Jamuna Chiarini

 

What’s happening this week in Portland dance? Two Halloween-themed productions: BloodyVox: Deadline October by BodyVox, and A Spine Tingling Soiree by Wild Rumpus Jazz Co. Both are fun, campy takes on a campy holiday.

Look for dance-infused circus performances, too. Australia’s Circa, presented by White Bird, stages Humans, and The Circus Project, a Portland-based company, celebrates its tenth anniversary with a big circus-sized bash, Change(d) Together.

Oregon Ballet Theatre offers the second weekend of Napoli, a ballet choreographed in 1842 by Danish choreographer August Bournonville. Martha Ullman West describes Napoli’s female protagonist as “a woman for our time” in her preview, “A Danish Pastry” for ArtsWatch.

And last but not least, the Portland Dance Film Fest returns for a second year with six film-infused days and nights. It opens with a party and includes artist talks, a workshop on dance filmmaking, and the screening of 28 international dance films. See all the details below.

Performances this week

Makino Hildestad in OBT’s 2015 production of the third act of “Napoli.” Photo by James McGrew.

Napoli
August Bournonville
Performed by Oregon Ballet Theatre
October 11-13
Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay St.
6:30 pm pre-performance talk led by OBT dance historian and archivist Linda Besant

Napoli, sometimes called The Fisherman and His Bride, was created in 1842 by Danish choreographer and ballet master August Bournonville, inspired by his visit to Naples. The ballet, set in an Italian fishing village, spins a tale of young love thwarted by parental objections, natural disasters, evil sea creatures, and memory loss. Ultimately, however, faith and true love prevail.

Oregon Ballet Theatre, which staged the ballet’s third act in 2015, built this new production from scratch (including new costumes and sets). OBT is the first U.S. ballet company to stage the full-length three-act production, aided by former Royal Danish Ballet artistic director Frank Andersen and Bournonville experts Eva Kloborg and Dinna Bjorn. The OBT Orchestra will play live for all shows.

The Bournonville technique is characterized by quick footwork, small jumps, understatedly elegant port de bras, and dramatic impact through pantomime.

Napoli is one of Bournonville’s most famous ballets; another is La Sylphide, which the Bolshoi Ballet will perform in a live simulcast November 11. Check local cinema listings for details.

Circa’s “Humans.” Photo by Pedro Greig.

Humans
Circa, Artistic Director Yaron Lifschitz
Presented by White Bird
October 11-13
Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway

This genre-blurring, dance-based circus company from Brisbane, Australia, returns to Portland after a five-year absence with Humans. This is the West Coast premiere of the work, a stark-looking, seamlessly deep dive into the human experience in which an ensemble of 10 multi-talented performers explore the physical limits of their bodies.

Dancer Anna Marra in “BloodyVox: Deadline October.” Photo courtesy of BodyVox.

BloodyVox: Deadline October
BodyVox
October 11-20
BodyVox Dance Center, 1201 NW 17th Ave.

BodyVox’s “scary” show, originally choreographed in 2010 and revamped over the years, celebrates co-founders Jamey Hampton’s and Ashley Roland’s favorite holiday, Halloween. This family-friendly dance theater extravaganza touches on all aspects of Halloween, creating work that is by turns dark, mysterious, magical, beautiful, ironic, odd, hilarious, and absurd. The show, composed of several short dances, incorporates standard Halloween fare such as vampires, zombies, ghosts, and killer spiders, as well as some non-standard material, like creepy identical twins and a new work called “Victorian Secret.” This year’s production also includes Halloween costume contests and dance parties at every show. See link for details.

Alicia Cutaia and and Russ Stark of ARC in Movement. Photo by Gregory Bartning.

Change(d) Together
The Circus Project
October 11-13
Pre-show entertainment at 7:30 pm, seated performance at 8:00 pm
Peter Corvallis Warehouse, 2204 N. Randolph

The Circus Project, joined by world-renowned circus artists making guest appearances, celebrates its tenth anniversary for three nights, beginning with a benefit gala. The company is known for creating space for circus performers of all kinds and transforming lives through circus arts. The performance, which begins in the lobby 30 minutes before the sit-down portion of the show, includes former BodyVox dancer Alicia Cutaia flying through the air on a bungee harness, plus trapeze artists, stilt walkers, jugglers and a human-sized metal bird cage, on and around which the project’s teenagers perform aerial dance.

The main performance includes jugglers, static trapeze performers, aerialists using straps and silks, film, dance, and a cyr wheel performer. (A cyr wheel, in case you’re wondering, is a large metal ring inside of which performers do acrobatics as the wheel rolls and spins gyroscopically.)

The evening concludes with a finale dance and a counterbalancing act performed by Cutaia and her partner, Russ Stark, together known as the performance duo ARC in Movement.

Wild Rumpus Jazz Co. in a “A Spine Tingling Soiree.” Photo by Jarrid Cammack.

A Spine Tingling Soiree
Wild Rumpus Jazz Co.
October 12-20
Polaris Dance Theater, 1826 NW 18th Ave.

With this gathering of ghouls, Wild Rumpus Jazz Co. (co-founded by Kelsey Adams and Lucy Brush) gives Halloween a jazzy twist. Frankenstein goes on his first date, campfire stories come to life, tap shoes become possessed, and so much more. Audience participation is welcome and costumes are encouraged.

In addition to Adams and Brush, performers include Cherie Swain, Cassy Adams, Daniel Martinez, Kristina Lindquist, Nicholas Petrich, and Sondra Storm.

A still from the film “sweetgrass” by Portland artists Amy Leona Havin/The Holding Project and Tomas Alfredo Valladares.

Portland Dance Film Fest
7:30 pm October 12, opening night party and live dance-film creation, Cup & Bar, 118 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd.
7:30 pm October 13, 20, and 21, film screenings, Clinton Street Theater, 2522 SE Clinton St.
10 am October 14, filmmaking & movement creation workshop with Sarah C Prinz, NW Dance Project, 211 NE 10th St.
7:30 pm October 16, dance for film panel discussion, NW Dance Project, 211 NE 10th St.

This six-night adjudicated dance film festival, directed by dancer-choreographer Kailee McMurran, features 28 dance films from around the world. The opening night party includes the live creation of an interactive dance film with dancer/filmmaker Conrad “Icon” Kaczor and dancer/choreographer Jessica Zoller; Zsuzsanna Mangu will edit the film on the spot. The festival also features the debut of the Oregon Dance Film Commission, composed of dancer/choreographer Raven Jones and director/filmmaker Robert Uehlin; a master class on filmmaking and movement creation, led by L.A.-based director/choreographer Sarah C Prinz, and a panel discussion of dance on film with Kaczor, Jones, Uehlin, Daniel Norwood “DsouL” and Amy Leona Havin.

Upcoming Performances

October
October 18-20, Lucy Guerin Inc, Presented by White Bird
October 19, Everything’s Copacetic, The Skylark Tappers
October 20, Clock that Mug or Dusted, Cherdonna Shinatra, Presented by Risk/Reward
October 20, As You Like It-A Wild West Ballet, Ballet Fantastique, Eugene
October 20-21, The Man Who Forgot, The Portland Tap Company
October 22, Dance Artist Talk: Lucy Guerin, Reed College
October 26, Star Dust, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Eugene
October 26, Flamenco Pacifico, Presented by Berto Boyd
October 28, Matices Criollos, Peruvian Cultural Festival

November
November 1, Windows 11, Roesing Ape and Beth Whelan, Night Lights
November 2-4, A Midsummer Night at the Savoy, Rejoice! Diaspora Dance Theatre
November 4, civilized-Happy Hour, Catherine Egan
November 9, ¿LISTEN?, ELa FaLa Collective and Polaris Dance Theatre
November 9-11, Cloth, PDX Contemporary Ballet
November 11, La Sylphide, Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema-Live from Moscow, presented by Fathom Events, BY Experience, and Pathe Live
November 13-14, The Hip Hop Nutcracker, Jennifer Weber
November 14, Tangueros del Sur, Presented by White Bird
November 16-18, Perceiving The Constant, Jessica Hightower
November 23-25, A Midsummer Night’s Dream with PSU Orchestra, The Portland Ballet

December
December 2, Don Quixote, Bolshoi Ballet in cinema, presented by Fathom Events, BY Experience, and Pathe Live
December 6-8, Winter Performance, NW Dance Project
December 8, So You Think You Can Dance Live! 2018, Eugene
December 8-25, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®, Oregon Ballet Theatre
December 14-16, Babes in Toyland (World Premiere), Ballet Fantastique, Eugene
December 21-23, The Nutcracker, Eugene Ballet, Eugene
December 23, The Nutcracker, Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema-Live from Moscow, presented by Fathom Events, BY Experience, and Pathe Live

January 2019
January 9-20, The Lion King, Eugene
January 20, La Bayadère, Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema-Live from Moscow, presented by Fathom Events, BY Experience, and Pathe Live
January 24-February 2, The Cutting Room, BodyVox
January 31-February 2, Shay Kuebler/Radical System Art, Presented by White Bird

February
February 9-10, Romeo and Juliet, Eugene Ballet, Eugene
February 13, Les Ballets Trockadero De Monte Carlo, Presented by White Bird
February 16-23, Cinderella, Oregon Ballet Theatre
February 20, Beijing Dance Theater, Presented by White Bird
February 28-March 2, Compagnie Hervé Koubi, Presented by White Bird
February 29-March 2, Trip The Light Fantastic, NW Dance Project

March
March 1-3, The Odyssey, Ballet Fantastique, Eugene
March 1-3, Materialize, PDX Contemporary Ballet
March 7-9, Compagnie Marie Chouinard, Presented by White Bird
March 8-10, Interplay, Eugene Ballet, Eugene
March 9, Painted Sky Northstar Dance Company, Walters Cultural Arts Center
March 10, The Sleeping Beauty, Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema, presented by Fathom Events, BY Experience, and Pathe Live
March 29-31, New Expressive Works Residency Performance

April
April 4-6, Parsons Dance, Presented by White Bird
April 4-13, The Pearl Dive Project, BodyVox
April 7, The Golden Age, Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema, presented by Fathom Events, BY Experience, and Pathe Live
April 9-10, Savion Glover, Presented by White Bird
April 11-14, Director’s Choice, Oregon Ballet Theatre
April 13-14, The Firebird, Eugene Ballet, Eugene
April 24, Philadanco, Presented by White Bird
April 25-27, Spring Performance, NW Dance Project

May
May 9-11, Contact Dance Film Festival, BodyVox and NW Film Center
May 10-12, Shaun Keylock Company
May 10-12, Current/Classic, The Portland Ballet
May 10-12, Cleopatra (World Premiere), Ballet Fantastique, Eugene
May 17-19, Undone, PDX Contemporary Ballet
May 19, Carmen Suite / Petrushka, Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema-Live from Moscow, presented by Fathom Events, BY Experience, and Pathe Live
May 26, Derek Hough: Live! The Tour, Eugene

June
June 7-15, The Americans, Oregon Ballet Theatre
June 7-9, Up Close, The Portland Ballet
June 13-15, Summer Performances, NW Dance Project

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably feeling exhausted from the insanity overload that is America right now. But don’t worry: Oregon dance can revive you. This week’s concerts offer grit, tenacity, and comic relief; creative problem-solving ideas, and suggestions on how to reimagine our relationships with each other and the space around us. They suggest that there is power in subtlety, warn us about the dangers of unchecked power, and give us strength. It just takes a little decoding and understanding the context of current events to get the most out of the work. Enjoy!

Performances this week

Pilobolus’s “Branches.” Photo courtesy of White Bird.

Pilobolus: Come to your senses
Co-directed by Renée Jaworski and Matt Kent
Presented by White Bird
October 4-6
Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway
Pilobolus master class at BodyVox Dance Center, 12:15 pm October 6
Formed in 1971 by athletes and dancers from New Hampshire’s Dartmouth College, Pilobolus–named for a fungus that can shoot off its top faster than a speeding bullet–returns to Portland, bringing along a two-hour dance concert dedicated to the five senses.

Pilobolus choreography ranges from comedic to otherworldly, even bizarre. Sometimes the movement is dancerly, sometimes it’s more athletic. Sometimes the choreography defies logic and gravity, and sometimes it contorts the human form. It is always evolving and surprising.

In 1978, years before he co-founded BodyVox in Portland, Jamey Hampton joined Pilobolus. This week, ArtsWatch senior editor Bob Hicks asked Hampton how his work with Pilobolus has influenced BodyVox’s work. “What comes to mind–two things,” Hampton replied. “One is, remain open-minded and let your imagination fly without barriers, so you can be inventive. The other: Let yourself consider the impractical and the impossible. And then if there’s a light there, see what you can do to get to it.”

Renée Archibald in “Shiny Angles in Angular Time.” Photo by Brian Rogers.

Shiny Angles in Angular Time
Melinda Ring and Renée Archibald
October 5-6
Performance Works NW, 4625 SE 67th Ave.
Workshop with Melinda Ring and Renée Archibald at FLOCK Dance Center 1 pm October 6
In their efforts to redefine the black box theater as a magic box, choreographers Melinda Ring and Renée Archibald question how spaces influence us in real and imagined ways.

Part One, a full-length solo that Archibald dances, examines the basic rules of theatrical perspective by asking, “How can I act on the space and can the space, in turn, act upon me?” In Part Two, Archibald and Ring present the movement responses to these questions.

Danced without musical accompaniment but still attentive to musicality, this complex, understatedly virtuosic dance addresses the parameters of, and relationship to, the room it’s performed in.

The work began in Walla Walla, Washington, where Archibald teaches at Whitman College and has access to studio space. The pair spent time in the space, observing it and examining their relationship with it. They created the piece by videotaping their own improvisation, keeping what seemed interesting, then relearning the steps to create the final movement material, which Archibald will perform live.

Ring, the founder of the performance company Special Projects, creates dance- and movement-based projects that incorporate visual arts practices, video, sculpture, and installation.

Archibald is a dancer, choreographer, and Assistant Professor of Dance at Whitman College. She has performed throughout New York City, the United States, and internationally with independent artists including Christopher Williams, Ann Liv Young, Joshua Bissett, Nina Winthrop, and Rebecca Lazier.

Amy Watson and Candace Bouchard in Oregon Ballet Theatre’s 2015 premiere of August Bournonville’s “Napoli” Act III. Photo by James McGrew.

Napoli
August Bournonville
Performed by Oregon Ballet Theatre
October 6-13
Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay St.
Napoli, sometimes called The Fisherman and His Bride, was created by Danish choreographer and ballet master August Bournonville in 1842 after he was inspired by his visit to Naples. The ballet, set in an Italian fishing village, spins a tale of young love thwarted by parental objections, natural disasters, evil sea creatures, and memory loss. Ultimately, however, faith and true love prevail.

Oregon Ballet Theatre, which staged the ballet’s third act in 2015, built this new production from scratch (including new costumes and sets). It is the first U.S. ballet company to stage the full-length three-act production, aided by former Royal Danish Ballet artistic director Frank Andersen and Bournonville experts Eva Kloborg and Dinna Bjorn. The OBT Orchestra will play live for all shows.

The Bournonville technique is characterized by quick footwork, small jumps, understated elegance in the port de bras, and dramatic impact through pantomime.

Napoli is one of Bournonville’s most famous ballets; another is La Sylphide, which the Bolshoi Ballet will perform in a live simulcast November 11. Check local cinema listings for details.

Ophelia in Stephen Mills “Hamlet,” performed by Eugene Ballet. Photo by Ari Denison.

Hamlet
Stephen Mills, Eugene Ballet
October 6-7
Hult Center for the Performing Arts, 1 Eugene Center, Eugene
For its 40th anniversary season opener, Eugene Ballet (directed by Toni Pimble) stages Stephen Mills’ contemporary ballet version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Featuring lavish sets, Armani-inspired costumes, and a Philip Glass score, the ballet–which adheres to the original tale of family drama–will make its Pacific Northwest debut here.

It’s the ballet in which “everybody dies,” according to a helpful blog infographic from Ballet Austin, where Mills serves as artistic director. “My inspiration for putting Hamlet in a contemporary setting” Mills said in a statement, “ is due to the fact that many of the themes in the play—murder, betrayal, and more—are still very relevant themes in today’s society. For me, Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a perfect warning for a contemporary audience about the dangers of unchecked power and the ways in which lives of innocents can be forever changed.”

The New Chinese Acrobats. Photo by Liu Baomin.

The New Chinese Acrobats
7:30 pm October 9
Hult Center for the Performing Arts, Silva Concert Hall, 1 Eugene Center, Eugene
Acrobatic arts and variety shows in China date back many thousands of years and evolved from everyday life, incorporating tools and found objects such as rings, tables, chairs, jars, plates, and bowls. Chinese variety shows also included martial arts, gymnastics, wrestling, musical performances, dance, horsemanship, juggling, and Chinese folk stories and cultural traditions.

Connecting the past with the present, The New Chinese Acrobats, in association with Montreal’s Cirque Eloize (a driving force in the circus arts reinvention movement), present audiences with a unique look at ancient Chinese performing arts traditions and practices, combining them with contemporary aesthetics.

In case you missed it

Martha Ullman West recalls the late, great Arthur Mitchell, founder of Dance Theatre of Harlem, and the indelible imprint he left on dance in Warm hug from (and for) a giant.

And Bob Hicks reviews Northwest Dance Project’s season-opening Room 4 and Carmen.

Upcoming Performances

October
October 11-13, Napoli, Oregon Ballet Theatre
October 11-16, Circa, Presented by White Bird
October 11-20, Bloody Vox: Deadline October, BodyVox
October 12-13, Change(d) Together, The Circus Project
October 12-20, A Spine Tingling Soiree, Wild Rumpus Jazz Co.
October 12-21, Portland Dance Film Fest
October 18-20, Lucy Guerin Inc, Presented by White Bird
October 19, Everything’s Copacetic, The Skylark Tappers
October 20, Clock that Mug or Dusted, Cherdonna Shinatra, Presented by Risk/Reward
October 20, As You Like It-A Wild West Ballet, Ballet Fantastique, Eugene
October 20-21, The Man Who Forgot, The Portland Tap Company
October 22, Dance Artist Talk: Lucy Guerin, Reed College
October 26, Star Dust, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Eugene
October 26, Flamenco Pacifico, Presented by Berto Boyd
October 28, Matices Criollos, Peruvian Cultural Festival

November
November 1, Windows 11, Roesing Ape and Beth Whelan, Night Lights
November 2-4, A Midsummer Night at the Savoy, Rejoice! Diaspora Dance Theatre
November 4, civilized-Happy Hour, Catherine Egan
November 9, ¿LISTEN?, ELa FaLa Collective and Polaris Dance Theatre
November 9-11, Cloth, PDX Contemporary Ballet
November 11, La Sylphide, Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema-Live from Moscow, presented by Fathom Events, BY Experience, and Pathe Live
November 13-14, The Hip Hop Nutcracker, Jennifer Weber
November 14, Tangueros del Sur, Presented by White Bird
November 16-18, Perceiving The Constant, Jessica Hightower
November 23-25, A Midsummer Night’s Dream with PSU Orchestra, The Portland Ballet

December
December 2, Don Quixote, Bolshoi Ballet in cinema, presented by Fathom Events, BY Experience, and Pathe Live
December 6-8, Winter Performance, NW Dance Project
December 8, So You Think You Can Dance Live! 2018, Eugene
December 8-25, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®, Oregon Ballet Theatre
December 14-16, Babes in Toyland (World Premiere), Ballet Fantastique, Eugene
December 21-23, The Nutcracker, Eugene Ballet, Eugene
December 23, The Nutcracker, Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema-Live from Moscow, presented by Fathom Events, BY Experience, and Pathe Live

January 2019
January 9-20, The Lion King, Eugene
January 20, La Bayadère, Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema-Live from Moscow, presented by Fathom Events, BY Experience, and Pathe Live
January 24-February 2, The Cutting Room, BodyVox
January 31-February 2, Shay Kuebler/Radical System Art, Presented by White Bird

February
February 9-10, Romeo and Juliet, Eugene Ballet, Eugene
February 13, Les Ballets Trockadero De Monte Carlo, Presented by White Bird
February 16-23, Cinderella, Oregon Ballet Theatre
February 20, Beijing Dance Theater, Presented by White Bird
February 28-March 2, Compagnie Hervé Koubi, Presented by White Bird
February 29-March 2, Trip The Light Fantastic, NW Dance Project

March
March 1-3, The Odyssey, Ballet Fantastique, Eugene
March 1-3, Materialize, PDX Contemporary Ballet
March 7-9, Compagnie Marie Chouinard, Presented by White Bird
March 8-10, Interplay, Eugene Ballet, Eugene
March 9, Painted Sky Northstar Dance Company, Walters Cultural Arts Center
March 10, The Sleeping Beauty, Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema, presented by Fathom Events, BY Experience, and Pathe Live
March 29-31, New Expressive Works Residency Performance

April
April 4-6, Parsons Dance, Presented by White Bird
April 4-13, The Pearl Dive Project, BodyVox
April 7, The Golden Age, Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema, presented by Fathom Events, BY Experience, and Pathe Live
April 9-10, Savion Glover, Presented by White Bird
April 11-14, Director’s Choice, Oregon Ballet Theatre
April 13-14, The Firebird, Eugene Ballet, Eugene
April 24, Philadanco, Presented by White Bird
April 25-27, Spring Performance, NW Dance Project

May
May 9-11, Contact Dance Film Festival, BodyVox and NW Film Center
May 10-12, Shaun Keylock Company
May 10-12, Current/Classic, The Portland Ballet
May 10-12, Cleopatra (World Premiere), Ballet Fantastique, Eugene
May 17-19, Undone, PDX Contemporary Ballet
May 19, Carmen Suite / Petrushka, Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema-Live from Moscow, presented by Fathom Events, BY Experience, and Pathe Live
May 26, Derek Hough: Live! The Tour, Eugene

June
June 7-15, The Americans, Oregon Ballet Theatre
June 7-9, Up Close, The Portland Ballet
June 13-15, Summer Performances, NW Dance Project

This is a really big week for NW Dance Project. The company, directed by Sarah Slipper, celebrates its 15th season; premieres Slipper’s new work, Room 4; remounts the dark, quirky Carmen by resident choreographer Ihsan Rustem; says goodbye to four longtime company dancers, and welcomes two new ones.

Room 4, which I saw in rehearsal Tuesday, is a dance/conversation/argument for two women, two men, and four desks. It takes place in a small, dark, windowless office. The source of tension is a coveted promotion to “the outer office,” which causes strife among the office workers. The work is loosely inspired by Counterpart–a science-fi-thriller television series that takes place in parallel dimensions full of intrigue, espionage, and government conspiracies–and the witty repartee between characters in Monty Python’s absurdist comedy sketch Argument Clinic. Owen Belton’s score for this piece is a cinematic mix of found sounds that he recorded out and about in the world, like the sound of a buzzing electric light, mixed with a recording of four Seattle actors performing a script Slipper wrote. The costumes are genderless; instead, color is used to distinguish each character.

Rustem’s Carmen, which premiered in 2017, is back, deeper and richer than ever. His twist on Georges Bizet’s Carmen sets the story in a beauty parlor and barber shop instead of the bullrings of southern Spain, and this time out, there’s a new character, Rusty, who is just a little too keen on the scissors. What hasn’t changed is the wealth of seduction, secrecy, betrayal, and death: enough to satisfy all your carnal desires. And there is fierce, exhaustive dancing with quite a bit of comedy to balance it all out. This 40-minute work uses Bizet’s Carmen Suite without the vocals, and features sets by Spanish designer Luis Crespo and costumes by Portland fashion designer and Project Runway winner Michelle Lesniak. In 2017, ArtsWatch senior editor/writer Bob Hicks reviewed it, which you can read here.

The dancers leaving the company are Samantha Campbell, Elijah Labay, Lindsey McGill, and Julia Radick. Labay and Radick, who were married this summer, are headed for Quebec, in Labay’s native Canada. Campbell, who has been with the company since 2009, plans to transition into arts administration, and McGill, who has been with the company since 2012, will return to her native Texas to pursue a range of interests, including dance.

The company has added dancers Colleen Loverde and Kevin Pajarillaga, both of whom Slipper chose through NW Dance Project’s summer Launch program this July.

Performances this week

NW Dance Project Carmen dress rehearsal, Ihsan Rustem choreography. Photo courtesy of NW Dance Project.

Carmen and Room 4 (World Premiere)
NW Dance Project, Ihsan Rustem and Sarah Slipper
September 27-29
Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway
See above.

Ahmet Luleci
Presented by Ruby Beh
8 pm September 29
New Expressive Works, 810 SE Belmont St

Turkey native and Boston resident Ahmet Luleci, an expert in Anatolian folk dances, comes to Portland for two days to present workshops, lectures, and a Saturday evening performance focused on regional styles of folkloric Turkish dance and music. Luleci, a choreographer, performer and dance teacher, serves as artistic director of the Boston-based Collage Dance Ensemble.

Super dancer Carlyn Hudson leaping through the cosmos. Photo by Design By Goats.

Some Are Silver
Carlyn Hudson
7:30 pm September 29
BodyVox Dance Center, 1201 NW 17th Ave.
Portland choreographer Carlyn Hudson presents Some Are Silver, a collection of three world premieres and several older works that effortlessly slip between contemporary dance, ballet, and vaudeville, and weave together humor, heartache, and beauty. The choreography reflects an array of contrasting ideas performed to jazz, classical, and folk music. The cast includes Briley Jozwiak, Amelia Unsicker, Elle Crowley, Anna Marra, Kara Girod, Mari Kai Juras, and Hudson herself.

Hudson, originally from Nyack, New York, is the daughter of a dancer and a visual artist/woodworker. She earned her BFA in Dance from SUNY Purchase, performed with Connecticut Ballet, and co-founded SubRosa Dance Collective in 2011 with Cerrin Lathrop, Jessica Evans, Kailee McMurran, Lena Traenkenschuh, Tia Palomino, and Zahra Banzi.

ArtsWatch writer Elizabeth Whelan reviewed Some Are Silver, which you can read here.

Dancers from the Beijing Dance Academy. Photo courtesy of Portland’5 Center For The Arts.

China In Dance
Beijing Dance Academy
Presented by American Asian Performing Arts Theatre
7 pm September 30
Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway
Beijing Dance Academy, a state-funded professional dance school in China that specializes in ballet, classical Chinese dance, social dance, musical theater, and contemporary dance, will debut 30 of its most talented dancers performing ten classical dances. The program includes Liang Zhu (Butterfly Lovers, known as the Chinese Romeo and Juliet) and Yellow River, which depicts the origin of Chinese culture and spirit.

Upcoming Performances

October
October 4-6, Come to your senses, Pilobolus, Presented by White Bird
October 5-6, Shiny Angles in Angular Time, Melinda Ring, and Renée Archibald
October 6-13, Napoli, Oregon Ballet Theatre
October 6-7, Hamlet, Eugene Ballet, Eugene
October 9, The New Chinese Acrobats, Eugene
October 11-15, Portland Tango Festival
October 11-16, Circa, Presented by White Bird
October 11-20, Bloody Vox: Deadline October, BodyVox
October 12-13, Change(d) Together, The Circus Project
October 12-20, A Spine Tingling Soiree, Wild Rumpus Jazz Co.
October 12-21, Portland Dance Film Fest
October 18-20, Lucy Guerin Inc, Presented by White Bird
October 19, Everything’s Copacetic, The Skylark Tappers
October 20, Clock that Mug or Dusted, Cherdonna Shinatra, Presented by Risk/Reward
October 20, As You Like It-A Wild West Ballet, Ballet Fantastique, Eugene
October 20-21, The Man Who Forgot, The Portland Tap Company
October 22, Dance Artist Talk: Lucy Guerin, Reed College
October 26, Star Dust, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Eugene
October 26, Flamenco Pacifico, Presented by Berto Boyd
October 28, Matices Criollos, Peruvian Cultural Festival

November
November 2-4, A Midsummer Night at the Savoy, Rejoice! Diaspora Dance Theatre
November 4, civilized-Happy Hour, Catherine Egan
November 9-11, Cloth, PDX Contemporary Ballet
November 11, La Sylphide, Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema-Live from Moscow, presented by Fathom Events, BY Experience, and Pathe Live
November 13-14, The Hip Hop Nutcracker, Jennifer Weber
November 14, Tangueros del Sur, Presented by White Bird
November 16-18, Perceiving The Constant, Jessica Hightower
November 23-25, A Midsummer Night’s Dream with PSU Orchestra, The Portland Ballet

December
December 2, Don Quixote, Bolshoi Ballet in cinema, presented by Fathom Events, BY Experience, and Pathe Live
December 6-8, Winter Performance, NW Dance Project
December 8, So You Think You Can Dance Live! 2018, Eugene
December 8-25, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®, Oregon Ballet Theatre
December 14-16, Babes in Toyland (World Premiere), Ballet Fantastique, Eugene
December 21-23, The Nutcracker, Eugene Ballet, Eugene
December 23, The Nutcracker, Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema-Live from Moscow, presented by Fathom Events, BY Experience, and Pathe Live

January 2019
January 9-20, The Lion King, Eugene
January 20, La Bayadère, Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema-Live from Moscow, presented by Fathom Events, BY Experience, and Pathe Live
January 24-February 2, The Cutting Room, BodyVox
January 31-February 2, Shay Kuebler/Radical System Art, Presented by White Bird

February
February 9-10, Romeo and Juliet, Eugene Ballet, Eugene
February 13, Les Ballets Trockadero De Monte Carlo, Presented by White Bird
February 16-23, Cinderella, Oregon Ballet Theatre
February 20, Beijing Dance Theater, Presented by White Bird
February 28-March 2, Compagnie Hervé Koubi, Presented by White Bird
February 29-March 2, Trip The Light Fantastic, NW Dance Project

March
March 1-3, The Odyssey, Ballet Fantastique, Eugene
March 1-3, Materialize, PDX Contemporary Ballet
March 7-9, Compagnie Marie Chouinard, Presented by White Bird
March 8-10, Interplay, Eugene Ballet, Eugene
March 9, Painted Sky Northstar Dance Company, Walters Cultural Arts Center
March 10, The Sleeping Beauty, Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema, presented by Fathom Events, BY Experience, and Pathe Live
March 29-31, New Expressive Works Residency Performance

April
April 4-6, Parsons Dance, Presented by White Bird
April 4-13, The Pearl Dive Project, BodyVox
April 7, The Golden Age, Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema, presented by Fathom Events, BY Experience, and Pathe Live
April 9-10, Savion Glover, Presented by White Bird
April 11-14, Director’s Choice, Oregon Ballet Theatre
April 13-14, The Firebird, Eugene Ballet, Eugene
April 24, Philadanco, Presented by White Bird
April 25-27, Spring Performance, NW Dance Project

May
May 9-11, Contact Dance Film Festival, BodyVox and NW Film Center
May 10-12, Shaun Keylock Company
May 10-12, Current/Classic, The Portland Ballet
May 10-12, Cleopatra (World Premiere), Ballet Fantastique, Eugene
May 17-19, Undone, PDX Contemporary Ballet
May 19, Carmen Suite / Petrushka, Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema-Live from Moscow, presented by Fathom Events, BY Experience, and Pathe Live
May 26, Derek Hough: Live! The Tour, Eugene

June
June 7-15, The Americans, Oregon Ballet Theatre
June 7-9, Up Close, The Portland Ballet
June 13-15, Summer Performances, NW Dance Project

DanceWatch Weekly: Embracing Odissi in the Age of Trump

The multi-faceted Odissi form of Indian dance leads away from the hierarchies of Western dance

Since Donald Trump took office, I have been watching and admiring artists all around the world react to his words and policies and have been wondering how I should respond myself. Last October, I began seriously studying the dance form of Odissi with Yashaswini Raghuram, an Odissi dancer and teacher in Portland and a disciple of Shrimati Aparupa Chatterjee. One of India’s eight classical dance forms, Odissi originated in India’s eastern state of Odisha. I think that my choice to step away from my Western dance practices and focus solely on Odissi is my response. The more degraded American culture gets, the less interested I am in being a part of it.

After India’s independence from Great Britain in 1947, there was a huge movement to revive India’s lost cultures which had been systematically dismantled by the British during their 200 year reign. Dance in India had not been spared, and as a result, dancers had been deemed morally inferior and dancing in public became a criminal offense, thus destroying the entire system in which dance had thrived for thousands of years. Odissi as we know it today began its revival in 1957 with a group of Orissan artists called the Jayantika.

Odissi, which is deeply rooted in Jagannath culture and Hindu religious practices, draws from the Mahari tradition (temple dancers), Gotipua tradition (male dancers who dress as women), and the Bandha Nritya and Chau martial arts traditions. It also draws on information gleaned from the relief sculptures on temple walls and from the ancient Sanskrit text on the performing arts called the Natya Shastra, written by Bharata Muni sometime between 200 BCE and 500 CE.

Odissi combines emotional expression with intricate footwork, sculptural poses, and storytelling. In Odissi, every part of the body is involved in the dance, from the eyes down to the toes, and all the parts move independently. Odissi has two stances, chaukha and tribhangi, that all of the dances are built on. Chaukha is a wide, deeply bent, turned-out position (rotated outward from the hip socket), very similar to ballet’s second position. Tribhangi means “three parts break” and consists of three bends in the body (at the neck, waist and knee), which creates an “S” curve in the body. There are 10 steps in chauka and tribhangi that correspond to the number of beats in each step.

I find Odissi to be a wholly satisfying experience. It’s athletically rigorous, graceful, technical, emotional, spiritual and incredibly challenging to do. I also love that in Odissi, and classical Indian dance in general, older dancers are revered and do not stop performing when they are deemed “too old” by society as it’s done here in the West. Some dances in the Odissi repertoire aren’t even taught until a dancer reaches 40, because it’s believed that younger dancers don’t yet have the emotional depth and life experience to properly express what the dance is about. Odissi also doesn’t have strict rules on body shape and size as Western dance culture does. What is considered beautiful is much broader in Indian dance culture.

Whenever I watch an Odissi dancer, I imagine that I am seeing the sounds of the instruments emanating from the movements of the dancer’s body. I see the drum when the dancer’s feet strike the floor; the softer, more melodic sounds when the torso and arms move; the metallic ding of the rhythmic brass cymbals when the head moves side to side, causing the sway of the Jhumkas, the bell-shaped earrings that many dancers wear. In Odissi, the dancer is the personification of the music.

This week I am learning a six-minute dance from the Odissi repertoire called a Megh Pallavi, a dance depicting the rain and clouds, choreographed by Guru Ratikant Mohapatra; my teacher’s teacher’s teacher and the son of the great Odissi dance guru Shri Kelucharan Mohapatra. I will be performing it on Sunday in the company of some of the world’s most renowned Odissi dancers as part of the 8th Kelucharan Guna Keertanam, an Odissi dance festival produced by the Odissi Dance Company, a company my teacher dances for under the direction of her teacher, artistic director Shrimati Aparupa Chatterjee.

The festival is an homage to the late Shri Kelucharan Mohapatra, a legendary Indian classical dancer, guru, and exponent of Odissi dance who is credited with being part of the revival and popularizing of this dance form in the 20th century. It will take place at the First Congregational United Church of Christ in downtown Portland, 3 p.m. Sunday, September 23. Shri Kelucharan Mohapatra’s son, Guru Shri Ratikant Mohapatra, will also be performing, along with Shrimati Aparupa Chatterjee and the Odissi Dance Company, Dr. Shrimati Ratna Roy and the Urvasi Dance Ensemble from Washington, as well as many others.

There is so much more I could tell you about Odissi, but I think the best way to experience it is to see.

Performances this week

Aureum
An Aerial and Acrobatic Adventure Tale
Produced by Halcyon Shows
September 21-22
Portland State University, Lincoln Performance Hall, 1620 SW Park Avenue
Through music, storytelling, acrobatics, and aerial dancing, the magical world of Aureum comes to life as it is discovered by a young academic who created a key that allowed him to travel there. The cast includes a former Olympic bobsledder turned aerialist, professional dancers, graduates of the New England Center for Circus Arts and École de Cirque de Québec and a specialist in acrobatic archery.

Dancers dancing at Lan Su Chinese Garden. Photo courtesy of Lan Su Chinese Garden.

Autumn Moon Festival, Lan Su Chinese Garden
3-9 pm September 22
239 Northwest Everett Street
Lan Su Chinese Garden, 239 Northwest Everett Street and Community Festival Lot, NW Flanders and 3rd Ave
Celebrating the harvest moon, when the moon appears at its fullest during the autumnal equinox, Lan Su Chinese Garden will host a celebration that includes dance performances every half-hour by White Lotus Dragon and Lion Dance, Portland Chinese Dance Troupe, Ka Lei Hali’a O Ka Lokelani, Chinese Friendship Association of Portland, Cambodian Dance Troupe, Lee’s Association Dragon and Lion Dance Team and more.

Super dancer Carlyn Hudson leaping through the cosmos. Photo by Design By Goats.

Some Are Silver
Carlyn Hudson
September 22 and 29
BodyVox Dance Center, 1201 NW 17th Ave.
Portland choreographer Carlyn Hudson presents Some Are Silver, an evening collection of two world premieres and several older works that effortlessly slip between contemporary dance, ballet and vaudeville, and weave together humor, heartache and beauty. The choreography reflects an array of contrasting ideas performed to the vibrations of jazz, classical, and folk music. The cast includes Briley Jozwiak, Amelia Unsicker, Elle Crowley, Anna Marra, Kara Girod, Mari Kai Juras, and Hudson.

Hudson, originally from Nyack, New York, is the daughter of a dancer and a visual artist/woodworker. She attained her BFA in Dance from SUNY Purchase, performed with Connecticut Ballet and co-founded SubRosa Dance Collective in 2011 with Cerrin Lathrop, Jessica Evans, Kailee McMurran, Lena Traenkenschuh, Tia Palomino and Zahra Banzi.

A young Ballet Fiesta performer. Photo courtesy of Hillsboro ArtFest.

Hillsboro ArtFest on the Plaza
City of Hillsboro
9-1:30 pm September 22
Civic Center, 150 E. Main Street, Hillsboro
FREE
Celebrating Hillsboro’s art and culture, ArtFest will feature dance performances by Ballet Fiesta, a children’s dance company dedicated to promoting Mexican culture through dance, Hawaiian dance by Hula Halau ‘Ohana Holo’oko’a, and the western dance traditions of ballet, tap, and jazz with New Vision Dance. The festival also includes performances by other art forms such as music, singing, theatre and magic.

“Miranda” by Eleven Dance Co. Photo by Jake Kaempf.

Miranda
11: Dance Co.
Choreography by Bb DeLano made in collaboration with the company dancers
7 pm September 23
Multnomah Arts Center, 7688 SW Capitol Hwy
“If the disintegration of everything is inevitable, is there any hope?” This is the question that 11: Dance Co. poses in their new three-act, full-length production, Miranda. Combining urban and classical dance forms, Miranda will be performed in a gallery setting with the audience moving from “exhibit” to “exhibit.”

Performers include a who’s who of Portland’s vibrant dance scene: Brandon M. Avant, Ruby Guenther, Kristalyn Gill Earley, Brittany Hortert, Jamae Ann Sabangan, MacKenzie Schuller, Sonja Jean, Jessica McCarthy, Simeon Jacob, Ryan Houlberg, JuJu Nikz, Raven Jones, Daniel Shinseki, Amanda Hoban, Jassa Gunn, Andrew de la Paz, Claire Novick, Joshua Alexander Bonifacio, Bethany Giurlani, Casey Holzman, and Brianna Nerud.

The late Shri Kelucharan Mohapatra, a legendary Indian classical dancer, guru, and exponent of Odissi dance. Photo courtesy of Yashaswini Raghuram.

8th Kelucharan Guna Keertanam Odissi dance festival
Presented by the Odissi Dance Company, Pratham Portland, and Ken Han of Danos Capital LLC
Featuring Guru Shri Ratikant Mohapatra, Dr. Smt Ratna Roy and the Urvasi Dance Ensemble, Dr. Smt.Aparupa Chatterjee and The Odissi dance company, and more!
3 pm September 23
First Congregational United Church of Christ, 1126 SW Park Avenue
See above.

Bricolage
Presented by Cilla Vee Life Arts
Performance Works NW Visiting Artist
7:30 pm September 26
Performance Works NorthWest, 4625 SE 67th Avenue
Curated by South Bronx artists Claire Elizabeth Barratt (aka Cilla Vee), this eclectic evening of dance, music, poetry, imagery and performance art, draws together a diverse group of Portland artists to create the unexpected. Artists included are Cilla Vee, Linda Austin, Caspar Sonnet, Tim DuRoche, Tim Connell, Colin Manning, Megan McKissack, Alex Dang, plus others.

Upcoming Performances

September
September 27-29, Carmen + World Premiere, NW Dance Project
September 29-30, Ahmet Luleci, Presented by Ruby Beh
September 30, China In Dance, Presented by American Asian Performing Arts Theatre

October
October 4-6, Come to your senses, Pilobolus, Presented by White Bird
October 5-6, Shiny Angles in Angular Time, Melinda Ring and Renée Archibald
October 6-13, Napoli, Oregon Ballet Theatre
October 6-7, Hamlet, Eugene Ballet, Eugene
October 9, The New Chinese Acrobats, Eugene
October 11-15, Portland Tango Festival
October 11-16, Circa, Presented by White Bird
October 11-20, Bloody Vox: Deadline October, BodyVox
October 12-13, Change(d) Together, The Circus Project
October 12-20, A Spine Tingling Soiree, Wild Rumpus Jazz Co.
October 12-21, Portland Dance Film Fest
October 18-20, Lucy Guerin Inc, Presented by White Bird
October 19, Everything’s Copacetic, The Skylark Tappers
October 20, As You Like It-A Wild West Ballet, Ballet Fantastique, Eugene
October 20-21, The Man Who Forgot, The Portland Tap Company
October 26, Star Dust, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Eugene
October 26, Flamenco Pacifico, Presented by Berto Boyd
October 28, Matices Criollos, Peruvian Cultural Festival

November
November 2-4, A Midsummer Night at the Savoy, Rejoice! Diaspora Dance Theatre
November 4, civilized-Happy Hour, Catherine Egan
November 9-11, Cloth, PDX Contemporary Ballet
November 11, La Sylphide, Bolshoi Ballet in cinema-Live from Moscow, presented by Fathom Events, BY Experience, and Pathe Live
November 13-14, The Hip Hop Nutcracker, Jennifer Weber
November 14, Tangueros del Sur, Presented by White Bird
November 16-18, Perceiving The Constant, Jessica Hightower
November 23-25, A Midsummer Night’s Dream with PSU Orchestra, The Portland Ballet

December
December 2, Don Quixote, Bolshoi Ballet in cinema, presented by Fathom Events, BY Experience, and Pathe Live
December 6-8, Winter Performance, NW Dance Project
December 8, So You Think You Can Dance Live! 2018, Eugene
December 8-25, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®, Oregon Ballet Theatre
December 14-16, Babes in Toyland (World Premiere), Ballet Fantastique, Eugene
December 21-23, The Nutcracker, Eugene Ballet, Eugene
December 23, The Nutcracker, Bolshoi Ballet in cinema-Live from Moscow, presented by Fathom Events, BY Experience, and Pathe Live

January 2019
January 9-20, The Lion King, Eugene
January 20, La Bayadère, Bolshoi Ballet in cinema-Live from Moscow, presented by Fathom Events, BY Experience, and Pathe Live
January 24-February 2, The Cutting Room, BodyVox
January 31-February 2, Shay Kuebler/Radical System Art, Presented by White Bird

February
February 9-10, Romeo and Juliet, Eugene Ballet, Eugene
February 13, Les Ballets Trockadero De Monte Carlo, Presented by White Bird
February 16-23, Cinderella, Oregon Ballet Theatre
February 20, Beijing Dance Theater, Presented by White Bird
February 28-March 2, Compagnie Hervé Koubi, Presented by White Bird
February 29-March 2, Trip The Light Fantastic, NW Dance Project

March
March 1-3, The Odyssey, Ballet Fantastique, Eugene
March 1-3, Materialize, PDX Contemporary Ballet
March 7-9, Compagnie Marie Chouinard, Presented by White Bird
March 8-10, Interplay, Eugene Ballet, Eugene
March 9, Painted Sky Northstar Dance Company, Walters Cultural Arts Center
March 10, The Sleeping Beauty, Bolshoi Ballet in cinema, presented by Fathom Events, BY Experience, and Pathe Live
March 29-31, New Expressive Works Residency Performance

April
April 4-6, Parsons Dance, Presented by White Bird
April 4-13, The Pearl Dive Project, BodyVox
April 7, The Golden Age, Bolshoi Ballet in cinema, presented by Fathom Events, BY Experience, and Pathe Live
April 9-10, Savion Glover, Presented by White Bird
April 11-14, Director’s Choice, Oregon Ballet Theatre
April 13-14, The Firebird, Eugene Ballet, Eugene
April 24, Philadanco, Presented by White Bird
April 25-27, Spring Performance, NW Dance Project

May
May 9-11, Contact Dance Film Festival, BodyVox and NW Film Center
May 10-12, Shaun Keylock Company
May 10-12, Current/Classic, The Portland Ballet
May 10-12, Cleopatra (World Premiere), Ballet Fantastique, Eugene
May 17-19, Undone, PDX Contemporary Ballet
May 19, Carmen Suite / Petrushka, Bolshoi Ballet in cinema-Live from Moscow, presented by Fathom Events, BY Experience, and Pathe Live
May 26, Derek Hough: Live! The Tour, Eugene

June
June 7-15, The Americans, Oregon Ballet Theatre
June 7-9, Up Close, The Portland Ballet
June 13-15, Summer Performances, NW Dance Project

DanceWatch Weekly: The street dances inside

At the TBA Festival a street dance battle royale erupted

I LOVE watching freestyle street dancers perform/improvise. It’s like all of their pent-up emotional stuff is forcing its way out of their bodies and they are fighting to control it, to redirect it, and shape it into something beautiful and meaningful. I love the risk, the tension, the mystery, the physicality, and the explosive, full-out, emotional expression of it all. I can physically feel what they are feeling and my body is compelled to move and respond to it. For me, watching them dance shifts my own experience as a dancer away from serving others with my art to serving myself. I don’t mean that in a self-absorbed kind of way, I just mean that it reminds me not to lose myself in trying to dance for others but to dance for myself, in a self-fulfilling, spiritual kind of way.

On Thursday, TBA’s opening night festivities included a 7-to-smoke, freestyle dance battle, with eight dancers competing round-by-round, in the styles of breakdance, hip-hop, house, locking, popping, vogue, waacking, and so much more. TBA, or Time-Based Art, is the Portland Institute For Contemporary Art’s (PICA) annual, multidisciplinary performance festival. The battle, called The Beautiful Street, curated by Katie Janovic, Jesus Rodales, and Brandon Harrison, was electric.

The evening began with a freestyle battle in the middle of PICA’s new warehouse space, which allowed the dancers to warm up as the audience filtered in. It also gave the judges—Icon, Shady, and Tracey Wong—a chance to pick the eighth competitor. That lucky dancer was Alfred Trinidad. The other competitors of the evening were: Button, Bradass, Chris Moua, DonnaMation, Tomb, Liz, and Protoman.

Before the competition officially began, MC Brandon and DJ Gaan led the audience through a history lesson of hip hop/street dance styles with performances by Portland dancers Decimus (house), JuJu Nikz (wacking), Lockstatic (locking), Yen Boogie (popping), Daniel Girón (vogue fem), Deadshot (krump), and Alia Lux (dancehall).

Deadshot’s (or Dae Dae Middleton) performance of krumping was particularly moving to me, a genuine, unbridled expression of anger. That’s an emotion we rarely get to see in contemporary dance performances, and definitely not often in public life, especially not from people of color and women, who are rarely allowed to express it at all without major repercussions. Serena Williams’ historic week at the U.S. Women’s Open is a perfect example. Deadshot’s performance stirred the audience so much that towards the end of his dance, friends of his rushed the staged and finished out the song with him.

K.R.U.M.P. is an acronym for Kingdom Radically Uplifted Mighty Praise, and was pioneered in the early 2000’s by Tight Eyez/Ceasare Willis with a community of dancers in the South Central Los Angeles neighborhoods of Compton and Watts. The movement is frenetic and fast-paced and is equally informed by hip-hop, African dance, pantomime, and martial arts. “Krumpitude? It’s the power of the warrior unleashed,” said Tight Eyez in an interview for the film Rize, a documentary film about the Los Angeles subcultures of clowning and krumping made by David LaChapelle in 2005. The dance was a way for kids to escape gang life, to release anger, frustration, and aggression in a positive, non-violent way.

The winner of The Beautiful Street, hands down, was Robin Rojas, aka Protoman. His movement style seemed to encompass just about everything in the book. He was cool and calm, kept his cards close to the vest and surprised us all with new moves at every turn. He would begin slowly and unassumingly and then unwind, picking up speed and completely blow his opponent out of the water with something crazy and unexpected at the end of each round. He was the master of tension and surprise. I believe we witnessed greatness that night.

It was an epic night with so many unforgettable moments. All of the dancers offered themselves up completely to the dance. The audience, who circled tightly around the dancers vying to see every step, was totally and completely engaged. To be able to improvise and do it as well as these dancers did under such pressure, is an incredible feat, and I am in awe.

Performances this week

Mariana Valencia in her solo, Album. Photo by Ian Douglas courtesy of PICA.

Album (TBA:16)
Mariana Valencia
September 13-15
PICA, 15 NE Hancock St.
This solo performance, by Brooklyn-based dance artist Mariana Valencia, functions as an album—a picture album, a song album, an autobiographical album, a herstorical album conveying the herstory that Valencia would like to be remembered by. Through text, song, and dance, Valencia weaves a comical, poetic, and eloquent work that touches on many, many, subjects including her love of rice, vampires, and “The Lesbian dilema,” to name just a few.

Dance artist Nacera Belaza. Photo courtesy of thePortland Institute For Contemporary Art.

La Nuit, La Traversée, Sur Le Fil ( TBA:16)
Compagnie Nacera Belaza
September 14-16
Dolores Winningstad Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway
September 13, Workshop: Release-Receive-Become with Nacera Belaza, (TBA:16)
This solo triptych (translated as, “The Night, The Crossing, and The Wire”) by Algerian/French choreographer Nacera Belaza, reveals the evolution of the works themselves. It is Belaza’s hope that the audience will view the dance performance like they are viewing three different paintings by a single artist in a gallery, and over time the viewers’ gaze will become honed and the inner workings of the artist’s mind will be revealed. Here Belaza talks about her process and who she is as an artist.

Joan Wang dancing, Bulerias. Photo by Mr. Lara.

Emerging Artists Showcase
Espacio Flamenco
6:30 pm September 16
Imago Theater, 17 SE 8th Ave.
Everyone needs an opportunity sometime, and that time is now! Espacio Flamenco, Portland’s premier flamenco producer, will showcase emerging dancers, singers, and guitarists in the flamenco tradition in a series of solos, duets, and ensemble pieces developed by Espacio Flamenco. As part of the flamenco tradition audience members clap along and shout out words of encouragement to the performers as they perform. This is called jaleos. So, if you attend a flamenco event, don’t forget to bring your jaleos! Olé!

Dancers of In The Mood. Photo courtesy of Portland’5 Centers for the Arts.

In The Mood: a 1940s musical revue
Choreography by Alex Sanchez
Presented by Portland’5
September 16
Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway
Between 1930 and 1950, America entered the Great Depression and World War II began and ended. Music, like always, offered solace and escape and acted as an anthem for soldiers everywhere. In The Mood, is a musical review that aspires to promote this significant period of American history through the era’s most popular music. The evening will include the String of Pearls Orchestra and choreography for the In The Mood dancers and singers by Broadway veteran, Alex Sanchez.

Miranda by Eleven Dance Co. Photo by Jake Kaempf.

Miranda
Eleven Dance Co.
Choreography by Bb DeLano made in collaboration with the company dancers
September 16 and 23
Multnomah Arts Center, 7688 SW Capitol Hwy
“If the disintegration of everything is inevitable, is there any hope?” This is the question that 11 Dance Co. poses in their new three-act, full-length production, Miranda. Combining urban and classical dance forms, Miranda will be performed in a gallery setting with the audience moving from “exhibit” to “exhibit.”

Continues…

DanceWatch Weekly: The beginning of the beginning

As the Time-Based Art Festival gets the dance season underway, take a peek at what lies ahead

Welcome, to a shiny, glittery, brand new season of dance! Listed below are 85 dance performances that will take place throughout Oregon from now through June 2019. The list will grow of course as new performances pop up, so check back often. Spend time with the list, ogle its greatness, click the links, and research at will. There is a lot to choose from and you don’t want to miss a thing!

This week? It’s TBA time as the Portland Institute For Contemporary Art’s annual Time-Based Art Festival turns 16! This 11-day festival of performances, workshops, artist talks, visual art exhibitions, and after-hours parties is inherently interdisciplinary and champions local, national and international artists who reflect and respond to our times. It’s a mind-altering, opinion-changing, heart-opening extravaganza of the senses. Below I have highlighted just the dance-centric TBA events, because that’s what we do here at DanceWatch. For the full schedule of events go to PICA’s website. Enjoy!

Performances this week

Dancers of The Beautiful Street. Photo courtesy of PICA.

The Beautiful Street: 16th Annual TBA Festival Opening Night
Presented by: Portland Institute For Contemporary Art, The Beautiful Street (Katie Janovic), Find A Way (Jesus Rodales), and PDX Ball (Brandon Harrison)
Starring, DJ Gaan and MC Brandon with battle Judges Icon, Shady, and Tracey Wong
Dance Battle Invites: Button, Bradass, Chris Moua, DonnaMation, Tomb, Liz, Protoman, and a wildcard
8 pm September 6
PICA, 15 NE Hancock St.
FREE
Workshop: 10:00 am September 8, Hip Hop and Popping with Katie Janovec and Jesus Rodales

TBA’s opening night festivities include a 7-to-smoke, freestyle dance battle, with dancers competing round-by-round, in the styles of breakdance, hip-hop, house, locking, popping, vogue, waacking, and more. The evening also includes performances by Decimus, JuJu Nikz, Lockstatic, Yen Boogie, Daniel Girón, Dae Dae, Alia Lux, with an epic dance party to follow.

The dancers of #Instaballet. Photo courtesy of Suzanne Haag.

#Instaballet at First Friday ArtWalk
Artistic directors Antonio Anacan and Suzanne Haag
Featuring dancers: Sara Stockwell, Sarah Kosterman, Will Robichaud, and Kenta Taniguchi
5:30 pm September 7
Capitello Wines Barrel Room, 540 Charnelton, Eugene
FREE

Reimagining who creates ballets, #Instaballet, directed by Suzanne Haag and Antonio Anacan of Eugene Ballet, gives artistic control to the audience. If you have ever wanted to choreograph a ballet but aren’t a dancer or a choreographer, now is your chance. Head on over to First Friday ArtWalk in Eugene and be a part of the process and make a ballet on the spot. The creative process begins at 5:30 pm and a performance of the final product will happen at 8 pm. This month’s performance will feature Eugene Ballet dancers Reed Souther, Vivien Farrell, and Erin Johnson, and will be facilitated by Antonio Anacan.

If you are interested in learning more about #Instaballet and how it came to be, ArtsWatch’s Eugene correspondent Gary Ferrington wrote about them in 2015 in Crowd-sourced Choreography.

Anthem by Milka Djordjevich. Photo by Gema Galiana.

Anthem (TBA 2018)
Milka Djordjevich
September 7-10
PICA, 15 NE Hancock St.
Workshop: 10 am September 9, Practice Practice with Milka Djordjevich

In this quartet for four women, Los Angeles choreographer Milka Djordjevich questions contemporary dances’ tendencies toward neutrality, authenticity, and the desexualization of the female body. By embracing theatricality, virtuosity, and sass, Djordjevich weaves those together with vernacular dance forms to explore labor, play, and feminine posturing.

Dancers jumatatu m. poe and Jermone Donte Beacham. Photo by Theo Cote.

Let ‘im Move You Series Works: A Study and This Is A Success (TBA 2018)
jumatatu m. poe and Jermone Donte Beacham
September 7-9
PICA, 15 NE Hancock St.
Workshop: 10:00 am September 7, Big Body: Experimental J-Sette Performance Workshop
Conversation: 12:30 pm September 9, jumatatu m. poe and Jermone Donte Beacham

In this series of three live performances and an installation, jumatatu m. poe and Jermone Donte Beacham use their research on J-Sette performance (a performance style popular in the southern United States practiced by majorettes and drill teams at historically Black colleges and universities) and teams of queer men who compete in gay clubs and pride festivals, as a jumping off point and lens, to examine a variety of concepts and feelings.

Soft Goods by Karen Sherman. Photo courtesy of PICA.

Soft Goods (TBA 2018)
Karen Sherman
September 8-9
Portland State University, Lincoln Performance Hall, 1620 SW Park Ave.
Conversation: 12:30 pm September 7, Karen Sherman and Erin Boberg Doughton

Laying bare the bones of backstage culture, Soft Goods, performed by an ensemble of stage technicians and dancers, is structured as a live load-in and technical rehearsal for a performance that never happens. Equally funny and heartbreaking, “the show illuminates the lonesomeness of theaters, the spectral elegance of a lighting focus, the choreography of labor, and the labor of dance. Soft Goods is a meditation on work, life, loss, and occupational self-obliteration.”

Pushit! [Exercise 1 In Getting Well Soon] by Nic Kay. Photo courtesy of PICA.

Pushit! [Exercise 1 In Getting Well Soon] (TBA 2018)
NIC Kay
3:30 pm September 9
5:30 pm September 11
Exact addresses for performances to be announced 24 hours in advance
Conversation: 12:30 pm September 10, NIC Kay

PUSHIT!, is a site-responsive performance by Bronx artist NIC Kay, and “a meditation on emotional labor and the impossibility of the stage as a place of freedom for the Black performer.” The performance requires walking and two hours to travel about three miles. The exact location of the performance will be announced 24 hours in advance. Please contact PICA’s box office at 503-224-PICA with any access or accommodation questions or concerns.

Upcoming Performances

September
September 13, Workshop: Release-Receive-Become with Nacera Belaza, TBA 2018
September 13-15, Album, Mariana Valencia, TBA 2018
September 14-16, La Nuit, La Traversée, Sur Le Fil, Compagnie Nacera Belaza, TBA 2018
September 16, Emerging Artists Showcase, Espacio Flamenco
September 16, In The Mood: a 1940s musical revue, Presented by Portland’5
September 16, 23, Miranda, Eleven Dance Co.
September 21, 22, Aureum, Produced by Halcyon
September 22, Autumn Moon Festival, Lan Su Chinese Garden
September 22, 29, Some Are Silver, Carlyn Hudson
September 22, Hillsboro ArtFest on the Plaza, City of Hillsboro
September 23, 8th Kelucharan Guna Keertanam/Odissi dance festival, Presented by the Odissi Dance Company
September 26, Bricolage, Performance Works NW Visiting Artist
September 27-29, Carmen + World Premiere, NW Dance Project
September 29-30, Ahmet Luleci, Presented by Ruby Beh
September 30, China In Dance, Presented by American Asian Performing Arts Theatre

October
October 4-6, Come to your senses, Pilobolus, Presented by White Bird
October 5-6, Shiny Angles in Angular Time, Melinda Ring and Renée Archibald
October 6-13, Napoli, Oregon Ballet Theatre
October 6-7, Hamlet, Eugene Ballet, Eugene
October 9, The New Chinese Acrobats, Eugene
October 11-16, Circa, Presented by White Bird
October 11-20, Bloody Vox: Deadline October, BodyVox
October 12-13, Change(d) Together, The Circus Project
October 12-20, A Spine Tingling Soiree, Wild Rumpus Jazz Co.
October 18-20, Lucy Guerin Inc, Presented by White Bird
October 19, Everything’s Copacetic, The Skylark Tappers
October 20, As You Like It-A Wild West Ballet, Ballet Fantastique, Eugene
October 20-21, The Man Who Forgot, The Portland Tap Company
October 26, Star Dust, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Eugene
October 26, Flamenco Pacifico, Presented by Berto Boyd

November
November 2-4, A Midsummer Night at the Savoy, Rejoice! Diaspora Dance Theatre
November 4, civilized-Happy Hour, Catherine Egan
November 9-11, Cloth, PDX Contemporary Ballet
November 11, La Sylphide, Bolshoi Ballet in cinema-Live from Moscow, presented by Fathom Events, BY Experience, and Pathe Live
November 13-14, The Hip Hop Nutcracker, Jennifer Weber
November 14, Tangueros del Sur, Presented by White Bird
November 16-18, Perceiving The Constant, Jessica Hightower
November 23-25, A Midsummer Night’s Dream with PSU Orchestra, The Portland Ballet

December
December 2, Don Quixote, Bolshoi Ballet in cinema, presented by Fathom Events, BY Experience, and Pathe Live
December 6-8, Winter Performance, NW Dance Project
December 8, So You Think You Can Dance Live! 2018, Eugene
December 8-25, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®, Oregon Ballet Theatre
December 14-16, Babes in Toyland (World Premiere), Ballet Fantastique, Eugene
December 21-23, The Nutcracker, Eugene Ballet, Eugene
December 23, The Nutcracker, Bolshoi Ballet in cinema-Live from Moscow, presented by Fathom Events, BY Experience, and Pathe Live

January 2019
January 9-20, The Lion King, Eugene
January 20, La Bayadère, Bolshoi Ballet in cinema-Live from Moscow, presented by Fathom Events, BY Experience, and Pathe Live
January 24-February 2, The Cutting Room, BodyVox
January 31-February 2, Shay Kuebler/Radical System Art, Presented by White Bird

February
February 9-10, Romeo and Juliet, Eugene Ballet, Eugene
February 13, Les Ballets Trockadero De Monte Carlo, Presented by White Bird
February 16-23, Cinderella, Oregon Ballet Theatre
February 20, Beijing Dance Theater, Presented by White Bird
February 28-March 2, Compagnie Hervé Koubi, Presented by White Bird
February 29-March 2, Trip The Light Fantastic, NW Dance Project

March
March 1-3, The Odyssey, Ballet Fantastique, Eugene
March 1-3, Materialize, PDX Contemporary Ballet
March 7-9, Compagnie Marie Chouinard, Presented by White Bird
March 8-10, Interplay, Eugene Ballet, Eugene
March 9, Painted Sky Northstar Dance Company, Walters Cultural Arts Center
March 10, The Sleeping Beauty, Bolshoi Ballet in cinema, presented by Fathom Events, BY Experience, and Pathe Live
March 29-31, New Expressive Works Residency Performance

April
April 4-6, Parsons Dance, Presented by White Bird
April 4-13, The Pearl Dive Project, BodyVox
April 7, The Golden Age, Bolshoi Ballet in cinema, presented by Fathom Events, BY Experience, and Pathe Live
April 9-10, Savion Glover, Presented by White Bird
April 11-14, Director’s Choice, Oregon Ballet Theatre
April 13-14, The Firebird, Eugene Ballet, Eugene
April 24, Philadanco, Presented by White Bird
April 25-27, Spring Performance, NW Dance Project

May
May 9-11, Contact Dance Film Festival, BodyVox and NW Film Center
May 10-12, Shaun Keylock Company
May 10-12, Current/Classic, The Portland Ballet
May 10-12, Cleopatra (World Premiere), Ballet Fantastique, Eugene
May 17-19, Undone, PDX Contemporary Ballet
May 19, Carmen Suite / Petrushka, Bolshoi Ballet in cinema-Live from Moscow, presented by Fathom Events, BY Experience, and Pathe Live
May 26, Derek Hough: Live! The Tour, Eugene

June
June 7-15, The Americans, Oregon Ballet Theatre
June 7-9, Up Close, The Portland Ballet
June 13-15, Summer Performances, NW Dance Project

DanceWatch: a month of movement

A guide to August's dance performances in Oregon, gathered in one easy place to check all month long

Maybe this isn’t common knowledge, but warm weather is best for dancers. It cuts down on the time we have to warm up to dance and makes our muscles ooey gooey and stretchy, which is perfect for dancing. I love warm weather so much that I chose to major in dance at Florida State University instead of SUNY Purchase in upstate New York. My flexibility increased tenfold over my four years of dancing in the humid Florida heat.

I also love the slowed-down, molasses like pace of summer. It’s a season that is telling me to rest. So I will. And DanceWatch will, too! Both DanceWatch and I will be taking the month of August off and will see you back here bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in September.

Before I go, check out this month’s dance offerings. It’s a little like circling the globe and sampling a bit of each country’s culture from your own city streets. You can even catch me dancing Odissi (classical Indian dance from Odisha) with my dance teacher Yashaswini Raghuram and my classmates at the India Festival at Pioneer Square on August 12. I hope it’s nice and warm!

August performances

Mary Bodine of the Warm Springs tribe rehearsing with the Painted Sky Northstar Dance Company. Photo courtesy of Northstar Dance Company.

Party on the Plaza: Northstar Dance Company
Hult Center for the Performing Arts
5:30 pm August 2
Hult Center Plaza, 1 Eugene Center, Eugene

Northstar Dance Company combines Intertribal Native dances and contemporary dance forms to bring awareness to and honor Native American culture, past and present. The performance will take place outside at the Hult Center Plaza.

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