“A major force in contemporary dance.”
The New York Times


READ FEATURE – Feet Planted on a Choreographic Riddle Siobhan Burke, The New York Times, July 10, 2014


Velocity partners with On the Boards in a celebration of master American choreographer Tere O’Connor, culminating in performances of his seminal works BLEED, poem, Secret Mary, and Sister. As part of this educational/community partnership, Velocity and OtB host Irreconcilability, nine days of activities focused on O’Connor’s influential views on dance and contemporary culture. Irreconcilability accompanies the works curated and presented by On the Boards and features dance screenings, discussions, book readings, dinners and more. Irreconcilability is curated by Velocity Artistic Director Tonya Lockyer with Tere O’Connor.


NOV 16–23

NOV 16: O’Connor Workshop Making Dances, Velocity
NOV 17: O’Connor Happy Hour Book Club, Hosted by Velocity at OtB
NOV 20-21: performance of BLEED, OtB
NOV 22: reading, Claudia La Rocco The Best Most Useless Dress, OtB
NOV 22: performance of poem and Secret Mary, OtB
NOV 23: performance of Sister followed by O’Connor Community Forum, Velocity

See below for details on these Velocity Open For(u)m events. For more on the performances at On the Boards, visit

BLEED. Paula Court 4

Photo Paula Court



BLEED. Paula Court 6

NOV 23 / 5:30PM followed by O’Connor Community Forum
Velocity Founders Theater 1621 12th Ave
TICKETS $12 / $9 MVP

Performed by fearless and unparalleled NYC dancers (David Thomson and Cynthia Oliver), Sister weaves various dance vocabularies into an intimate, complex, yet often playful tapestry, creating an unexpected universe. Sister is one of three interconnected works O’Connor “collapsed” into his singular masterpiece BLEED. 

These three shorter dance pieces, Sister, poem and Secret Mary, that are BLEED’s source material, will be performed over the nine days of IrreconcilabilityThey explore O’Connor’s lifelong obsession with the vast possibilities of human movement to create a brand-new choreographic language. After the performance of Sister, O’Connor, a major force in contemporary dance equally renowned for his inclusive empathy and wit, will lead an informal community conversation over appetizers inspired by his favorite recipes.


SUN NOV 16 / 12-4 PM
Velocity Founders Studio
 1621 12th Ave
REGISTER $50 / MVP $43

“. . . an essential figure, adored for his exquisitely constructed works, his mentoring and his fiercely articulated beliefs about all things related to dance.”
Claudia La Rocco, The New York Times

Rejecting a “good/bad” paradigm, O’Connor’s desire in teaching choreographic method is for artists to create problem-solving systems based on the structure of their own thought process and to rigorously pursue the “science” of their poetics. Through the daily creation of little dance works, the artist focuses attention on developing an analytical eye for the fundamental metaphors in the work. The process involves locating, through a hyper-personal investigation, the seeds of a universal voice.

READ Workshop insight from Seattle Dances


/ 6:30 PM
Hosted by Velocity
On the Boards Merrill Wright Mainstage Theater Lobby / 100 W Roy St

A celebrated writer on dance and ideas, O’Connor will engage in hearty conversation and debate around his writings on BLEED over cocktails.

LEARN MORE + READ O’Connor’s writings on BLEED
READ Unviable Structures on O’Connor’s BLEED blog, the jumping point for this Book Club

Photos by Paula Court



TERE–KarstinMoran-forthe NewYorkTimesTERE O’CONNOR (NYC) has been making dances since 1982 and has created over 35 works for his company. The company has performed throughout the US, and in Europe, South America, and Canada. O’Connor has created numerous commissioned works for dance companies around the world, among these have been works for Lyon Opera Ballet, White Oak Dance Project, de Rotterdamse Dansgroep, Dance Alloy, and Zenon. In addition to his 1996 work Greta in a Ditch for White Oak, he also created a solo work for Mikhail Baryshnikov. A solo he created for Jean Butler premiered in May 2010 at the Dublin Dance Festival.

Tere O’Connor is a 2009 United States Artist Rockefeller Fellow. He is a recipient of a Foundation for Contemporary Performance Art Award, Arts International’s DNA Project Award, and a Creative Capital Award. He has received three New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Awards – One for Heaven Up North in 1988, another in 1999 for Sustained Achievement, and most recently for his work Frozen Mommy (2005). O’Connor is a recipient of a 1993 Guggenheim Fellowship. He is also a recipient of repeated grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, NEFA/National Dance Project, the New York Foundation for the Arts, The MAP Fund, Jerome Foundation, Altria Group, Inc., Bossak/Heilbron Charitable Foundation, The Harkness Foundation for Dance, and Mid Atlantic US Artists International.

A much sought after teacher, O’Connor has taught at the Bates Dance Festival, American Dance Festival, Colorado Dance Festival, Ohio State University, University of Minnesota, Arizona State University, at the School for New Dance Development (The Netherlands), and Tanzwochen (Austria), among others. He is currently a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

“. . . dance can teach us about a way to experience our presence on Earth, as opposed to looking only for the story to work out. Because that doesn’t happen.” – Tere O’Connor

Photo Karstin Moran



“The inventiveness and richness of what O’Connor has constructed is astonishing.”
– DanceBeat


READ FEATURE – Roundabout Way, Claudia La Rocco, Art Forum, December 12, 2014

READ INTERVIEWClarity is a Useful Fiction, Melody Datz Hansen, The Stranger, November 21, 2014

READ FEATURE – Feet Planted on a Choreographic Riddle Siobhan Burke, The New York Times, July 10, 2014

READ REVIEW – Finding Poetry in Mulitplicity
 Brian Seibert, The New York Times, December 13, 2013

READ FEATURE Tere O’Connor’s Dance Investigations, Andrew Boynton, The New Yorker, December 7, 2012

READ REVIEWSeeking Answers Among the Études, Alastair Macaulay, The New York Times, November 28, 2012

READ INTERVIEWClaudia Larocco presents: Interview with Tere O’Connor, Claudia Larocco,, July 13, 2011


This Open For(u)m is a partnership between Velocity and On the Boards and is made possible through Velocity’s Guest Artist Series and OtB’s Performance Production Program.
Velocity’s presentation of Sister is made possible by generous support from season sponsors The Boeing Company, The Western States Arts Federation, The New England Foundation for the Arts, The Seattle Foundation, 4Culture, ArtsFund, The Office of Arts & Culture, The Pruzan Foundation, Pacific Continental Bank, the Morris Clitherow Family Fund and Media Sponsor KUOW.