DanceWatch Weekly: Erik Kaiel comes home

A Jefferson High grad returns home, BodyVox intersects with the Imani Winds, Rejoice! Diaspora Dance Theatre and so much more

Choreographer Erik Kaiel and his dance company Arch8, now based in the Netherlands, will be performing in his hometown of Portland for the first time since Kaiel graduated from Jefferson High School’s dance program in 1990.

After leaving Jeff, he spent a decade in New York City making dances in subway stations, sculpture gardens, empty swimming pools, city streets, and on stages, too. In 2003 he moved to the Netherlands where he is now the artistic director of Arch8 and Crosstown Den Haag, a choreographic fellow at Danslab, and a faculty member at the Artez Dance Academy in Arnhem. In 2010 he won both the Dutch national prize for choreographic talent and the No Ballet competition in Germany.

Presented by Boom Arts, Arch8 will dance an award-winning quartet, choreographed by Kaiel in 2012, called Tetris, a work specifically made for children inspired by the 1980s video game of the same name.

Erik Kaiel’s Tetris performed by his company Arch8. Photo courtesy of Arch8.

Tetris, the dance, uses everyday movement like walking, sitting, standing, traditional dance, complex partnering and acrobatics to mimic the game’s objective—to stack and fit different block configurations into an existing block structure to create a connected line of blocks across the screen. The dance aims to explore our connections with each other, with the larger world, how we build languages of intimacy and our private inner worlds. It’s meant for “the kids who can’t sit still, for the ones who like to climb the walls, and those who can imagine further than they can see,” it says in the dance’s description. If the description is the qualifier for who will enjoy the dance, then it’s a dance for pretty much for everyone, as far as I’m concerned.

In addition to three performances April 27-29 at the Multnomah Arts Center, Kaiel and Arch8 will also be presenting two workshops: one for teaching artists that focuses on opening up creative possibilities through movement based creative play and games, and the other, a creative movement workshop for children and their families that combines simple physical exercises, partnering practices, and improvisational scores that encourage self-expression and sensitivity to the world around us. No dance experience needed. For ticket and registration go to Boomarts.org.

Other performances this week include: Degenerate Art Ensemble, BodyVox Dance Company and Imani Winds, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Jefferson Dancers Spring Concert, Samuel Hobb’s Early which Elizabeth Whelan reviewed and you can read here, TriptheDark Dance Company’s My Turn: A Claire Underwood Story, BodyVox’s Junior Artist Generator, and last but not least Uprise by Rejoice! Diaspora Dance Theater. Details below. Enjoy!

Performances this week

Haruko “Crow” Nishimura of Degenerate Art Ensemble. Photo courtesy of Water in the Desert.

Degenerate Art Ensemble/Haruko “Crow” Nishimura + Joshua Kohl
Presented by Water in the Desert
8 pm April 25
Degenerate Art Ensemble: Student Performance/Offering
Presented by Water in the Desert
7 pm April 29
The Headwaters Theatre, 55 NE Farragut St. #4
7 pm April 29, Degenerate Art Ensemble: Student Performance/Offering
Degenerate Art Ensemble (DAE), based in Seattle, will perform a duet as part of the Butoh College performance series presented by Water in the Desert. DAE creates performances inspired by punk, comics, cinema, nightmares, and fairy tales and driven by their own style of live music and dance/theatre. The ensemble is made up of dancer/ vocalist/choreographer Haruko Crow Nishimura and composer/music director/conductor, Joshua Kohl.

“Degenerate Art Ensemble will perform scenes from a new work, including video created just two weeks ago in Bulgaria! This structured improvisation is research towards the coming premiere of their work Skeleton Flower, which will have its full premiere in the fall. The performance is part of a week long performance and teaching residency at the BUTOH COLLEGE at the Headwaters.”

Imani Winds returns to Chamber Music Northwest this week and will perform with BodyVox Dance Company.

