In another sign that Seattle’s dancers and choreographers are being recognized nationally and internationally, ARC Dance Company’s Marie Chong has been tapped as an artistic director for Cirque du Soleil. Chong will take a six-month leave as ARC’s artistic director to oversee the Japanese tour of Cirque’s Kooza.
Emailing from Japan, Chong says she was invited to join Cirque through a friend who has been with that organization for a number of years. “I couldn’t resist the opportunity to learn more about my craft from the premiere performance arts group. The experience and exposure will both benefit me professionally and enhance future ARC Dance productions.”
Chong will return to Seattle Nov. 27-Dec. 18 to oversee ARC’s annual production of Nutcracker Sweets while a team of dancers, instructors, choreographers, and administrators will manage both the school and the professional company during her absence.
Chong established ARC Dance Company in 1999 to foster emerging dancers, choreographers and musicians. The company’s annual July performances at the Leo K. Theatre provide a showcase of diverse works for ARC’s talented dancers and emerging choreographers. As I wrote in Crosscut this past summer, the company has never seemed to attract the following it deserves. Perhaps Chong will return from her stint with Cirque du Soleil with fresh ideas not just about her art but also about how to market ARC Dance Company to Seattle’s small but dedicated dance fans.