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Seattle’s International Dance Festival Transcends Borders

During the first two weekends in February, Seattle’s Khambatta Dance Company (KDC) will collaborate with the Cuidad Interior Company (CIC) from Mexico City to present The Seattle International Dance Festival Winter Mini Fest.

Cyrus Khambatta, artistic director of KDC, has focused much of his work with his company this year on communities and artists affected by war, natural disasters, and political climates. One of the pieces the company will be performing, “Endangered Species,” is drawn from the relationships and transitions Khambatta recently experienced while traveling. The piece is costumed by Jasmina Panic Samsara of Serbia.

The company’s repertoire continues to explore the nature of changing relationships through a series of pieces that recycle specific choreographic movements in different ways throughout multiple works.

Photo: Khambutta Dance Company Dancers, by Colleen Cooke from

Photo: Khambutta Dance Company Dancers, by Colleen Cooke from

CIC director Alejandro Chavez has also been exploring political themes with his dancers. Their work, “Proyecto Expediente (Project Files),” was based on movement research done in a laboratory where the dancers’ movements were studied while they were shown televised violent news.

Photo: Ciudad Interior Company, by David Steck from

Photo: Ciudad Interior Company, by David Steck from

Despite the struggles both companies have faced in obtaining visas for their dancers to work in America and receive arts funding, they have succeeded in putting this two-week program together. The second weekend will culminate in an exciting “swap” where the companies will swap artistic directors to create a new work for each company in just one day. The new works will not be titled until the day before the show. This is an exciting challenge for both the dancers and the directors because they must all quickly discover how to use their creative skills to put together a cohesive performance.

The directors say they are both excited to hopefully work together in the future. Khambatta describes his dancers, saying they “are always excited to meet other dancers in other countries” because it gives them more awareness of the global community in which they are creating.