Seattle-based Karin Stevens Dance (KSD) captures the breadth of the moving human experience through the creation of imaginative performance works. Collaborating with music, theater, and visual artists, KSD investigates the complex layers of our cultural spaces, time, and relationship to earth. Striving to make beauty out of chaos, KSD celebrates the power of movement to help us connect more deeply to ourselves, each other, and the environments that we move through, from, and within.
KSD aims to be a national leader and fixture in the Seattle arts community, creating world-class dance that transfigures the relevant issues, pains, and environmental depravity of our time. KSD envisions a city where there is a new space for the creation of interdisciplinary dance, live music and immersive audience experiences that dismantle complacent positions of privilege and power, open up new channels of engagement, and allow us to make new movements.
Through performance works and community events, KSD creates space for building connections. As a radical and vital art, dance can act as a key to our future sustainability. We commune, collaborate and converse through dance to remember that to be fully human we must move and create.
Founded in 2009 by Karin Stevens, KSD has performed locally at Velocity Dance Center, Fremont Abbey, Burien Performing Arts Center, Taproot Theatre Company’s Isaac Studio Theatre, and Edmonds Community College, and toured regionally to the O’Shaugnessy Center (MT) and Dennison Theatre (MT) among others.
As an advocate for live and original music, KSD has collaborated with award winning composers, Glacier Symphony and Chorale, String Orchestra of the Rockies, Northwest Symphony Orchestra, UW Chamber SIngers, Simple Measures, Seattle Jazz Composers Ensemble, and the Sam Boshnack Quintet.
KSD has received support from Seattle Mayor’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, 4-Culture, Microsoft, Seattle Foundation’s GiveBIG, Glenn H. Kawasaki Foundation, Case van Rij, The Plautz Family, The Dantzler Family, The Burgs, The Lanier Family, as well as individual donors and monthly sustainers, and through Velocity’s Creative Residency Program.
As a dance artist, I am driven by the fundamental belief that all of life is movement, and movement helps us connect more deeply to ourselves, each other, and the environment. I am inspired by the work of dancer/philosopher Kimerer LaMothe who articulates that we must move into a ‘rhythm of bodily becoming’ for the well-being of ourselves, others, and the earth. This understanding informs my movement practice, collaborations with fellow artists, and invigorates my effort to make works of moving art capturing the breadth of the human experience.
If it were not for the art and practice of movement, I could not return to a sense of internal and external peace, joy, and love in my everyday life. The art and practice of movement is my greatest source of hope in the midst of environmental, political, and cultural degradation: human induced crises having evolved from harmful and neglectful patterns of movement toward the interconnected earth and each other. These egregious patterns stem from centuries of minds separated from bodies; bodies separated from each other, the land, and waters; and humans who gained power from the imbalances and chaos of these separations.
Through the art and practice of movement I have transfigured pain and obstacles in my own life, delving deep into the roots of my personal lineage to overcome complacency and complicity. I explore creative work through dance and writing that examines the above concerns with the hope of speaking in movement and words that call us to examine those past abhorrent patterns residing in and reverberating throughout our collective earth-body. I am a loudspeaker for the resonate pain which screams at us to cultivate new patterns of movement for our greater well-being, and the transformation of the wrongs we are acutely experiencing at this critical point in history.
As a mother and movement artist I have dedicated my life to the work of raising consciousness for a better world. In the face of limited funding I continue offering myself to the belief that movement is the source of our becoming, overcoming, healing, knowing, and connecting. Over the last decade, thanks to the support of my community and in spite of small-scale public recognition, I have endured, creating and independently producing multiple large-scale works, writings surrounding this work, and facilitations in The Art and Practice of Movement for others. Knowing that this work is vital for our time, I remain ever committed to my personal and artistic calling: recreating and renewing movement practices further awakening our collective human-earth body at the interchange of art and embodied science, eco-philosophy and spiritual ecology, contemplative practice, and on-the-ground action. And with each new project, I seek to create an imaginative, immersive, multimedia experience serving as a catalyst for dialogue, exchange, and further research. Looking ahead, I believe my commitment to art and ecology will more directly impact audiences and communities, connecting us all back to our bodies and shared ecosystems, with the hope that healing, mitigation, and adaptation begins in us.