By Jamuna Chiarini
It’s a big week in Portland dance lovers! The iconic American choreographer Twyla Tharp was here with her company on Wednesday, new Israeli dance company L-E-V will be performing Thursday through Saturday, and an interactive-theatre piece Dear Armen will be in Portland for one night only on Friday.
If you missed Twyla Tharp, you can check out her process of dance making in the New York Times where she has been keeping record since August, and Martha Ullman West’s interview with her here on Arts Watch. Also this weekend, performances of Oregon Ballet Theater’s Amore Italiano, Cuba Libre!, and Marginal Evidence, which I previewed when it opened. The material is deep and contemplative but jubilant and invigorating.
L-E-V Dance Company
Presented by White Bird Uncaged
Lincoln Hall, Portland State University, 1620 SW Park Ave
Sharon Eyal, former dancer and resident choreographer with Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company, and arts producer Gai Behar present two new works with their company of six dancers, Sara and Killer Pig. Fusing movement, music, lighting, fashion, art and technology, the choreography explores intimacy, space, sensitivity and connectivity. L-E-V means “heart” in Hebrew, and there looks to be a lot of it in this show.
Presented by Performance Works NW
8 pm October 16
Performance Works NW, 4625 SE 67th Ave
Dear Armen follows the story of genderqueer writer and student Garo, who studies the life and work of Armenian performer Armen Ohanian, uncovering discrepancies between her biography and memoirs, revealing fragmented legacies of genocide and displacement. This interactive-theatre experience blends traditional Armenian dance, erotic performance, monologue and live music. It was created, produced and performed by lee williams boudakian and Kamee Abrahamian, directed and co-produced by Anoushka Ratnarajah, featuring live music by Haig Ashod Beylerian.
Napoli Act III & Sub Rosa
Presented by Oregon Ballet Theater
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.
Marginal Evidence (an interactive experience of dance-making)
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.
Seffarine CD Release Concert
7:00 pm October 18
Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta St.
Seffarine is a musical duo formed by Moroccan singer Lamiae Naki and oud player/flamenco guitarist Nat Hulskamp. Their repertoire varies from classical Arabic and Andalusian music to original compositions influenced by Spanish flamenco, classical Persian music, and American jazz.
The concert will feature live dancing and music by renowned international flamenco dancer Manuel Gutierrez and singer José Cortés, who come from a family of Gypsy flamenco singers in Almeria, Spain. They will be joined by local Persian kamancheh (spike fiddle) and sehtar (Persian lute) master Bobak Salehi, bassist Damian Erskine, Madagascar native and Portland percussionist Manavihare Fiaindratovo, in addition to the main duo Naki and Nat Hulskamp.