In Motion with BodyVox-The Wind and the Wild
BodyVox Dance Company and Imani Winds
7:30 pm April 25
Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark St.
In town this week for a series of concerts, dance performances and educational and outreach programs, Imani Winds, a classical wind ensemble and artist-in-residence at Chamber Music Northwest (ArtsWatch’s Brett Campbell has the full scoop), will perform in a combined program with BodyVox dance company at Revolution Hall. The program includes BodyVox dances Sideshow, S.O.S., a trio of dances set to Chopin, and two Mitchell Rose/BodyVox films, Unleashed and Treadmill Softly. In 2013, dance critic Martha Ullman West reviewed their first collaboration in Chambered nautilus: BodyVox’s unsinkable classic which you can read here.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Jacqueline Green and Jamar Roberts. Photo courtesy of White Bird.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Presented by White Bird
April 25
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1111 SW Broadway
America’s first multicultural modern dance company, formed in 1958 by celebrated choreographer Alvin Ailey, will perform two different programs both culminating in a performance of Revelations; Ailey’s 1960 work that explores joy and grief using African-American spirituals, song-sermons, gospel songs, and the blues. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater now directed by Robert Battle, was formed to preserve African-American culture and give opportunity to African American dancers.

April 25th program: Untitled America, choreographed by Kyle Abraham in 2016; The Golden Section, choreographed by Twyla Tharp in 1983; Ella, choreography by Robert Battle in 2008, premiered by the Ailey Company in 2016; and Revelations, choreographed by Alvin Ailey in 1960.

Jefferson Dancers Spring concert April 26-28 at the Newmark. Photo by Blain Covert.

Jefferson Dancers Spring Concert
Artistic Director Steve Gonzales
April 26-28
Newmark Theatre, Antoinette Hatfield Hall, 1111 SW Broadway Avenue
One of Portland’s oldest, pre-professional dance companies based in the Portland Public school Jefferson High School, directed by Steve Gonzales, will showcase choreography by Gonzales, Jefferson alumni, and students.

Samuel Hobbs and Jessica Evans in push/FOLD’s “Early”/Photo by Jingzi Zhao

Early
push/FOLD
Music and choreography by Samuel Hobbs
April 26-28
A-WOL Warehouse, 513 NE Schuyler St.
Following the performance on April 28, Dance Wire founder and director Emily Running will facilitate a Q&A with the push/FOLD artists.
Featuring an original score and choreography by push/FOLD artistic director Samuel Hobbs, this evening-length/world premier combines Hobbs’ eclectic background in dance, partnering, martial arts, athletics, and Visceral Movement Theory™, a somatic theory rooted in the anatomy and kinesiology of the organs. The work, developed from a 2014 duet, will be performed in the round by dancers Jessica Evans, Briley Jozwiak, Holly Shaw, and Samuel Hobbs.

Hobbs performanced professionally with Lauren Edson, Lindsey Matheis, Éowyn Emerald & Dancers, Minh Tran & Co., BodyVox, and Rainbow Dance Theatre, and has shown his choreography throughout the Pacific Northwest. He also works as a Licensed Manual Therapist and Software Developer.

My Turn: A Claire Underwood Story by Tripthe Dark Dance Company. Photo courtesy of TriptheDark Dance Company.

My Turn: A Claire Underwood Story
TriptheDark Dance Company, Corinn DeWard, Ellen Margolis, and Diana Schultz
April 27-28
Chapel Theatre, 4107 SE Harrison St., Milwaukie
In collaboration with Portland playwright Ellen Margolis, TriptheDark Dance Company combines dance, theatre, and puppetry to discuss communication breakdowns in politics. Through the fictional character Claire Underwood from the Netflix series House of Cards, My Turn, reveals Congress’s struggle to work together to defeat corruption.

My Turn will be performed in the newly renovated, two-story, 4,554 square foot Chapel Theatre in Milwaukie, Oregon.

Junior Artist Generator dancer in a new work by Tracey Durbin. Photo by Mako Barmon.

Junior Artist Generator Annual Performance
BodyVox
April 27-29
Featuring an outstanding cast of talented young dancers, BodyVox’s Junior Artist Generator is a training program that fosters the development of a new generation of performers. This year’s program will include work by: BodyVox Artistic Directors Ashely Roland and Jamey Hampton, Alicia Cutaia, Darvejon Jones, Thorey Mountain, Tracey Durbin, Sara Parker, Katie Scherman, Rachel Slater, Ching Ching Wong, and Jenelle Yarbrough.

Erik Kaiel’s Tetris being performed by his company Arch8. Photo courtesy of Arch8.

