Dance weekend: poles apart

The PDX calendar celebrates dance styles as different as rain and shine, from relay choreography to ecdysiast, inclusive dance to contemporary

This week in Portland dance feels very fresh, experimental and risky. What is dance about, anyway? – as many things as there are people in the field, but generally, and among other things, it’s about self-expression, learning, connectivity, community, pushing boundaries, and sharing. It’s complicated, but, so relatable, and so enjoyable to watch. This weekend’s offerings touch on all of these attributes and more.

Pole acrobatics. Photo courtesy Ecdysiast Dance Company

Pole acrobatics. Photo courtesy Ecdysiast Pole Dance Company


Solo Relay Installment # 3 featuring Matthew Shyka & Linda K. Johnson

May 8-9

Performance Works NW, 4625 S.E. 67th Ave.


This is Stage Three of Linda Austin’s new multi-year project that functions like a great game of telephone. This-pass along solo is a vehicle for the making, unmaking, transmitting, transforming, and distilling of performance material (movement, tasks, objects, text and vocals) and the performative self.” In Leg #1, as Austin describes it, she “played with timing and tangential realities in a solo brimming with unpredictable perceptual, physical, textual, and emotional currents. Plus just a few objects!” Then it was Jin Camou and Keyon Gaskin’s turn. They were tasked to perform their own versions of the solo, playing out what they remembered and misremembered. Now we are on the third leg of the journey, and will see Matthew Shyka and Linda K. Johnson perform what they remember from Camou and Gaskin’s performances.



Ecdysiast Pole Dance Company

May 9th

Alberta Rose Theater, 3000 N.E. Alberta St.

Pole dancing reinvented. Out of the clubs and into the proscenium theater. While flying high through the air on 21-foot poles, the aerialists of Ecdysiast Pole Dance Company will tell a story, through tdance, pole dancing and acrobatics, of how strength and tenacity connect all humanity. Nostalgia, the high pressures of the modern world, and joyous moments will be present.


Reed Dance Department Spring Performance

May 8-9

Reed College, Greenwood Performance Stage, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd.


Performed by Reed’s Contemporary Performance Ensemble, the concert will feature seven-student created pieces as well as works by guest choreographers Alexander Dones (in collaboration with Autumn Marie Dones, his sister), Laura Haney, James Healey, Luke Gutgsell, and faculty members Carla Mann and Minh Tran.



Inclusive Arts Vibe Dance Company

May 8-10

Studio 2, 810 S.E. Belmont St.


Inclusive Arts Vibe Dance Company is a cross-disability, integrated youth/young adult dance company. Authenticate will showcase the company’s innovative choreography, skill and creativity, helping to expose integrated dance to new audiences with the goal of furthering the expression of people with both apparent and non-apparent disabilities.



Polaris Dance Theater
May 8-10
Polaris Studio Theatre, 1501 S.W. Taylor St.
Polaris enters the second and final weekend of its annual collaborative performance exposing company members to new choreography, and audiences to the artistic process. New dance works by Artistic Director Robert Guitron and guests Kieraqmil Brinkley, Blake Seidel, Jocelyn Edelstein, and Gerard Regot. Local musicians include Gerard Regot, Robert Hoffman, and Anthony DeMarco.


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