guest artist series: peggy piacenza


Touch Me Here
Encore Performance
SEPT 3 + 4 / 8PM
Velocity Founders Theater 1621 12th Ave
TICKETS $18 / $20 at the door / $12 Students + Seniors / $15 MVP / $50 Patron



“Her work is frequently bold, challenging audiences to watch and think about dance out of traditional boxes, and this new solo extends that edginess.”
– Melody Datz Hansen, Seattle Dances


Touch Me Here is multi-disciplinary movement memoir created and performed by Seattle-based choreographer Peggy Piacenza with an original live score performed by cellist Scott Bell.

A luminary performer and a unique choreographic voice in Seattle’s dance community, Piacenza’s 25-year career includes her own evening length works as well as star turns with Pat Graney Company, 33 Fainting Spells, Deborah Hay, Dayna Hanson and others. A very personal departure from her past work, Touch Me Here is a movement memoir in which Piacenza excavates her own lived experience to connect with audiences human to human.

 >> WATCH Promo Video – Touch Me Here


about the artists



is a longtime Seattle choreographer and performer who has toured both nationally and internationally. Her work focuses on a wide spectrum of experience and draws from her explorations in improvisation, performance-related studies, and inter-disciplinary collaborations. Her choreography has been commissioned and presented by Bratislava Movement Festival in Slovakia, Dance Theater Workshop in NY, On the Boards, Composer/Choreographer, D-9 Dance Collective, Northwest Film Forum, and 4Culture. In 1992, she co-founded Seattle’s repertory dance company The D-9 Dance Collective.

Her contemporary dance career began in Seattle in 1991 when she first performed with Seattle-based choreographer Pat Graney, touring signature works such as Faith, Sleep, Vivaldi, Colleen Anne, and Jesus Loves the Little Cowgirls throughout cities in the US, Europe and South America. From 1996-2004 she worked in collaboration with co-directors Dayna Hanson and Gaelen Hanson of the Seattle- based dance-theater company 33 Fainting Spells, performing and touring works including Sorrow’s Sister, Maria the Storm Cloud, September September, and Dirty Work.

Since then, she has performed in the work of many choreographers, such as Stephanie Skura, Deborah Hay, Lionel Popkin, Beth Graczyk; among others. Most recently, she performed in two evening-length works conceived by Dayna Hanson, Gloria’s Cause (2010) and The Clay Duke (2014). She can also be seen in an acting role in Hanson’s feature-length film Improvement Club.

Piacenza is a 2010 graduate of Smith College, where she was enrolled in the Ada Comstock Scholars Program. In Spring 2011 she became the inaugural recipient of the Helen Gurley Brown Magic Grant, offered to Ada Comstock Scholars by Smith College, underwriting her creative project to bring Cambodian and American artists together in Cambodia for a month of cross-cultural dialogue and dancing associated with classical and contemporary dance forms. In December 2012, a documentary film based on her time in Cambodia was completed, and subsequently hosted by Velocity Dance Center’s Speakeasy Series.


Cellist/Composer SCOTT BELL (Musician) earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music Composition at the University of California, Santa Barbara College of Creative Studies where he studied Composition with Hagar Kadima and Double Bass with Nico Abondolo. Since 2010, he has worked as a musician for the University of Washington Dance Department providing music for Ballet and Modern Dance courses. In the summer of 2011, Scott performed at HERE/NOW 9 where he was paired with Peggy Piacenza leading to their current collaboration. In 2013, Scott composed and performed an original score for choreographer Wilson Mendieta’s Exodus.


EILEEN VORBACH has been an actor, director and teacher in Chicago for many years. Her directing credits include the Fringe First Award winning production of MARTIN AND JOHN and the subsequent production in London at The Bush Theatre, RAISED IN CAPTIVITY with Cobalt Ensemble and multiple shows for The Heroic Bard and WomanLore, Performing Women in History where she is co-founder/artistic director and producer. As an actress Eileen is a proud member of AEA and SAG/AFTRA. She has worked at many Chicago area theaters and received a Jeff Citation for her portrayal of Jean in SKIRMISHES and an Ensemble Citation for TOP GIRLS. Eileen has been an acting coach and instructor at several Chicago schools and is the founder and artistic director of The Acting Tank where she specializes in Meisner technique.  Most recently Eileen appeared as Janet in TELL ME WHAT YOU REMEMBER with Erasing the Distance.  She will be reprising that role in the remount this fall. Eileen’s latest film credits  include LOVE MEET HOPE with Ed Asner and Brad Fowler. Eileen would like to thank Kathy Daly for making this project possible.


JULIAN MARTLEW (Sound) is a musician, composer, audio technician and radio announcer living in Seattle. He is honored to work with Peggy Piacenza’s Touch Me Here. Recent projects include: Audio – mixing a live radio broadcast of Sub Pop artists Mudhoney from the roof of the Space Needle at Seattle Center. Composition – music based on Tarot cards for choreographer Catherine Cabeen’s work – Fire! commissioned by On The Boards. Live performance –  slide guitar for choreographer Paige Barnes work – Naked. Voice – imaging and underwriting for KEXP-FM 90.3 Seattle. Sound Design – for zoe | juniper’s BeginAgain.


ROXY MAGENTA (Costume Designer) was raised by coyotes in The Cascades. They taught him how to sew hides together with bone needles and sinew. This is all a lie.


ALIA SWERSKY (Rehearsal Assistant) is best known as an improviser, performer, ritual creator, mentor, teacher and healer. She graduated from Cornish College of the Arts in 1998 with a BFA in dance and now teaches as part of the creative process curriculum at Cornish as an adjunct faculty member since 2005. She has taught at Velocity’s Strictly Seattle and the Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation (SFDI). She was a long time Co-artistic director of Dance Art Group (DAG), a non-profit organization that promotes the practice and appreciation of dance and somatic education in the Seattle area, including the Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation. Influences and inspiration come from her many years being immersed in movement practices and performance. Specific forms include contact improvisation, release/somatic techniques, yoga, Authentic Movement, Tuning Scores, Aikido, Buddhist meditation, and many pivotal dance partners and teachers. Alia danced and toured nationally and internationally as a member of the LeGendre Performance Group. She has also collaborated and performed in the works of many Seattle artists some of which include The Maureen Whiting Company, Khambatta Dance Company, Jurg Koch, KT Niehoff, and Salt Horse. Alia has been actively teaching, performing, and creating improvisational and choreographic works in Seattle since 1998. Alia is delighted to have been deeply engaged in the process of creating Touch Me Here with Peggy and grateful to see this work through its many manifestations.




“Introspective sensuality and a disturbing trend of turmoil and self-doubt.”
– Ciara McCormack, Seattle Dances

“A moving illustration of an artist’s most intimate thoughts and moments.” – Melody Datz Hansen, Seattle Dances

WATCH Promo Video – Touch Me Here

WATCH VideoLotan Baba, The Rolling Saint



Preview “Piacenza Gets Personal.” Melody Datz Hansen. Seattle Dances. November 18, 2014.

READ Review “Touch Us Here, Peggy.” Ciara McCormack. Seattle Dances. November 26, 2014.



The encore performance of Touch Me Here is made possible through Velocity’s Guest Artist Series.