I'm not a frequent dance patron, but I attended a three-part show at Meany Hall over the weekend, produced and choreographed by UW faculty, and I have to yell about a dancer named Joanna Farmer.
Christ she's good. The UW senior—one of five performers in a piece titled Dances for Isadora—was strong enough to stand out in a two-hour show packed with great dancers.
Unlike so many performers who seem to string together techniques (a foot to the left, an arm to the right, elbow bent, hand cocked downward, etc.), Farmer moved as a unified force. She deployed her appendages in the way a well-knit band makes a singular sound, as if the individual instruments are impossible to pick out. The effect was communicating comprehensible ideas, which is great for lunkheads like me who often miss the subtext of modern choreography. Farmer is cohesive and grand and forthright, but precise. A sort of Captain Janeway of motion. Farmer actually managed to—no joke—exit stage left by rolling across the floor without looking contrived. She's marvelous to watch.
Dances for Isaoroa was originally conceived by José Limon as a tribute to the seminal modern dance icon Isadora Duncan, made up of five solos that represent the stages of her life (concluding with getting her scarf got caught in the tire of a convertible and having her neck broken). Farmer performed the second piece, a frenzied piece, titled Maenad.