presenting work with the Art in the Parks program. Morgan says audiences should expect the unexpected when it comes to her choreography. She’s always eager to try something new, even if it falls short of her imagination.

“At least I made stuff,” Morgan says. “At least I used my voice.”

The Seattle Project’s truth be told debuts at the Northwest Film Forum on Saturday, April 2 and repeats Sunday, April 3.