Seattle International Dance Festival

In Sarah Vowell’s Unfamiliar Fishes, she compares Barack Obama to a Hawaiian plate lunch, where church potluck macaroni salad sits next to sushi and jerk chicken. You could say the same thing for Cyrus Khambatta's “Beyond the Threshold” (aka the Seattle International Dance Festival), which reflects his own diverse artistic and ethnic background. The fest has grown to multiple venues over 10 days, with artists from Japan, Iraq, Mexico, and Fremont. There’s family-oriented street dance and groundbreaking performance art. There’s abstract pattern-making and tender emotionalism. There’s high-test athleticism and work so contemplative you have to look hard to see it move. The whole thing opens with a SLU preview of Art on the Fly (Sat. Jun 11, noon-6 p.m.), which uses the streetcar to shuttle the audience to different performances en route. Indoors (at Cornish’s Raisbeck Hall) are two programs of mixed-bill performances--plate lunch, if you will. Out of a really big menu of artists, the Iraqi Bodies group has taken the hardest route to get here. Spectrum Dance Theater brings a new work set to the music of John Zorn. We also like butoh artist Katsura Kan, the Mexican company Ciudad Interior, and San Francisco's Izzy-award winner Scott Wells in a work that is as much juggling as it is dancing. (Inter|National Series: 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 7:30 p.m. Sun., June 10-19. Spotlight on Seattle: 7:30 p.m. Tues., June 14-Thurs., June 16.) SANDRA KURTZ

Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: June 10. Continues through June 19, 2011

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