Tetris
Arch8 (Netherlands), artistic director Erik Kaiel
April 27-29
Multnomah Arts Center, 7688 SW Capitol Highway
1 pm April 27 Workshop for Teaching Artists REGISTER HERE
10 am April 28th Creative Movement Workshop for Youth & Families REGISTER HERE
See above.

Rejoice! Diaspora Dance Theatre artistic director Oluyinka Akinjiola performing her solo Quiet Strength. Photo by Cameron Ousely.

Uprise
Rejoice! Diaspora Dance Theater, artistic director Oluyinka Akinjiola
April 27-29
Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center (IFCC), 5340 N Interstate Ave.

Rejoice! Diaspora Dance Theater presents UPRISE, an evening of choreographic works by artistic director Oluyinka Akinjiola and company members Michael Galen and Jamie Minkus, with musical guest Amenta Abioto and artwork on display in the IFCC gallery by by Intisar Abioto and Sharita Towne. The works, inspired by Angela Davis’ desire to see liberation movements become intersectional, address issues of power, oppression, and community.

The company is “an ensemble of multi-dimensional dancers and musicians that looks at tradition through a contemporary lens bridging our vast history with our complex present. Rejoice! weaves dances of the African Diaspora, storytelling and live music to navigate through issues relevant to today’s world.”

Akinjiola says, “There is a reclaiming of power when we value aesthetics from the African Diaspora. Our bodies and our stories are inseparably political.”

Upcoming Performances

May
May 1-4, SALT, Shaking The Tree Theatre
May 4, #INSTABALLET NO.24, artistic directors Antonio Anacan and Suzanne Haag
May 4-5, Reed Spring Dance Concert
May 4-6, The Space Between, Tempos Contemporary Circus
May 4-5, Let Alone, Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre/Northwest (HDDT/NW)
May 4-5, Current/Classic, The Portland Ballet
May 5, Lost in Perceptions, The Allegro Dance Company
May 10-12, New work premiere, Rainbow Dance Theatre, Western Oregon University, Monmouth
May 10-19, Rain & Roses (world premiere), BodyVox
May 11-13, Compose, PDX Contemporary Ballet
May 11-13, Alice in Wonderland, Ballet Fantastique, Eugene
May 12, Feria de Portland, Espacio Flamenco Portland
May 14, Noontime Showcase: OBT2, Presented by Portland’5
May 16, Ballet Hispȧnico, presented by White Bird
May 17-20, CRANE, The Holding Project, directed by Amy Leona Havin
May 18-19, Framed, Danielle Agami
May 18, The “B” Project, Durante Lambert and LYFE Dance Company
May 23-June 3, Closer, original works by the dancers of Oregon Ballet Theatre

June
June 1, #INSTABALLET NO.25, artistic directors Antonio Anacan and Suzanne Haag
June 1-2, J (()) Y by Leralee Whittle and a work-in-progresss by Mizu Desierto
June 2, Passages-The Journey of Our Ancestors, presented by the Tamburitzans
June 3, Shobana’s Trance, presented by Rasika
June 8-10, Up Close, The Portland Ballet
June 10, Coppelia, Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema Live from Moscow
June 14-16, World Premiere – Ihsan Rustem, MemoryHouse – Sarah Slipper, NW Dance Project
June 15-17, New Expressive Works Residency Performance
June 22-23, Recipe: A Reading Test (1983) and Raw Material (1985), Linda Austin
June 24, Salem World Beat, Rainbow Dance Theatre, Salem
June 29-July 1, Risk/Reward Festival of New Performance

July
July 6, #INSTABALLET NO.26, artistic directors Antonio Anacan and Suzanne Haag
July 27, Rejoice! Diaspora Dance Theater presents UPRISE, Washington Park Summer Festival

August
August 2-4, Galaxy Dance Festival, Polaris Dance Theatre
August 3, #INSTABALLET NO.27, artistic directors Antonio Anacan and Suzanne Haag
August 3-12, Art in the Dark: 10 Laws, A-WOL Dance Collective
August 10-12, JamBallah Northwest
August 12, India Festival, produced by the India Cultural Association of Portland

September
September 1, #INSTABALLET NO.28, artistic directors Antonio Anacan and Suzanne Haag

Join the discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *