Dance Watch: The return of White Bird and OBT

Conduit news plus the beginning of the season for White Bird and Oregon Ballet Theatre

Big news for the Portland dance community this week: Conduit Dance Inc., Portland’s incubator for independent contemporary dance, has found a new home in the historic Ford Building, at 2505 SE 11th Ave., suite 120. The front of the building opens onto Division street, near the new Max Orange Line, in the quickly growing SE Division community. The new space is practically move-in ready. It is a bright and open, 3,001 sq room, with laminated wood floors, mirrors and ballet barres already installed. The space also has a small kitchen and two dressing rooms.

Last March after 20 years in the Pythian Building in downtown Portland, Conduit was  evicted by its landlord, Nia Technique. Since that time, Conduit’s programs went mobile, and the center continued presenting classes and workshop as well as its annual Dance+ series throughout the city. The artistic team at Conduit—Tere Mathern, Vanessa Vogel, Emily Running and Sara Himmelman—have been working tirelessly to find a new space that met all of Conduits needs, and it has finally payed off. Stay tuned for more news on Conduit as they move forward in their new home.

Momix in Alchemia. Photo by Max Pucciariello.

Momix in Alchemia. Photo by Max Pucciariello.

Presented by White Bird
Oct 8-10
Newmark Theater, 1111 SW Broadway
Inspired by the ancient practice of Alchemy, Moses Pendleton, the director of contemporary dance company Momix, has created a phantasmagorical multimedia spectacle manipulating the four elements of the earth and exposing the sexuality of nature. “Alchemia is about invention and beauty, transformation and renewal, performed with astonishing skill by 10 performers who are as much acrobats as dancers.”-Moses Pendleton. This show kicks of White Bird’s new season.

Amore Italiano
Napoli Act III & Sub Rosa
Presented by Oregon Ballet Theater
October 10-17
Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay St
Opening its 26th season, Oregon Ballet Theater takes us on a cultural and historic tour of Italy with the world premier of Sub Rosa by James Kudelka and the OBT premier of Napoli, Act III, by August Bournonville.

Sub Rosa comes with a warning label, “Not suitable for children” and is inspired by the infamous life of Italian prince and Renaissance composer Carlo Gesualdo. He may or may not have been a murder, an adulterer, a vampire,and/or a necrophiliac. haunted by ghosts and plagued by witches.

Napoli, inspired by everyday life in Naples from the streets to the harbour to the Blue Grotto, was choreographed in 1842 by Danish dancer and choreographer August Bournonville. Bournonville technique is characterized by quick footwork, small jumps, understated elegance in the arms and dramatic impact through pantomime.

Portland violinist Aaron Meyer and his six-piece band will open the evening with selections of Italian classics.

The sights and sounds of Cuba Libre: Tiempo Libre's Xavier Mili and choreographer Maija Garcia. Photo: Owen Carey

The sights and sounds of Cuba Libre: Tiempo Libre’s Xavier Mili and choreographer Maija Garcia. Photo: Owen Carey

Cuba Libre
Presented by Artist Repertory Theater
October 3-November 8
Winningstad Theater, 1111 SW Broadway
Broadway in Portland! Cuba Libre is a contemporary musical inspired by the collective histories of the members of the three-time Grammy-nominated African-Caribbean band, Tiempo Libre.

With the majority of the dialogue in English and the music in Spanish, the tale is told from present day Miami, flashing back to 1990’s Cuba. The story centers on a Cuban musician who is tormented by the sacrifices that were made for him to pursue his artistic dreams in the United States.

The creative team, primarily Latino, includes Tony-nominated producer Susan Dietz (Fela!, Topdog/Underdog, It’s Only a Play), playwright Carlos Lacámara,  choreographer Maija Garcia, and Artists Rep artistic director Damaso Rodriguez. The company consists of twenty-two actors, dancers and musicians and is a theatrical event on a grand scale.

d. Sabela Grimes, Visiting Artist Lecture
Reed College, PAB Performance Lab, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd.
6:30 pm October 8
A lecture/demonstration by d. Sabela Grimes on his artistic process. Grimes is a 2014 United States Artist Rockefeller Fellow and Assistant Professor at University of Southern California. He is a choreographer, writer, composer and educator whose interdisciplinary performance work and pedagogical approach are rooted in the “meta-physical efficacies of Afro-diasporic cultural practices.”

Evidence of a dance, Marginal Evidence by Katherine Longstreth.

Evidence of a dance, Marginal Evidence by Katherine Longstreth.

Marginal Evidence (an interactive experience of dance-making)
Katherine Longstreth
October 1 – November 14
White Box, 24 NW 1st Ave.
6 pm October 1, Opening Reception
Marginal Evidence is a visual art installation about the intimate act of choreography. Dance is ephemeral and when it is gone, what is left? How do we know it existed? What is the evidence left behind? Using the approach of a forensic investigator, Longstreth reveals the private process of dance making and exposes the inner life of archival materials. You can read the full preview here

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