The smallest dance on Earth returns to Tacoma

By Nikki McCoy on August 21, 2013

Imagine sitting close enough to a stage to feel the breeze off a dancer's pirouette, or to hear the shuffle of feet and the sound of bodies as they rise and fall.

Now imagine watching these dancers on a 4-by-4 foot stage. This is the appeal of Ten Tiny Dances, a stripped down format where 10 dance artists demonstrate astonishing inventiveness and variety on a stage about the size of a coffee table.

"It's exciting to me ... how can I still move big in that small space?" ponders Ten Tiny Dances founder Mike Barber, in a TVCTC interview in Beaverton, Ore. "It offers a diverse audience a very unique, broad range of performance."

Based out of Portland, the contemporary dance series has been adopted by many Northwest production companies, including Tacoma's MLKBallet.

"Even for me - who sees dance more than the average person - Ten Tiny Dances is one of my favorite formats," said Faith Stevens, executive director of MLKBallet. "Having the audience so close and having the limited space shows the many faces of dance and really allows the audience members to get so many different tastes of movement."

Dinner and drinks will be served, but heckling and betting will not be allowed. All proceeds benefit MLK Ballet's tuition-free dance training.

TEN TINY DANCES, 6-8 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 25, Jazzbones, 2803 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, $15 online or at the door,