NATURA ABOLITA (nature destroyed)

A fluid fusion of sound, rhythm, and movement....It knocked me out. Nothing but bodies moving through space, a dynamic cascade of gestures and physical compositions, accompanied by evocative soundscapes and live vocals - the whole room vibrated.  - Bret Fetzer, The Stranger

“Nature Destroyed" is an examination of what it means to be human in an industrialized world, to be separated from nature. Scott has created an animalistic movement vocabulary while Powell's score combines sounds from both natural and industrial sources. Together they can make a visceral and disturbing world. - Sandra Kurtz, The Seattle Weekly

Premiere: On the Boards, Seattle – February 23-25, 2001
Performed by: Corrie Befort, Rebekkah Dinaburg, Jessika Kenney, River Morgan, Amy O'Neal, Ellie Sandstrom, Allison Van Dyck
Lighting Design: Ben Geffen
Costume Design: Alex Martin



Premiere: On the Boards, Seattle – May 23-25, 2002
Performed by: Alethea Adsitt, Corrie Befort, Kristin Hapke, Amy O'Neal' Allison Van Dyck, with special guest Paige Barnes, Michelle de la Vega, Aiko Kinoshita
Lighting Design: Ben Geffen
Costume Design: Lisa DeFrance



As the director of Gamelan Pacifica, composer Jarrad Powell has long been familiar with the warm yet strangely unsettling sounds of Javanese traditional music. In his most recent presentation, a collaboration with choreographer Mary Sheldon Scott, the surreal, dreamlike nature of Javanese folklore is translated into an astonishing work of visual, musical, and physical art. In "or can we fly from here", which premiered last month at the Northwest New Works Festival, captivating narration and the ethereal Indonesian-trained singing of Jessica Kenney was illustrated by Scott's psychologically and emotionally charged choreography and Powell's colorful and sophisticated atmospheric music. - Trey Hatch, The Stranger

Premiere: Northwest New Works Festival, On the Boards, Seattle, April 2-4, 1998
Performed by: Ronly Blau, Jessika Kenney, Juliet Waller, Ben Warren
Lighting Design: Ben Geffen
Costume Design: Lisa DeFrance



There are times when a new work is so compelling it seems to shuck off the structure that brought it into being and take on a wild, hybrid life of its own. "when I was afraid" by choreographer Mary Sheldon Scott and composer Jarrad Powell leaps to vigorous and terrifying life in this way....It is partly Powell's haunting score: water dripping with amplified resonance as if echoing in a cave, wind whistling through pipes, singer Jessica Kenney's vocalizations that veer between lyrical notes and grinding throat sounds. It is partly Scott's risk-all choreography, frantic winding-up motions followed by hanging stillness, an inversion of all classical lines into simian jerks that build to convulsive speed, then revert to length and clarity....Even the seen-it-all downtown, insider dance crowd cheered out loud for this work. - Mary Murfin Bayley, The Seattle Times

Premiere: Composer/Choreographer 3 - Freehold Theater, Seattle – June 26-28, 1997
Performed by: Juliet Waller and Jessica Kenney
Lighting Design: Ben Geffen
Costume Design: Lisa DeFrance



Mary Sheldon Scott's intense subterranean journey into things half-remembered set to Jarrad Powell's perfectly-intrusive live score: the way Jessica Kenney babbles into operatic hysteria, cutting into you like a brain-surgeon's knife, unsettling your sanity for extended moments. Or her wave-motion of polished stones cradled up in her dress competing with Powell's sand on a snare-drum surface, slipping you downward into a substratum, a zone of raw feelings. And this sound-space is accentuated by the barren, slyly-lit nocturne zone through which dancers Scott and Ben Warren pace their incremental tug-of-war. - Jae Carlsson, Dancenet

Premiere: Composer/Choreographer 2, On the Boards, Seattle, January 23-25, 1997
Performed by: Jessica Kenney, Jarrad Powell, Mary Sheldon Scott, Ben Warren
Lighting Design: Ben Geffen
Costume Design: Caroline MacMillan, Mary Sheldon Scott



“Tracing/River/Sand" rivets attention. From the first shrill, skewed notes you lose equilibrium. Mary Sheldon Scott stands, her frame like a branch ready to snap, a barely moving axis sectioning a stark landscape. Then she shifts with a shocking abruptness, freezes into an unsettling imbalance, and the floor of reality is swept out from under you. In this dry, psychic netherworld you hear a crackling fire. This is what it takes: a conversation penetrating deep into the caverns of each other's psyche. In the audience you can't avoid the reverberations, they touch so near the core of human experience. In that rarest of rare instances when collaboration does work, it is like "Tracing/River/Sand". It is exquisite and magnificent--and harder than steel.” - Jae Carlsson, Reflex

Premiere: Composer/Choreographer 1, Ned Skinner Theater, Seattle – June 24-25, 1994
Performed by: Thomasa Eckert, Mary Sheldon Scott, Jarrad Powell, and Gamelan Pacifica
Lighting Design: Dave Tosti-Lane
Costume Design: Mary Sheldon Scott



Composer/Choreographer was a forum designed to serve as a catalyst in the emergence of new dialogues between dance and music. This curated performance series featured short works created in a dynamic and challenging collaborative process. Composer/Choreographer presented the work of 52 Seattle composers and choreographers between 1994 and 2004.