Noelani Pantastico (photo Kenneth Edwards)
(Seattle, WA) — Noelani Pantastico and James Yoichi Moore, celebrated principal dancers with Pacific Northwest Ballet, announce the formation of the Seattle Dance Collective: a new vehicle to further explore and share their artistry with the greater Seattle community. Seattle Dance Collective (SDC) aims to create unique opportunities for collaboration between dancers and choreographers, and to contribute engaging, thought-provoking programs to audiences in Seattle and beyond. The founders will run SDC during breaks in their PNB schedule.
“James and I have had the privilege of performing a rich and varied repertoire over the course of our careers, yet there are still certain choreographers and specific works that we have yet to enjoy,” said co-founder Noelani Pantastico. “Starting our own company will not only help us achieve these dreams, but will also enable other dancers and choreographers to fulfill some of their own unmet aspirations.”
“The creativity that emerges from artistic collaboration is both exciting and necessary for the continued advancement of dance,” adds co-founder James Yoichi Moore. “It is our hope that SDC will provide a valuable platform for this inspirational process, and as a result, will generate expressive and transformative works for the stage.”
James Yoichi Moore (photo Kenneth Edwards)
In addition to the development of performing opportunities, SDC is also committed to growing audiences and deepening their understanding of dance. Initial plans are underway for pre- and post-performance conversations, as well as master class offerings.
Rehearsals are set to begin at the end of April for SDC’s inaugural program, scheduled for July 12-14 at the Vashon Center for the Arts. Pantastico and Moore are curating a program which will include pieces by five choreographers. They have also assembled a group of exceptional dancers to join them from Pacific Northwest Ballet and local contemporary dance company Whim W’Him.
“We are thrilled that this long-awaited project is finally coming to fruition,” added Pantastico. “As SDC evolves, we hope to become a sustaining contributor to the local dance scene by sharing work from various artists that will captivate audiences and enhance the vitality of this art form we love so much.”
Details for the July performances, including program description, casting and ticketing information, will be announced soon.
About Seattle Dance Collective Seattle Dance Collective is a non-profit company dedicated to nurturing collaboration between dancers and choreographers, and introducing audiences to transformative programs of artistic excellence. SDC was founded in 2019 by Noelani Pantastico and James Yoichi Moore.
About Noelani Pantastico
Noelani is from Oahu, Hawaii. She trained at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and attended summer courses at Pacific Northwest Ballet School from 1994 to 1996. After joining Pacific Northwest Ballet as an apprentice in 1997, she was promoted to corps de ballet in 1998, soloist in 2001, and principal in 2004. In 2008, she left PNB to join Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo as a soloist, and was promoted to first soloist the following year. In 2015, she returned to PNB as a principal dancer. Noelani co-founded Seattle Dance Collective with her colleague James Yoichi Moore in 2019.
About James Yoichi Moore
Originally from San Francisco, James started training at San Francisco Ballet School through its Dance in Schools program. At the age of 15, he moved to New York City to study with Peter Boal at the School of American Ballet, returning to SFBS the following year to finish his training with legendary Cuban dancer and teacher, Jorge Esquivel. He began his professional career with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, and joined Pacific Northwest Ballet in 2004 as a member of the corps de ballet. He was promoted to soloist in 2008 and principal in 2013. James co-founded Seattle Dance Collective with his colleague Noelani Pantastico in 2019.