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Khambatta's latest work examines vice and virtue

Is it a vice or a virtue to be tempted by fresh fruit?
Is it a vice or a virtue to be tempted by fresh fruit?
Vice and Virtue, Khambatta Dance Company

Northwest choreographer Cyrus Khambatta tackles self destruction, temptation, courage, and compassion in a new work entitled Vice and Virtue, a piece that he said was percolated through events happening around him every day.

“Recent news of Phillip Seymour Hoffman's death has caused me to reflect on Vice and Virtue in a very personal way,” wrote Khambatta in a recent letter to supporters. “I went to school with Phillip at NYU and knew him as a focused, gentle guy devoted to his craft. My principle question, "Why?" will perhaps never be answered in his case. But I am still haunted by this question in the face of this excruciating tragedy.”

The work premieres Feb. 21 along with two older Khambatta pieces. Interview with the American Dream was inspired by telephone interviews with random people about the meaning of the “American dream” to them, and Love Story, which asked people to talk about love. Interview subjects for the latter include Donald Byrd of Spectrum Dance Theater and Tonya Lockyer of Velocity Dance Center.

The Khambatta Dance Company (formerly Phffft! Dance Theatre Co.) moved to Seattle from New York in 2001. They regularly tour the region and perform in local festivals like Seattle International Dance Festival.

Vice and Virtue And Other Works will be presented for one night only, Feb. 21, at 7:30 p.m. at the Kirkland Performance Center. Then the company will begin a larger regional and international tour which will include performances in India.