Dance Weekly: So many dancing feet

Another busy dance week in Portland features everything from Broadway to Butoh plus a party to celebrate Performance Works NW's birthday

It is amazing to me that even though there is very little money and support for independent choreographers and dancers in this city, they still manage to keep going and continue creating.

Last Saturday Conduit Dance finally opened its doors at its brand new location in the Ford Building at 2505 SE 11TH Ave. #120, inaugurating the space with a fully attended modern dance class taught by Sara Parker.

Coming up on Sunday, November 1, is the grand opening of 11: Dance Co.‘s new studio at 1847 E Burnside, suite 102. The company defines itself as  Neo-Fusion, a choreographic style that blends the street and classical worlds. The  11-plus member company will be performing December 5  at Coho Theatre with a new work titled Library At The End Of The World, with a sneak preview on November 11.

Save the date for Side by Side, moving in twos, presented by Muddy Feet, a modern dance company co-directed by Rachel Slater and Suzanne Chi that will be showcasing new choreographic works by Luke Gutgsell, Eliza Larson, Carla Mann, Franco Nieto, and Rachel Slater from November 5-7. Allie Hankins, Lucy Yim and Takahiro Yamamoto will perform as part of their group Physical Education on Saturday, November 7 at Short Space. And a documentary film by Conrad Icon Kaczor will screen on November 8  about three Portland dancers from three different genres.  Stay tuned for more details.

Now, on to this week.

Caitlin Ehlinger as Peggy Sawyer (center) and the company of 42nd Street. Photo by Chris Bennion.

Caitlin Ehlinger as Peggy Sawyer (center) and the company of 42nd Street. Photo by Chris Bennion.

42nd St
October 27-November 1
Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay St
“Come and meet those dancing feet on 42nd St.” Based on the novel by Bradford Ropes and Busby Berkeley’s 1933 movie, with such songs as “We’re In The Money,” “Lullaby of Broadway,” “Shuffle Off To Buffalo,” “Dames,” “I Only Have Eyes For You” and of course “42nd Street,” this dance-rich musical comedy tells the quintessential story of an idealistic young dancer named Peggy Sawyer who leaves home to make it big in New York City. She lands a job in a new Broadway musical  called Pretty Lady, and when the star breaks her ankle, she gets her big break and  becomes a star.

PETE: All Well
Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble
Presented by Third Rail
October 27-November 1
Imago Theatre, 17 SE 8th Ave.
Inspired by the doomed Franklin Expedition of 1845-48, All Well, a sound installation designed by Mark Valadez, will submerge audiences into the darkness of the lost explorer and into the darkness of Imago Theatre—  audiences will explores the hidden spaces of the Imago building. Each performance only allows 25 audience members at a time, each of whom will experience the performance from their very own hammock.

The show was conceived and created by PETE’s performers and designers: Jenny Ampersand, Robert Quillen Camp, Jacob Coleman, Miranda K Hardy, Peter Ksander, Rebecca Lingafelter, Paige McKinney, Cristi Miles, Mark Valadez and Amber Whitehall,

Photo courtesy Diego Piñón: Butoh Ritual Mexicano ‎Celebration of Gratitude from the BRM Community in Portland

Photo courtesy Diego Piñón: Butoh Ritual Mexicano ‎Celebration of Gratitude from the BRM Community in Portland.

Beyond Paradise and The Moon Navel
7:30 pm October 29
The Headwaters Theatre, 55 NE Farragut St
This concert is the culmination of a summer long residency with Butoh artist Diego Piñón and offers a collective ritual in gratitude. “Beyond Paradise” will be performed by the residency participants, and “The Moon Navel” is a solo performed by Diego Piñón.

Diego Piñón’s style of teaching and performance incorporates research into  Mexican traditions, Japanese Butoh, ritual dance, modern dance and contemporary theatre. Piñón brings a spirit of exploration to the dancing body, using movement and symbol to strip away assumptions, social, cultural, and personal. Body Ritual Movement, using the power of the stage goes “beyond personal limits, beyond the ego, and without pretension, to renew the highest purpose of the sacred language of dance.”

Performance Works NW & Pie at the Bowstring Truss House
Performance Works NW 15th anniversary celebration & fundraiser in support of the Alembic Resident Artists Program.
October 30, Doors open at 7 pm, Performance at 8 pm
Address and parking directions will be released upon purchase of ticket
In honor of PWNW’s 15th anniversary and in support of the Alembic Resident Artist program, Linda Hutchins and John Montague are opening their home and studio, the Bowstring Truss House, for an evening of dance, music and text pieces representative of PWNW’s programming, accompanied by drinks, snacks and a sampling of Hutchins’ famous pies. Performance will be supplied by The Boris & Natasha Dancers, Steve Reich’s Pendulum Music, Linda Austin in a made-for-the-occasion solo and Kurt Schwitters’ Ursonate, performed by Leo Daedalus and Mark Owens.

The house itself is a marvel: “The Bowstring Truss House was adapted from a 5,000 square foot former warehouse and auto repair shop by Works Partnership Architecture and Don Tankersley Construction. Completed in 2013, the live/work home and studio was a favorite on the 2014 AIA Portland Homes Tour, won an AIA Merit Award in 2014, and was featured in Dwell Magazine in June, 2015.”


Dancer/choreographer Anjana Anand in Fire and Ash. Courtesy Fire and Ash.

Fire and Ash; reclaiming the divine, recovering the human
Created and Directed by Gowri Ramnarayan
A JustUs Repertory Production
4 pm November 1
Portland Balaji Temple,  2110 NW Aloclek Dr., suite 607
Through a blend of music, dance, and drama, playwright, director and veteran journalist Gowri Ramnarayan along with vocalist and painter Savita Narasimhan and dancer/choreographer Anjana Anand, will perform around the idea of  what the Hindu god Lord Shiva represents.

Inspired by the degradation of nature, Ramnarayan became angry by human  greed and love for excess that ultimately is destroying nature. Shiva himself is the destroyer and represents qualities of austerity, restraint and control. Ramnarayan asks the question, “What is Shiva trying to destroy?” Her answer is, “Our negative thoughts.”

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 22 actors, dancers and musicians and is a theatrical event on a grand scale.

Marginal Evidence. Courtesy of Katherine Longstreth.

Marginal Evidence. Courtesy of Katherine Longstreth.

Marginal Evidence (an interactive experience of dance-making)
Katherine Longstreth
October 1 – November 14
White Box, 24 NW 1st Ave
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 Martha Ullman West’s review here.

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