During a recent afternoon rehearsal with her five dancers, choreographer Pat Graney was discussing timing, dresses, and poultry--specifically where one might procure a Cornish game hen.
This was Graney, one of Seattle’s most admired and respected dance makers, finessing her first full-length work in seven years. Girl Gods premieres this week at On The Boards and if a peek at the work in progress is a good indicator, it promises to be both aesthetically memorable and emotionally challenging. In other words: classic Graney.
The work focuses on a favorite Graney subject—women—but this time it’s women and the idea of rage. (The poultry, for example, serves as a prop in a segment about the ritual of domestic work but it’s slated to be anything but cutesy).
Graney, 59, has received some of the highest accolades locally and nationally for her work. Her contemporary dance pieces have included large-scale installations as well as performance workshops for incarcerated women and girls. In conversations after rehearsal one recent Saturday at On The Boards and then over the phone, Graney weighed in on stuffing one’s emotions, the radical act of unleashing rage, and the insecurity she still feels even though she’s in her 36th year of creating work: