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Originally published Thursday, February 10, 2011 at 7:02 PM

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'Chop Shop' festival assembles dance performances on the Eastside

"Chop Shop: Bodies of Work" brings a full menu of Seattle-area dance — including some world premieres — to the Eastside on Feb. 12 and 13.

Seattle Times arts writer


'Chop Shop:Bodies of Work'

7:30 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday, The Theatre at Meydenbauer Center, 11100 N.E. Sixth St., Bellevue; $20-$25 (800-838-3006 or

The Eastside's annual dance festival, "Chop Shop: Bodies of Work," is back this weekend — and the lineup never looked better.

"Chop Shop," the brainchild of choreographer Eva Stone, provides one-stop shopping for anyone interested in Seattle-area dance. Some items on the program have been seen before. Others are enjoying their world premieres.

Wade Madsen's "Unlucky," set to music by Miles Davis, is one of the latter. Madsen is a veteran Seattle dancer-choreographer who can command the stage by just raising his eyebrow. Another world premiere comes from Sonia Dawkins of SD/Prism Dance Theatre, a group whose members' elasticity and surging strength are a pleasure to watch. Stone's own company, The Stone Dance Collective, has something new to offer, too, with "Readymade," a piece that, intriguingly, is a riff on the periodic table.

In the if-you-missed-it-now's-your-chance-to-see-it category is Spectrum Dance Theater's "Longing," in which the nimble leaps and ballet flurries of seven dancers are punctuated — "punctured" is more like it — by fierce foot stomps and hand slaps. In this sharp, potent 2005 work by Donald Byrd, first created for the Cincinnati Ballet, dancers pair up — but because of their odd number, someone is always left on the sidelines.

Catherine Cabeen and Company should add another elegant lift to the program. Cabeen was a longtime dancer with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and Martha Graham Dance Company, and if you've never seen her, you're in for a treat.

Rounding out the program are Quark Contemporary Dance Theatre (David Lorence Schleiffers, choreographer), Michael Rioux's The Sho (providing in-lobby entertainment), Tonya Lockyer (doing a Grieg-inspired piece), Bellingham Repertory Dance (presenting a work by Canadian choreographer Josh Beamish) and zoe | juniper (recent finalists at On the Boards' "The A.W.A.R.D. Show!").

At 1 p.m. Sunday, there's a free lecture, "Reading Dance," that explores how contemporary dance is made.

Michael Upchurch:

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