Velocity Dance Center, the first Stranger Genius Award winner in the organization category, will be homeless this July. Velocity has been priced out of its home in Odd Fellows Hall by developer Ted Schroth, who bought the Hall in January. He wants, according to Velocity director Kara O'Toole, to triple the rent. At that price, the Velocity's cavernous theater—with its high ceiling, polished wood floors, and 11 friezes of yawning lions lining the balcony—will never see another performance.

Velocity has tried to find two other locations, but potential deals at Washington Hall (a beautiful old big brick building, now owned by a fraternal organization called the Sons of Haiti) and a commercial building on Dexter fell through. There are rumors that Velocity might move into the main room at the Capitol Hill Arts Center, another cavernous room with a high ceiling and wood floors (but no yawning lions). CHAC seems to be experiencing some real-estate weirdness. Matthew Kwatinetz, executive director of CHAC, says he is trying to buy the building from current owner Elizabeth Linke. Linke (an articulate Irish lady who currently resides in Ballard) says Kwatinetz did not renew his lease this January. "As far as I know, Matthew will be moving out June 30," Linke said. "I'm not interested in selling the building, period." The director of Velocity says only that, after the first two disappointments, she's trying not to get her hopes up.

Last Sunday night, Velocity had its last dance (aside from a few final rentals): three pieces as part of SCUBA, an intercity dance exchange program. The final piece, by José Navarrete from San Francisco, was a didactic solo dance about immigration and disease (specifically huitlacoche, a black fungus that grows on corn) as metaphor. The middle piece, by longtime Seattle choreographer Mary Sheldon Scott, was a reprise of Geography, performed at On the Boards last November. Geography whispered like a ghost; The Revenge of Huitlacoche blared like a bullhorn. Neither suited the occasion.

But two excerpts from HOUSE, by Philadelphia's Kate Watson-Wallace, were sweet and sad, and addressed the ache in the air. The dance began in a small office upstairs from Velocity, recently vacated by an education nonprofit called Reel Grrls. Six dancers sat around a table, listening to a solemn, minor-key waltz for piano and guitar. They shifted positions (slouching, holding their heads in their hands) like they were waiting for something to end. Their gestures became more stylized and synchronized as the waltz intensified—leaning into and lifting each other, balancing on the tabletop and walking up the walls. The men picked up the women still sitting in their chairs, held them aloft, and turned them sideways. The waltz grew furious as the women sat, feet on the wall and hair pointing at the floor, staring balefully out at a room that used to be something. recommended

brendan@thestranger.com

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