A Q&A with F O I L choreographer Eva Stone

Eva Stone rehearses F O I L in the studio with PNB company dancers © Lindsay Thomas

Seattle-based choreographer Eva Stone has been creating dance for more than 30 years. In addition to running her dance company, The Stone Dance Collective, she is on the faculty at Spectrum Dance Theater and Pacific Northwest Ballet School, where she initiated New Voices, a choreography course for female students. Her work has been commissioned across Seattle and around the country, and is deeply rooted in human connection.

Of her dance-making style, Eva says “I’m very engaged in how an audience views my work. Because I’m an audience member, and I want to be cared about, I want a choreographer to reach out to me. Whether it’s joy, or pain, or hate, or resentment – whether they offend me, or make me fall in love, whatever it is. That connection is something I focus on in the process of my work.”

We sat down with Eva to ask her about her upcoming piece F O I L, which will be featured in Locally Sourced, and to learn about why she’s chosen to make the Pacific Northwest her creative home.

When do you feel most local?

I’ve lived here 25 years and always had on and off feelings of belonging…then at a Monday night concert at the Showbox a few weeks ago, Eddie Vedder jumped on stage to sing with the band that was playing. And for the first time I said to myself, “That’s it, I am officially from Seattle.”

Favorite little-known local spot?

The Walnut Cafe or Rila Bakery, both in Edmonds. SSSHHH….don’t tell anybody!

What about the Northwest inspires you?

I love going to the islands (Orcas and Lummi are two favorites). I enjoy sitting in the quiet, thinking about the history of the land, and feeling so incredibly lucky to live here. I also find a lot of inspiration from the incredible students I teach (about 200 per week) and I find their commitment, intelligence, and dedication to their art simply amazing.

Tell us about your creative role in Locally Sourced.

I am choreographing my first main stage work on the beautiful and generous dancers of PNB. I am bringing 30 years of dance-making experience to this one special moment. It is a life-changing experience.

How has this collaboration informed the work we’ll see on stage?

I have worked closely with two amazing women, Amiya Brown (lighting design) and Melanie Burgess (costume design) to help bring my vision to life. And I also must mention the brilliant work of the women in the costume shop whose artistry and skills are some of the best in the world. Together we are all building the house that is F O I L, a place where each room exposes a different part of our shared humanity.

If you could tell the audience one thing about your work on this piece, what would it be?

Through the visceral medium of dance, this work explores different rooms in our collective understanding of who we are and what we mean to each other.

PNB is able to support and grow new work like F O I L through generous donations from individuals and foundations. Click here to learn more about our New Works Initiative, or to donate today.

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