An immersive dance performance incorporating, music, spoken word, and theater as well as homemade spacesuits, “Inner Galactic” is the latest creation of dancer/choreographer Maya Soto and musician/artist Nico Tower. In a yearlong journey to this weekend’s performances at Velocity Dance Center, the pair unleashed their inner geeks.
“This piece is our own space fantasy,” said Soto in an interview earlier this fall. “The place we travel to is our inner space, our emotional galaxy. There’s a visceral language in seeing somebody’s body move.”
“It’s a powerful exploration of dance. Dance is this super perfect container,” said Tower. “Maya helped create the container where I could feel the music through the dance.”
Soto has produced six evening length shows in Seattle over the last decade including the warmly received “Gathering Bones” in 2013. Over the past 13 years, Tower has released ten albums and presented her original works in more than 40 cities. However, “Inner Galactic” demanded that they learn the language of each other’s art, with Tower working on dance movements and Soto consulting on the music. Both worked on the design of the production and perform in the piece.
“There’s something really unique about the process,” added Soto. “The dance and the music have been built at the same time. We both stepped out of our traditional roles (of dancer and musician) and entered into each other’s universe.”
“And we discovered a mutual love of comic books,” said Tower. “From a storytelling standpoint, this piece let us play ourselves and be ridiculous about it too. To create a hero’s journey.”
“It’s a show about friendship. And it’s equally told through movement and sound,” said Soto.
The creation of “Inner Galactic” was part of Velocity Dance Center’s Creative Resident Program. They also received support from 10° (Seattle), Exit Space – From Studio to Stage program and took an artistic retreat at Higher Ground Community in Bend, Oregon.
“We did everything ourselves from costumes to sets. There’s a large visual design element that required many trips to Home Depot,” said Soto.
“We’ve both been immersed in this work for a whole year,” noted Tower.
“There isn’t anything that I wouldn’t do again,” said Soto. “I’ve grown as an artist. This project could continue in different incarnations. It might have a long life ahead of it.”
“Inner Galactic” plays through Nov. 15 at Velocity Dance Center, 1621 12th Ave, Seattle. For more information, see the Tower’s website.