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March 25, 2021

Media Contact

Elizabeth Dougherty, 206-214-6360

Seattle Dance Collective announces April 15 premiere of new work

featuring NYCB dancer Sara Mearns

Gallop Apace will be available to view online for a limited time only from April 15-22, 2021

SEATTLE, WA, March 25, 2021 — Seattle Dance Collective (SDC), founded by Pacific Northwest Ballet Principal Dancers Noelani Pantastico and James Yoichi Moore, announces the release of Gallop Apace, a compelling new work featuring New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Sara Mearns, with choreography by Bobbi Jene Smith and Or Schraiber, and cinematography by Trevor Tweeten. Gallop Apace is set to premiere on April 15 and will be available for streaming from April 15-22, 2021.

Gallop Apace is the latest film produced by Seattle Dance Collective, expanding the company’s breadth of new work to include noted artists from beyond the Northwest. SDC’s first foray into filmmaking occurred last summer with the presentation of CONTINUUM: Bridging the Distance, a collection of five dance films created during the onset of the pandemic lockdown.

“It’s been so rewarding to assemble this extraordinary team of respected and widely appreciated artists for the first time, and to support their creative process,” said SDC Co-Artistic Director Noelani Pantastico. “We started SDC with the primary purpose of providing space to collaborate and find inspiration from one another, and although we have had to shift from stage to screen, the driving force behind our mission remains the same.”

Inspired by an oft neglected scene from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet that most dance and film interpretations leave by the wayside, Gallop Apace explores the depth of Juliet’s inner strength and multifaceted emotions as she navigates a transformation from anxious young bride to grief-stricken woman. For Sara Mearns, being able to embody the character of Juliet was an especially enticing opportunity.

“I have longed for, but never been cast in the role of Juliet,” said Sara Mearns. “So when invited to create a work for SDC, I seized on the chance to explore this character and paint her as more than a teenager in love, but as an independent thinker with complicated feelings of power, shame and passion.”

When approached by SDC, Mearns knew she wanted to bring in choreographer Bobbi Jene Smith whom she had long admired. Smith and her partner Or Schraiber first met while dancing with Batsheva Dance Company and are both steeped in GAGA, a movement language created by Israeli dancer and choreographer Ohad Naharin which is based on a deep and layered physical awareness of the body.

“I am constantly focused on how to justify a movement, to know where it is coming from,” said Bobbi Jene Smith. “One of the ideas Or and I like to play with is introducing a familiar pedestrian motion to draw the audience in, and then lead them on a sensory-laden journey with us.”

Gallop Apace was shot over the course of just one day by cinematographer Trevor Tweeten at an empty 19th century manor, a location selected and staged by set designer Adam Charlap Hyman. In addition to Mearns, Gallop Apace includes an appearance by New York based actress Bligh Voth as the Nurse, with spoken word by Israeli actress Lihi Kornowski, vocals by Anthony Roth Costanzo and cello performance by Coleman Itzkoff.

Gallop Apace will be available to view for just $5. For more information, please visit Seattle Dance Collective’s website at


Direction & Choreography: Bobbi Jene Smith and Or Schraiber

Music: Bachianas Brasileiras No.5 by Heitor Villa-Lobos

Dancer: Sara Mearns
World Premiere: April 15, 2021


About Seattle Dance Collective

Seattle Dance Collective is dedicated to nurturing collaboration between dancers and choreographers, and introducing audiences to transformative programs of artistic excellence. SDC was founded in 2019 by Noelani Pantastico and James Yoichi Moore and made its debut that summer with four sold-out performances at Vashon Center for the Arts. SDC was an early adopter of creating new works for film during the COVID-19 lockdown, premiering five pieces in the summer of 2020.

For more information, visit the SDC website at, or follow SDC on Instagram @Seattle_Dance_Collective, Facebook @seattledancecollective and Twitter @sdc_seattle.

Note to Editor: Photos of artists and film stills are available upon request. Please contact Elizabeth Dougherty by email at or by phone at 206-214-6360.

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