Pat Graney2008

A longtime Seattle based choreographer, Pat Graney draws from a unique suitcase of sources—writers Julio Cortázar and Gertrude Stein, artist Henry Darger, American Sign Language, and the cross cultural art of tattooing—to make emphatically visual and kinetic dances. Grounded in collaboration with composers, writers, designers and visual artists, the work ranges from evenings of formally structured contemporary dance performed in theatres to a site-specific piece in a vast meadow for more than one hundred martial artists. Her latest project, House of Mind, will consist of installations and events (video projection, motion-triggered audio and live choreographed performance) in a 10,000 square foot warehouse transformed into a series of ‘memory rooms’.

For more than 15 years Graney has taught incarcerated women and girls in a workshop she developed that integrates performance, visual arts and writing. She produces performances in the prison, edits an annual anthology of writing, and trains other artists, both here and abroad, to create like projects. Now, along with a team of artists and community advisors, she is developing an arts-based transition program for female ex-offenders and their children. Whether she is working with inmates or technically trained dancers, process and investigation, making and the experience of that making is every bit as important as what gets shaped.

"My deepest and most heartfelt interest is in memory and perception, and in the weaving together of multiple elements in performance to create a temporal, almost viscous atmosphere which can communicate the simplest and most complex idea: that we all share commonality."