County: King County
Amy O’Neal (Seattle) is a choreographer and dance educator who has taught and performed nationally and internationally and choreographed for stage, commercials, dance films, and music videos. She is a Creative Capital, National Performance Network, National Dance Project and Mid Atlantic Arts grantee, DanceWEB Scholar, and two-time Stranger Genius Award Nominee with a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts.
Amy received a 2014 James W. Ray Venture Project Award towards an evening-length dance performance with a cast of B-Boys (breakdancers) around questions and perceptions of femininity and its impact on male behavior. The piece will premiere at On the Boards in Seattle December 2014. The cast consists of seven B-Boys from different crews in Seattle who are of different generations and cultures. The diversity of this group will expose a range of male perspectives and reveal what attitudes are changing and which ones remain the same. Amy believes a fresh perspective on gender identity can emerge from talking and creating with these men. Stereotypically, male dancers are perceived to be feminine or homosexual, but a B-Boy, is thought of as masculine and strong. Conversely, a female dancer is often expected to be feminine, but B-Girls are assimilating an inherently masculine dance form and their femininity can come into question. She explores this complex and paradoxical nature of B-Boy culture through a series of interviews and conversations. She also creating a documentary around the process of the work and creating video content for the performance.
Amy received 2006 GAP Award funding to purchase new video and recording equipment to help complete her project mockumentary, a collaborative performance piece integrating dance, music, and video. Of the performance, Amy has said “[it] explores the act of self-mythology by interweaving cock-eyed, fictional scenarios about themselves that the performers develop in collaboration.” The project opened at On the Boards in Seattle in October of 2006, and toured nationally throughout 2007.
Amy received 2003 GAP Award funding to help defray the costs of a work performed at the Little Theater in the winter of 2003. Performed in collaboration with musician Zeke Keeble and dancers Ellie Sandstrom and Mark Haim, it featured choreography and a video installation by Amy, in addition to her primary role as performer.