JadeSolomon Curtis

Choreographer, dance artist, producer

Jade Solomon Curtis

From the moment you set foot in Seattle, you can feel it: art is everywhere.

The thriving arts scene is a priority in this city—in fact, Seattle has been recognized for having more arts-related businesses and organizations per capita than any other metropolitan area in the U.S., according to Americans for the Arts. Choreographer, dance artist and producer Jade Solomon Curtis is one of the contributors to this creative city. Read on for a look at the city through her artistic lens.

Q&A with Jade Solomon Curtis

You’ve lived in a lot of cities. How does Seattle compare?

Seattle is a special place—it’s the only place I feel like I can be part of a city and surrounded by nature without even thinking about it. There are great things happening here, and an especially strong push to support emerging artists.

How would you describe your work as an emerging artist?

My work is about me being a bold black woman. But my work is more introverted right now, as I’m finding the voice to speak. I see dance as a communication tool. I don’t want audience members, I want witnesses and collaborators.

What do you like about living in the Beacon Hill neighborhood?

It feels like a community. Whenever I walk around, people talk to me, we have block parties here in the summer, El Centro de la Raza is a gathering space for people and kids. I’m always interested in supporting black- and brown-owned businesses, like The Station cafe. I frequent Jefferson Park, and I golf at the Jefferson Park golf course. And the light rail station makes it easy to get around.

As a dancer, where have you enjoyed performing in Seattle?

I’ve danced in all kinds of spaces—at the Seattle Art Museum during the Kehinde Wiley show, on stage at The 5th Avenue Theatre, and in the Northwest African American Museum, surrounded by history. I also like performing at the Cornish Playhouse because it feels both intimate and formal.

What should dance fans check out while they’re visiting?

Spectrum Dance—director Donald Byrd is always creating new things. Definitely On the Boards and Velocity Dance Center. LANGSTON also does wonderful programming. If you want to go dancing, I’d suggest Motown Mondays at Bar Sue, on Capitol Hill.

How does Seattle’s famous weather affect your creativity?

I’ve been here for five years. It took a couple years to acclimate, then I started to appreciate the gloominess. Seattle is a great place to marinate. It allows you time to create and not feel like you have to be social. You can build something during those six months of rain, without feeling like eyes are on you. And then the sun comes out and you get to shine.

 

Interview by Brangien Davis. Photo taken at El Centro de la Raza.

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