DanceWatch Weekly: Let the dance in!

Art transports us out of ourselves, allowing space for our imaginations, curiosity and connection with the larger world. With the daily barrage of horrible news, we need that right now. Look at the dance offerings this weekend as a prescription for the soul. Dancing (and witnessing dance) is healing, and offers new perspectives helping us disconnect from the daily grind. This weekend is full of experimentation and live music, trips back in time to visit artists no longer with us, and emerging choreographers and aspiring dancers. It is a full weekend. Full of talent, heart and energy to pull us through.

Performances this week

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BodyVox in Death and Delight. Photo by Michael Shay Polara Studio.

Death and Delight
BodyVox Dance Company
July 14-23
BodyVox Dance Center, 1201 NW 17th Ave
BodyVox and Chamber Music Northwest will team up for their eighth season to
present a double bill reimagining two of Shakespeare’s most popular stories: Romeo and Juliet and  A Midsummer Night’s Dream, set to music by Sergei Prokofiev and Felix Mendelssohn, respectively. There will be lovers and fairies and mischief and madness BodyVox style, performed to the piano playing of Melvin Chen and Hilda Huang.

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Rita Moreno in West Side Story directed by Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise, 1961. Photo courtesy of The Red List.

West Side Story (The film-1961)
Robert Wise’s adaptation of Romeo and Juliet.
July 15-17
Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd
Adapted from the Broadway musical and co-directed by Robert Wise and choreographer Jerome Robbins, this modern day retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet takes place on the gritty streets of New York (actually, mostly on a soundstage in Los Angeles) between two rival gangs, the Jets and the Sharks. Robbins, who received an Oscar for best director with Wise, is also well known for his choreography in Fiddler on the Roof, and for the ballets that he made at New York City Ballet and other major dance companies around the world. The film stars Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno, and George Chakiris among many other talented dancers and performers and will be shown on 70mm film which creates a wider sharper image allowing the viewers to see more detail.

Un Jour Pina M’A Demande (One Day Pina Asked) directed by Chantal Akerman. Photo courtesy of the Film Society of Lincoln Center.

Un Jour Pina M’A Demande (One Day Pina Asked)
Directed by Chantal Akerman, introduced by Linda Austin
7 pm July 16
Portland Art Museum, Whitsell Auditorium, 1219 SW Park Ave

In this film, director Chantal Akerman documented choreographer Pina Bausch and her dance company Tanztheater Wuppertal for five weeks while they were on tour in Germany, Italy and France. Pina Bausch was a well-known German expressionist choreographer whose work combined dance and theatre. Akerman was a Belgian filmmaker who worked in the US, eastern Europe, Israel, Mexico, China and many other places, making fiction, documentary, experimental and essay films as well as video and installation art.

Pretty Creatives Showing
Northwest Dance Project
7:30 pm July 16
Lincoln Performance Hall, 1620 SW Park Ave
Choreographers Luca Signoretti from Spain and Anton Rudakov from Russia were chosen through the Pretty Creatives International Choreographic Competition that Northwest Dance Project puts on yearly, to create new works in 18 hours for 36 dancers as part of LAUNCH; a program designed to give professional dancers an opportunity to work with the choreographers chosen from the Pretty Creatives International Choreographic Competition. The workshop culminates in an informal performance at Lincoln Performance Hall.

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Photo of dance artist Noelle Stiles. Photo courtesy of Pure Surface.

Pure Surface
Featuring Noelle Stiles, Veronica Martin and Chris Lael Larson
7 pm July 17
Valentine’s, 232 SW Ankeny St
Curated by Stacey Tran and Danielle Ross, Pure Surface is a performance series that 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 dance artist Noelle Stiles, writer and poet Veronica Martin and multi-disciplinary artist and photographer Chris Lael Larson.

Upcoming Performances

July 21-31, Cool Moves, Bro, 11: Dance Co
July 23- September 2, Three videos of works by Trisha Brown, La Chanteuse (1963), Falling Duet (1968), and Spiral (1974), Presented by Yale Union
July 28-30, In My Own Space, POV Dance
July 29, Dog Day Dance: A Futuristic Variety Show, Produced by Ben Martens
July 31, Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre NW at JAW Playwright Festival
August 4, Galaxy Dance Festival, Polaris Dance Theatre
August 5, Interview with a Zombie, Top Shake Dance directed by Jim McGinn
August 5-6, No Stopping Performance, Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre NW

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