Dance weekend: Telling our stories

'Waking the Green Sound', Dancing Over 50, Automal, Khecari, 'Breathing Under Water', Pure Surface

I am writing this week’s dance listing from the beautiful garden isle of Kauai; I am here on vacation with my family. I mention this because here on this ancient island, dance is the keeper of the culture and traditions of the native people. Without it, there would be no way to fully tell their stories. I often struggle with trying to make sense of what I am seeing in contemporary dance, but in this context, it is much clearer to me. Dance is simply a physical embodiment of our past, present and future. Without it we cannot tell the stories of our people.

Wobbly Dance's "Waking the Green Trees"

Wobbly Dance’s “Waking the Green Trees”

Waking the Green Sound: a dance film for the trees
Wobbly Dance
11 am -9 pm September 3, screenings every half hour starting at 11 am
Artists reception, 5–9 pm
Cameo, 2809 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Out of a desire to connect with nature on a deeper level, co-artistic directors of Wobbly Dance, Yulia Arakelyan and Erik Ferguson, created a fantasy film world in which the performers transform and move dreamlike between uniquely different worlds.  The original music score was composed by experimental musicians Sweetmeat, and other guest artists include Grant Miller, cinematographer Ian Lucero, and photographer Kamala Kingsley.

Wobbly Dance is a Portland based dance company that focuses on broadening the definition of art and beauty by presenting performing artists with and without disabilities.

Earlier this year, Art Watches Brett Campbell interviewed Arakelyan and Ferguson about Waking the Green Sound.

Kate Rafter's Automal

Kate Rafter’s Automal

Automal@RAW Portland BOLD
6 pm September 3
Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St.
In 2009 fledgling fashion designer Heidi Luerra created RAW in an attempt to put her name out in the world, connect with other artists, and provide a platform to promote artists of different mediums on and offline.

Every month RAW pops up in a different city as a one-night-only, circus-like event, spotlighting the local talent in that particular city. This month that city is Portland and the dance company featured is Automal. Directed by Kate Rafter, Automal will perform three pieces, The Agony of Saint Moth, Tír fo Thuinn (Land Under the Waves) excerpt, and a new work by guest choreographer Matt Cichon.

The Dancing Over 50 Project Benefit
Stance on Dance, Emmaly Wiederholt
7:30 pm September 4
Bodyvox, 1201 NW 17th Ave.
The Dance Over 50 Project curated by Stance on Dance blogger Emmaly Wiederhold in collaboration with photographer Gregory Bartning “aims to challenge popular perceptions around dance as a youth-oriented pursuit, to educate young people about what it means to pursue an art over a lifetime, to inspire other people over the age of 50 to kick off their shoes and take to the dance floor, to remind people that there is grace and beauty in a body of any age, and to pay homage to these older dancers who are leading by example.”

The dance artists covered in the interviews span the entire West Coast from Los Angeles to Seattle and include some great Portland dance artists: Linda Austin, Tere Mathern, Gregg Bielemeier, Jamey Hampton and Mike Barber.

Wiederholt is hosting a fundraising party to support the publication of these stories in a bound, printed book, to share with the world.


Chicago-based Khecari/Photo by William Frederking

Chicago-based Khecari/Photo by William Frederking


Orders from the Horse: Works in Progress
7:30 pm September 4
The Headwaters Theatre, 55 NE Farragut St.
A Chicago-based contemporary dance company directed by Julia Rae Antonick and Jonathan Meyer, Khecari will present a works in progress showing of their new piece, Orders from the Horse. The dance focuses on the idea of surrender in improvisation while performing. “Performers negotiate a landscape pocked with dips, rises, and eddies; falling in, through, or past each other’s wake as they move.” Sound score by Joe St. Charles, with lighting by Rachel Levy and Jonathan Meyer.

On Saturday, September 5, Khecari will teach a workshop in Somatics in Dance Improvisation from 11 am-2 pm at The Headwaters Theater.

Breathing Under Water
Directed by Shannon Mockli
September 4-5
Studio 2 @Zoomtopia, 810 SE Belmont, Studio 2
Shannon Mockli, Associate Professor of Dance at University of Oregon, brings us choreography and film from fellow artists in Eugene, inspired by the concepts of submergence and breath.

Featured choreographers, performers and filmmakers include Mockli, Margo Van Ummersen, Sarah Ebert, Katie Scherman, Jessica Zoller, Kim Ames, Avante Grady, Meg Orion, Dakota Bouher, Mariah Melson, Brad Garner and Mary Fitzgerald.

Olive Durif is in this month's Pure Surface.

Olive Durif is in this month’s Pure Surface.

Pure Surface
Olivia Durif, James Gendron, Chaz Stobbs
6 pm September 6
Valentine’s, 232 SW Ankeny St.
Curated by Stacey Tran and Danielle Ross, Pure Surface is a performance series interested in encouraging cross-disciplinary practice and performance by bringing together movement, text and film in the spirit of improvised collaboration. Each month a new group of artists is brought together in the intimate, open-air setting of Valentine’s and performance is made. This month’s artists are movement artist Olivia Durif, writer James Gendron and filmmaker Chaz Stobbs.

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