the bridge project 2016


“The Bridge Project is one of Velocity’s great gifts to the city.
— The Stranger 




JAN 29-31 /8PM
Velocity Founders Theater
1621 12th Ave
TICKETS $20 / $25 at the door / $18 Under 25 w/ ID / $17 MVP / $50 Patron

4 of Seattle’s most promising choreographers create 4 new works in the pressure cooker of just 4 weeks at Velocity’s Bridge Project  turning Velocity into an intense hive of urgency, excitement and dedication, kicking off Velocity’s 20th anniversary year. This year’s performance features exciting new work by emerging Seattle artists: Stephanie Liapis, ilvs strauss, Nathan Blackwell, and Ashleigh Miller.

Before arriving in Seattle, Stephanie Liapis danced with major US dance company Doug Varone & Dancers. Through the Bridge Project she creates a new group work in part through improvisational investigation exploring displacement, and a deep desire to create wide-open spaces. ilvs strauss (Dance Magazine “Top Performances of 2014”) brings her critically-acclaimed theatrical wit and imagination to a work investigating text based movement (Dance Narrative) in depth, playing with the layering of TEXT/SUBTEXT/SUPERTEXT.  Nathan Blackwell brings a queer, inter-media approach to examining the horror of existing in an infinite universe that has no concept of our humanity, and in which we exist as nothing more than molecular constructs orbiting in space. Ashleigh Miller explores the psychological process of despair, descriptions of patients experiencing euphoria and transcendent peace before plunging into a seizure, and kaleidoscopic hallucinations that mimic the self-organizing patterns of neurons.

This year we are happy to continue the Bridge Project UW Dance Residency, a partnership of Velocity and the University of Washington Dance Department. This award goes to a graduate of the University of Washington who has been choreographing in Seattle, outside of school, for three years or less. Stephanie Liapis is the 2016 award recipient.

Join The Bridge Project 2016 Facebook Event >>


special events


SUN JAN 24 / 4:30-6:00PM
Velocity Founders Theater 1621 12th Ave
FREE and open to all

Bridge Project 2016 artists share key aspects of their creative process and bring the audience into their work, followed by an open community conversation. Join the Facebook Event >>






about the artists


STEPHANIE LIAPIS is a dance artist from NYC. She worked with Doug Varone & Dancers, Susan Marshall & Company, Nicholas Leichter Dance, Nancy Bannon, Netta Yerushalmy, Faye Driscoll, the MET ballet and many others. She received her M.F.A. from the University of Washington in 2013. Stephanie has presented her work and taught master classes nationally and abroad. She has served as adjunct faculty at Hunter College, UW, Barnard College, SUNY Purchase College and as an Assistant Professor of Dance at Long Island University-Brooklyn. She relocated to Seattle in 2015.

ilvs strauss is an analytical chemist turned multi-disciplinary performance artist here in Seattle. Her Dance Narrative solo, Manifesto, performed at On the Boards’ NW New Works Fest 2014 and again at PDX’s RISK/REWARD fest that same year, was listed in Dance Magazine’s BEST of 2014. She eventually/finally made it into an evening length piece, added 12 dancers and premiered it at Velocity in May 2015. She also teaches workshops with interesting titles inspired by marine life. They’re about the intersection of movement and writing. You should take one. More information, pertinent and otherwise, can be found at

“…sly, smart, pithy, hilarious, outlandish, exposed.”
– Wendy Perron

NATHAN BLACKWELL is a conceptual performance artist based in Seattle. His work is influenced by his queer millennial mind and two decades of an affiliation with the Evangelical church. And is an attempt to reconcile the gulf between the two through performative experiences that are felt rather than seen. Blackwell has shown several evening length pieces through residencies at the Roser Atlas Institute for New Technology and Media (Colorado), The Laundry on Lawrence (Denver), The Garage (San Fransisco), Gay City Arts (Seattle) and Studio Current (Seattle). He has a degree from the University of Colorado Boulder.

“Blackwell exemplifies stone-faced hipsters in black skinny jeans.”
– The Stranger

ASHLEIGH MILLER is a multi-disciplinary artist working in dance, music, and visual media. She received her BFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2013 before returning home to Seattle where she founded Faunix, a collaborative multimedia arts company. Her work has shown at Velocity Dance Center, Northwest Film Forum, the FRED Wildlife Refuge, Postcrypt Gallery, and the Gallatin Galleries. Ashleigh is currently focused on creating immersive installations that unite her diverse artistic practices. Ashleigh is also a dedicated teaching artist at Velocity Dance Center and around the greater Seattle area.

“…what seems to define Miller’s work—her petite frame contains an agility that flows and shifts like hot honey, but never loses its exacting edge.”
– Seattle Dances


Learn more about Bridge Project Collaborators here >>





“Cafe Argento’s motto has always been that ‘only good things happen here.’
Velocity has been a part of those good things every step of the way!”

– Faizel Khan


Thanks to Café Argento owner Faizel Khan, Velocity is pleased to announce Argento Dance Grants have been awarded to three Seattle dancers participating in The Bridge Project 2016. In keeping with Velocity and Argento’s commitment to helping make Seattle a viable place for dancers to develop sustainable and prosperous careers, awards aim to support local dancers who demonstrate financial need.

Argento Dance Grants include:

  • Cash grants ranging from $250-$1000.
  • One year free MVP Membership, providing discounts to Velocity classes, events, and studio rentals.
  • 6 hours of free studio rehearsal time.

This year’s grant recipients are Liz Houlton, Britt Gaudette, and Philippa Myler.







The Bridge Project 2016 is made possible thanks to the generous support of 4 Culture, ArtsFund, The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, The Seattle Foundation, NEA Art Works, The Pruzan Foundation, The Glenn H Kawasaki Foundation, Pacific Continental Bank, The Patricia and Marcus Meier Charitable Foundation, and Power2Give Presented by ArtsFund. The Bridge Project UW Dance Residency is a partnership of Velocity and the University of Washington Dance Department.


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