Base Occasional No. 3, co-presented with On the Boards:
Morgan Thorson, Still Life

Base and On the Boards co-present Minneapolis-based choreographer Morgan Thorson in her acclaimed ensemble dance installation, Still Life, Aug. 1 - 4, 2019 at Base. Featuring a cast of dancers from both Seattle and Minneapolis, Still Life is structured as a dance/time cycle, exploring what it means to “kill” choreography by erasing material with each repetition. As a large-scale pattern unfolds, the dancers actualize aliveness on an epic scale in order to both survive and undermine the dance. When the cycle times out, Still Life leaves the performers in “real life" with nothing left to do. With the dance staged in close proximity to the viewer, Thorson creates a space for contemplation, processes the violence of the present moment, and creates a long-form choreography that investigates dance as a living and dying thing.

“Serendipity rules one moment, exquisitely calibrated dance the next. Suspense builds as dancers negotiate fatigue, becoming looser and more courageous as they travel though shifting areas of light.”

– Linda Shapiro, City Pages

Details coming soon on performance times, ticket prices and links.

Photo courtesy of Morgan Thorson

Photo courtesy of Morgan Thorson

About the Base Occasional

Launched in 2017, The Base Occasional is a periodic platform for new work in contemporary dance. The Base Occasional embodies Base’s mission to elevate risk in dance and performance by illuminating the work of artists who are pushing the edges of their disciplines. Presented in Sept. 2017, the Base Occasional No. 1 featured short works by Dayna Hanson, Heather Kravas, Peggy Piacenza and Maureen Whiting; the Base Occasional No. 2, presented in Nov. 2018, featured Paul Lazar of Big Dance Theater in his solo work, Cage Shuffle.

Photo courtesy of Morgan Thorson

Photo courtesy of Morgan Thorson

About the Partnership

Base is delighted to partner with On the Boards in this co-production of Morgan Thorson’s Still Life. The performances represent the long-awaited return of Morgan Thorson, a Guggenheim, MacDowell Colony and United States Artists Fellow in dance whose work was last presented in Seattle by On the Boards in 2010. The Base Occasional No. 3 residency also offers Seattle’s diverse dance community a rare opportunity to learn from this extraordinary artist and perform in the work. Dance and visual art audiences alike will get to experience a singular take on time, extinction, presence and death.

About Morgan Thorson

Morgan Thorson is a dance-maker based in Minneapolis. She creates original dance works that combine movement, light, sound, and objects while taking into consideration the site of the work, representation of the body, and history of the field. Her work has been described as having “an explosive physicality tempered by sinuous lines and subtle drama” (Minneapolis Star Tribune). She has been touring her dance projects since 2002.

Thorson is a  recipient of the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award (2016), a United States Artist (2012), Guggenheim (2010) and McKnight (2009, 2002) Fellow, and has received two Sage Awards for Outstanding Performance (2008 and 2007). Thorson is a United States Artist (2012) Guggenheim (2010) and McKnight (2009, 2002) Fellow and has received two Sage Awards for Outstanding Performance (2008 and 2007). Her work has received support from The Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography Residency and Fellowship Program (2009, 2011 and 2015), and she was the resident artist at the Centre Choreographique National De Franche-Comte in Belfort, France, as well as a MacDowell Artist Colony Fellow in 2012.  She has received three New England Foundation for the Arts, National Dance Project grants (2008, 2012 and 2015).

Thorson's work has toured to theaters and festivals worldwide, and has been commissioned and presented by Walker Art Center, On The Boards in Seattle, Red Cat in Los Angeles, PS 122 in New York City and Alverno Presents in Milwaukee among others. She has created works for Zenon Dance Company, James Sewell Ballet, Barnard College and several national universities. Her first three-month public residency/exhibition was installed at Weisman Art Museum June-September, 2015.

A certified Skinner Releasing Technique instructor, Thorson is a Creative Campus Fellow at Wesleyan University where she engages students and professors in interdisciplinary practices and develops pedagogy in Dance, Drawing, Archaeology, and Religious Studies.  As a performer, Morgan has worked with Ann Carlson, Jennifer Monson, Tino Segal, Karen Sherman and HIJACK, and provided dramaturgy for Ann Carlson and the group DanceBums.  She is a member of the Minneapolis Tuning Club and the founder of ORG, ongoing research group.


Still Life is made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts; and is supported, in part, by the Contemporary Art Council and Exhibition Series Sponsors of the Portland Art Museum. This project is made possible in part by support from the National Performance Network (NPN) Performance Residency Program.