NW Dance Project to premiere three performances at Lincoln

Northwest Dance Project will be lighting up Lincoln Hall’s performance stage for New Now Wow, a showcase of three world dance premieres arranged by different choreographers, exhibiting what’s hot and current in contemporary dance.

The event will run from Oct. 23 to Oct. 25, beginning at 7:30 p.m. each night. Tickets range from $29 to $49 dollars, but students will be able to pick them up for $20 with a valid student I.D.

“We titled it [New Now Wow] because everything is new in the show, all world premieres,” said Sarah Slipper, the founding artistic director for Northwest Dance Project. “It’s an investigation on very internal emotions.”

If not acquainted with the dance world, it can be difficult to understand the significance of an event such as this. Most ballet companies now buy shows to include in their repertoire without consistently creating new work themselves. Northwest Dance Project operates very differently.

“What makes Northwest Dance Project so unique is every work you see on the stage is created by us. We take risks. We like innovation. That’s our niche,” Slipper said. That risk and innovation can be seen firsthand through the company’s rehearsals at Lincoln Hall.

This year New Now Wow will feature works by New York based Yin Yue, local favorite Minh Tran, and Jirí Pokorný, a Czech choreographer working on his first piece outside of Europe.

“I don’t use a lot of physical contact between the dancers. They partner each other without physical contact, there’s a connection in the distance,” Pokorný said.

This much is true in Pokorný’s quick and exact direction. The main couple creates a lucid tension in their relationship without ever touching, held together only by powerful eye contact and sweaty magnetism.

Tran, on the other hand, said he had no vision for what he wanted before working with the dancers.

“The way I work, I tend to throw out a lot of combinations.”

Tran said he then goes on to master whatever seems to be working, working closely with the dancers. He remains as lithe and spritely as ever in restrictive blue jeans and striped socks.

“The piece is actually called Unexpected Turbulence, and it’s about the air, the rough air. You can see how air physicalizes,” Tran said.

The troupe has been a source of inspiration for both Pokorný and Tran, and it’s easy to see why. An ensemble of nine dancers, all of whom are classically trained, have a great deal of commitment when working on the floor, watching and not veering away from a question or even a suggestion to choreography.

“The dancers here, they are so dedicated, so hungry, really present in every rehearsal,” Pokorný said.