On the Boards (OtB) presents the highly anticipated premiere of Lingo dancetheater’s new piece Relatively Real. The Seattle-based company, led by artistic director/choreographer KT Niehoff, will perform the work at the Behnke Center for Contemporary Performance (OtB), May 12-14, 8pm. In Relatively Real, Niehoff creates an immersive environment attempting to seduce the audience to a place of mystery where identity and reality are questioned as the performers tackle androgyny, alter-egos and gender roles. The piece features seven of the most skilled performers and movement innovators in Seattle: Bianca Cabrera, Scott Davis, Dustin Haug, Aiko Kinoshita, KT Niehoff, Aaron Swartzman and Janine Tiede. The work also features an original, haunting score by Adam McCollom, outrageous costumes by Alex Martin and layered, whimsical animation and film design by Stefan Gruber. In her second collaboration with Niehoff, lighting design is by Julie Keenan.
In Relatively Real, Niehoff uses the directorial prowess and clarity garnered from her ten years of experience to create her most ambitious work to date. Feeding off the energy and national recognition from the 10-city tour of her last piece (Speak to Me), Niehoff challenged her quirky and disparate company members as improvisers and technicians to create a thought-provoking work. As an ensemble, the company solidified a cohesive movement signature specific to their characteristics and the group dynamic.
Exploring the territory of identity and perception, Relatively Real questions who we think we are and how filters of time, place, security, and relationships alter our view of “the self”. Using their trademark theatrical wit, risky athletic movement, and capricious imagery, costumes, media and vocal techniques, the dancers straddle the edges of beauty and darkness, pleasure and fear, humor and horror. The piece springs from pointed physical states and further defines the company as performers able to pull at emotional strings and humor simultaneously.
Lingo dancetheater developed Relatively Real over the past year, showing a work-in-progress at Velocity Dance Center last fall. The company recently continued the creation process during a residency at Centrum in Port Townsend. The engagement at OtB marks the world premiere of the completed work. Co-Commissioned by U.C. Riverside, the piece is currently scheduled to tour engagements in San Diego, Riverside and Minnesota in the 2005/6 season.