Beginning tonight with SpingSprung, a collection of performances based on the theme of spring, this weekend is a container for the full spectrum of dance offering—from beginning student performances to the focused lens of dance for film.
The thing I love most about Portland is how close together everything is, which makes seeing more performances possible. This past weekend I saw four shows; Hava, Traces, BodyVox’s Junior Artist Generator and Now Then: A Prologue. By the end of the weekend, I was exhausted but happy and satiated. I saw multiple generations represented, I saw courage, I saw risk, burgeoning ideas, experimentation, the juxtapositions of subtle small movement against big emotionally explosive movement, new venues with packed houses and enthusiastic, engaged audiences. And that wasn’t even all that was offered.
This weekend will be no different and it begins tonight: get going and have fun.
Performances this week
SpringSprung: A Night of Experimental Performance & Film
7 pm May 25
The Headwaters Theatre, 55 NE Farragut St
An eclectic evening celebrating the return of spring, curated by Portland sound artist Ben Martens and dance artist Mizu Desierto, SpringSprung brings together dance, film and sound. The evening will end with a dance party by SPAZ DJ Banzai, moving performers and audiences to dance into the wee hours of the night. Participating artists include: Kiel Moton, Megan Dawn and Luke Gutgsell performing contemporary dance solos; Meghann Rose, Mizu Desierto, Ben Martens, Stephanie Lanckton, Douglas Allen and company performing Butoh; Matthew Berry performing Butoh/drag; Kello Goeller curating live projection and sound; Hank Logan and Leah Baker performing acro dance (dance that combines acrobatics and classical dance),; and Laura Blake performing bellydance fusion.
Spring Dance Concert
Portland Community College
7 pm May 26
Sylvania Performing Arts Center, 12000 SW 49th St
This annual spring concert brings together dancers and choreographers from Portland Community College’s dance programs at Cascade, Rock Creek and Sylvania. The faculty choreographers showing work will be Leru Adams, Valerie Limbrunner-Bartlett, Sue Ceswick, Michael Galen, Taryn Johnson, Sara Parker, Tino Nozaki and Robert Turlington. The evening will be a mix of dance styles from modern to tap to ballroom and will also include a dance for camera film created by Heidi Dyer and Eric Nordstrom with original music by Portland artist Ben Martens.
Portland Community College offers a variety of dance classes for all levels taught by working professional dance artists living in the Portland area. The classes are inexpensive and offer consistent training with performance opportunities at the end of the course.
Directed by Gilles Brinas
Presented by The Shedd Institute
7:30 pm May 26
Silva Concert Hall, Hult Center, 1 Eugene Center, Eugene
Che Malambo is an all-male, Argentinian dance company that has adapted the dance style of the gaucho, or South American cowboy of the pampas, for the contemporary stage. Movements that were originally designed to emphasize agility, strength and dexterity among the gauchos is now high-energy choreography featuring rhythmic footwork, drums, singing and musical accompaniment.
OBT Dance Film Series
Curated by Oregon Ballet Theatre
6:30 pm May 27
Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd
If you were a fan of the movie Footloose when it debuted in 1984 or just like cheesy vintage dance movies, you are in luck. Footloose is playing once again on the big screen right here in Portland. Dress like it’s 1984 (don’t forget the big hair) to win prizes and join the dancers of OBT2 to learn the dance steps from the movie and strut your stuff down the aisles. Each screening will include a pre-show program with discussions, demonstrations and surprise appearances. Other films to be shown this summer are the Ballets Russes on June 22 and All That Jazz on August 6th.
Critical Engagement Series: Taka Yamamoto
8:30 pm May 27
Flock Dance Center, 8371 N Interstate Ave #4
Originally from Shizuoka, Japan, Portland-based artist Takahiro Yamamoto holds an MFA in Visual Studies from the Pacific Northwest College of Art and works in performance, sculpture, and photography. He was selected for Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s 2015 Creative Exchange Lab and a 2012 danceWEB scholarship from ImPulsTanz in Vienna. He also co-directs the performance company madhause with Ben Evans, and is one-fourth of the Portland-based group Physical Education with Allie Hankins, keyon gaskin, and Lu Yim.
Yamamoto will be performing his solo Rules of Engagement, which explores the combination of physical reality in the space and fictional reality in the mind. With the solo he is asking, “Can I allow my body and mind to be open to the effect of fictional narrative? What is the line between reaction and consequence?”
Yamamoto’s performance is part of the Critical Engagement Series at Flock Dance Center curated by dance artist Tahni Holt, which “brings together audiences and choreographers in hopes to reveal some of the mystery surrounding the languages around dance and the unique practices of individual choreographers. We start with the question: What does the choreographer need at this particular moment in their process and how might this also serve the wider community.”
Performed, produced, and created by Wilson High School Dance Students
Directed by Éowyn Emerald Barrett
5 & 7:30 pm May 28
The Portland Ballet, 6250 SW Capitol Highway Portland
Dance students from Wilson High School will be performing student choreography under the direction of Portland dancer and choreographer Éowyn Emerald Barrett.
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
Lan Su Chinese Garden, 239 NW Everett St
As part of the month-long celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month this weekend, the Kalabharathi School of Dance representing India will perform alongside Formosa Association of Student Cultural Ambassadors from Taiwan and Meiya Arts Education from China.
June 2-4, Improvisation Summit of Portland 2016, Creative Music Guild
June 4, The Shindig, Echo Theatre Company
June 9-11, Summer Splendors, NW Dance Project
June 10-11, Studio Company Debut, The Portland Ballet
June 12, Student Artist Showcase, NW Dance Project
June 16, Pretty Creatives Showing, NW Dance Project
June 17-18, Flyco presents: Casual Cookery, A-Wol Dance Collective
June 17, Risk/Reward Festival of New Performance
June 18, Rejoice! Diaspora Dance Theater at TedX Mt Hood
June 24-27, Alegria!, Rejoice! Diaspora Dance Theatre
June 25, Moving History: Portland Contemporary Dance Past and Present, A documentary film by Eric Nordstrom. Additional films by Carolyn Altman and Bonnie Merrill’s “Off Location”, “Waking the Green Sound” by Wobbly’s Yulia Arakelyan & Erik Ferguson, and Carla Mann’s “Ching”.
July 9, Ten Tiny Dances, Beaverton
July 9, Todrick Hall Presents: Straight Outta Oz