The Power in Dance

Bellingham Repertory Dance’s Blush Punch, six works by regional and nationally-known choreographers, packs an emotional wallop with its show of strength by (mostly) female dancers. The performance opens at 8 p.m. tonight, Nov. 8, and continues at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, 15, and 16; and at 5 p.m. Nov. 16 at the Firehouse Arts and Events Center at the Firehouse Arts and Events Center, 1314 Harris Ave.
Bellingham Repertory Dance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization offering high-level community performances, contemporary dance classes, and youth workshops. It’s an all-volunteer group, now in its 14th year.
Juliette Machado and Tatyana Stahler welcome the audience and explain that “life’s circumstances” — that is, injuries to two of the dancers— forced the production to “navigate new choreography” for several pieces, but to me, there was no loss to the impact of the show.
Like your grade school teacher who told you to fill up all your paper with all your colors, the strong women of varying body types use the whole floor space to express sadness, frustration, helplessness, anguish, trust, and joy, not only with their movements, but with their facial expressions.
Parts of the program reminded me of ecstatic dance, bending one’s body into creative and imaginative postures, all intertwined with each other.
There’s also a little cutlery percussion. Watch out!
Like Pam Kuntz’s latest production, “Spokes,” I am always thrown by how much can be spoken without words, just by movement.
It’s dance that makes you think.
There’s a word of warning for the piece that follows intermission. Previously performed by BRD in 2011, Daniel Stark’s “Politics Religion Sex” uses humor as a means of confronting audience assumptions and taboo subject matter. It’s surprising, clever, humorous, and powerful.
Tickets for Blush Punch are available now at for $15-25 and at the door for $18-28.