A Dance for Dark Horses

Premiere MAR 8–11, 2018 / 7:30PM
1621 12th Ave
$20 ($25 at the door) / $17 MVP Member /$15 under 25 (w/ ID) / $50 Patron

Choreographer: Kim Lusk
Dancers: Shane Donohue, Jenna Eady, Britt Karhoff, Kim Lusk, Erin McCarthy, Devin Muñoz, Lillian Orrey, Alexander Pham, Katie Wyeth
Composer: Ryan Hume, CFCF
Lighting Designer: Amiya Brown
Costume Designers: Jolie Joli
Technical Director: Becca Blackwell



The first evening-length work by this fast-rising choreographer, A Dance for Dark Horses is packed with Lusk’s signature “gut-busting parody,” dry humor, and physical virtuosity. With an original score inspired by 90s pop beats, Lusk promises to tell stories about failure, success, and the power of group magic.

“Lusk is in a sweet spot as a choreographer . . . developing a movement vocabulary that literally vibrates at the intersection of classicism and pop action, like a slam-dancing sarabande.”—Sandra Kurtz, Seattle Weekly

“Kim Lusk makes glorious, rollicking, superb dance art.”—Paul Swanson

Kim calls the work “a dance for everyone” that “combines the things we all love to watch: humor, physicality, rhythmic music, and a story about a group of underdogs.” Her work often leaves audiences feeling “enlivened and electric,” and A Dance for Dark Horses promises that once more. Her collaborators for A Dance for Dark Horses include dancers Shane Donohue, Erin McCarthy, and Alexander Pham; composer Ryan Hume; and costume designers Jeffery + Juliana Shirbourn / Jolie Joli; and lighting designer Amiya Brown.

A Dance for Dark Horses is produced through Velocity’s Made in Seattle program—designed to boost choreographers onto the national stage and providing multi-dimensional direct support to artists over a period of a year or more. Begun in 2012, Made in Seattle has produced several world premieres including Kate Wallich’s Industrial Ballet; Cherdonna’s Worth My Salt; KT Niehoff’s Before We Flew Like Birds, We Flew Like Clouds; Alice Gosti’s How to become a partisan; and more.

About the Artists

Kim Lusk is descended from a hearty line of cowboys, homesteaders, and mountaineers. A performer and choreographer based in Seattle, her choreography has been presented at On the Boards’ Northwest New Works Festival, Velocity, Bumbershoot, Vashon Center for the Arts, and Seattle International Dance Festival. Kim has performed with zoe|juniper, and serves as Rehearsal Director + Choreographic Assistant to the company, setting zoe|juniper’s work around the country. She currently performs with Peggy Piacenza and Britta Joy Peterson. She holds a degree in dance from Connecticut College and grew up dancing at Bainbridge Dance Center.

Becca Blackwell has been freelancing across Seattle for eight years now. She is currently Producer/Stage manager for Alice Gosti’s MDICAC, as well as Production Stage Manager for Whim W’him. She also dances for Michele Miller/Catapult Dance, where she acts as both company member and Production Manager. Becca is stoked to help bring Kim Lusk’s A Dance for Dark Horses to life as the Technical Director.

Amiya Brown is Lighting and Visual Designer based in Seattle, WA. She holds a Master’s Degree in Theatrical Lighting Design from the University of Washington. Designing nationally and internationally for theatre, dance, and opera, she specializes in generative performance productions. Her work has been presented throughout the United States and abroad. She received a Gypsy Rose Lee Award in 2012 for her work on The Skriker (Janet Findley Production) and designed lights for Pat Graney’s Bessie award-winning production Girl Gods. / amiyabrowndesign.com

Shane Donohue is a Seattle-based dance artist currently working with zoe|juniper, Kim Lusk, Alyssa Casey’s Squatch Tanztheater, and Elby Brosch. His performative philosophy derives from an interest in movement and creative practices as they provide him an opportunity to gain new insight on his perception of the world. While studying dance and psychology at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, he received the Incoming Freshman Scholarship in Dance, the Bukolt Family Scholarship, the Chancellor’s Leadership Award, and the Outstanding Graduating Senior Award. Shane is currently a Creative Resident at Velocity Dance Center.

Jenna Eady trained under the direction of Susan Thompson at Bainbridge Dance Center. In 2015 she graduated from California Institute of the Arts with a BFA in dance. As a performer she has worked with artists such as Sidra Bell, Carl Lawrence, and Kate Wallich + The YC/YC2. Jenna is a freelance performance artist currently dancing for Jody Kuehner and will be performing next spring 2019 in Ella Mahler’s evening-length work, Where Will It Land as a part of Velocity’s Made in Seattle program.

