Le Grand Continental

White Bird, a local dance company, celebrated 15 years by staging a free performance in Pioneer Square.   Le Grand Continental is a dance by Sylvain Emard.  In it, 160 non-professional dancers of all types come together in a 30 minute performance.  There was no way I was going to miss this.

I stopped at Elephants for a sandwich and headed to Pioneer Square.  This couple caught my eye.  They were very exotic, her with her long flowing scarf, him with his baguette in his bag.  I suspect we were headed in the same direction.

Despite the press coverage, I didn’t really realize that so many people would also want to see free dance.  The square was packed.  An usher helpfully pointed me to a spot on the ground and I started the line of people who settled in beside me.  We had front row seats.  That open space behind the woman in the red top would eventually fill with people too.
Children play in the dance space before the show begins.
Searching for a vantage point involved climbing for some.
The dancers emerge.
And take their places.
Images from the dance.  Oh, how I longed for a more powerful camera.
The man in the green shirt wrote, “Hey ladies, I’m single”
At one point, everyone fell down and the children emerged and attempted to wake everyone, with no success.
The congregated together…

…and began to dance.
The founders of White Bird came over, gave them a finger shaking.
The children danced in response, and the men followed.
Suddenly everyone began to wake.
I enjoyed this man’s shirt (Pluto. Never Forget) as well as the fact that he kept a towel handy to mop up the sweat.
It was great seeing so many people who did not look like dancers dancing.
The guy in the pink shirt was one of the assistants (or something) and he was fun to watch.
I could never get a good shot of the guy in the Hawaiian shirt.  He was delightful to watch too.  He was quite old, comparatively  quite out of shape, didn’t quite have all the steps and was so delighted to be there.
The dance ended with the dancers looking about.
And then there were the bows.
And then we were all invited to dance with them.
Thanks, White Bird, for a magical 30 minutes.

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