Ryan Hume is a Seattle-based daytime industrial designer and nocturnal music producer/media artist. Shuffling between the far limits of club music, cinematic sound design, and pop structure, his sound refuses to stay in one place for long. Armed with technology, Ryan seeks to destroy your previous relationship with music, and replace it with an uneasy but enjoyable sense of freshness. Raw minimalism and confusion are core ingredients in Ryan’s work, cut with a measure of familiarity to make it palatable. soundcloud.com/xssory

Jolie Joli is a luxe custom clothing business which handcrafts any garment, for all silhouettes, from sketch to final piece. The company was founded by siblings, Jeffrey and Juliana, who have a deep commitment to craftsmanship, sustainability, and fashion. The pair carefully consults with clients on styles, cuts, colors, and likes/dislikes, to cultivate a personal understanding of one’s wants and fashion dreams. / joliejolidesign.com

Britt Karhoff Britt’s performance works have been presented in Seattle at Velocity, On the Boards, Behind the Pink Door, NEPO 5K, and at the Joe Goode Annex in San Francisco. She has performed locally, nationally, and internationally on stages, in historic buildings, and on the sides of skyscrapers with artists and companies including Project Bandaloop, Joe Goode Performance Group, Flyaway Productions, zoe|juniper, KT Niehoff, Shannon Stewart, Coleman Pester, Anna Conner, Alice Gosti, and Kaitlin McCarthy among many others. She is currently developing an evening of solo work, STILL WONDER FULL, coming this June.

Erin McCarthy received her formative training from the School of Oregon Ballet Theatre and holds a BFA in Dance from California Institute of the Arts. She has performed in works by Ohad Naharin (Batsheva), Colin Connor (Limón Dance Company), Daniel Charon (Ririe-Woodbury), and Zoe Scofield (zoe|juniper). In Seattle, she works and performs with Kim Lusk and Laura Aschoff/GRIEF GIRLS.

Devin Muñoz was born in California and received her early dance training in Seattle where she graduated from the Pacific Northwest Ballet school student division in 2014. In May 2017, Devin graduated Magna Cum Laude from Cornish College of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. Devin has performed in pieces for Strictly Seattle 2017 by Alice Gosti and The Bridge Project Summer 2017 by Anna Krupp. When Devin isn’t dancing she spends her time creating dance films and collaborating with other dancers through photo series. She was recently awarded the Cornish Playhouse Arts Incubator Residency and started a new series of dance films in January 2018.

Lillian Orrey began dancing when she was four years old, every morning, religiously, to the entire Grease soundtrack before anyone else woke up. She went on to receive a BA in Dance from Western Washington University. She currently works with GRIEF GIRLS, a local interdisciplinary performance group directed by Laura Aschoff.

Alexander Pham, born and raised in Rosemount, Minnesota, received his BFA in Dance and BS in Human Resource Development from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities with dual honors. Alexander has had the privilege of performing works by artists such as Roy Assaf, Gregory Dolbashian, Martha Graham, Bill T. Jones, Larry Keigwin, Stephen Petronio, Uri Sands, Zoe Scofield, and Yin Yue, among others. Alexander has been collaborating with Kim Lusk since moving to Seattle in 2015. He has also performed with Seattle-based companies and choreographers zoe|juniper, Anna Conner +CO, and most recently with LED, based out of Boise. Alexander is in his third season with Spectrum Dance Theater.

Katie Wyeth, originally from Batavia, Illinois, received her BA in Dance and BS in Kinesiology from the University of Minnesota. Over the years she has had the privilege of performing works by Nora Chipaumire, Ananya Chatterjea, Shapiro & Smith, and Kate Wallich. Since moving to Seattle, Katie has been working as a freelance performance artist dancing with Virtualso Dance Co, Anna Conner Co, Dylan Ward, Kim Lusk, and Jody Kuehner (Cherdonna Shinatra).

kim-lusk_marcia-davis-1_eventPHOTO MARCIA DAVIS

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“Lusk’s Tour de Farce”Tess Hansen, SeattleDances

“Kim Lusk’s Shiny Dark Horses”—Marcie Sillman, And Another Thing…

“A Night of Rhythmic Underdogs: Kim Lusk’s A Dance for Dark Horses—José Amador, The Seattle Star

“Kim Lusk’s Dance for Dark Horses Is Adorable, Awkward, Athletic, Hilarious, and Like 17 Other Good Adjectives”—Rich Smith, The Stranger

“Kim Lusk: A Dance for Dark Horses—Rich Smith, The Stranger

“8 things to do in Seattle this weekend”—Michael Upchurch+ Nicole Capozziello, Crosscut

“After Years Orbiting the Spotlight, Choreographer Kim Lusk Prepares for Her First Full-Length Show”—Darren Davis, Seattle Met

“Playful, Heartfelt ‘A Dance for Dark Horses’ to Premiere at Velocity Dance Center”—Gavin Borchert, Seattle Magazine

“A Dance for Dark Horses: Choreographer Kim Lusk’s delightful, demanding full-length debut”—Kaitlin McCarthy, City Arts

WATCH Nancy Guppy spotlights upcoming arts and entertainment events (Kim Lusk at 4:02) on KING 5’s “New Day NW”

Press Release: February 6, 2018Velocity Presents Kim Lusk’s A Dance for Dark Horses—World Premiere of First Evening-Length Work from Fast-Rising Seattle Choreographer

19417241_1349685661753646_3673920176321327228_oPHOTO RYAN HUME

Commissioned and produced through Velocity’s Made in Seattle new dance development program. Supported by Velocity’s New Dance Initiative sponsors Jeremy Steward + Eric Hartmann and Barbara Lewis + Joe Cable, and NDI supporters Jay Hamilton and Kori Martodam.

Find out how to support this piece through the New Dance Initiative.