DanceWatch Weekly: Light in the dark

A surprisingly busy week of dance lurks in the dark of winter

Portland dance performances this weekend offer light, intimacy, experimentation, new perspectives, and a slew of other wonderful and interesting things.

For starters, Portland based photographer-dancer-writer Intisar Abioto opens a new installation at The White Box. Then BodyVox performs as part of Portland’s Winter Light Festival, and Rainbow Dance Theatre from Monmouth, Oregon, will dance with technology for one night only at PSU’s Lincoln Hall. Butoh artists Meshi Chavez presents a new group of dancers from his nine-week workshop Being Moved, while Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe performs for a company fundraiser. Meanwhile, international dance artist Julian Barnett will perform at Flock Dance Center Friday night and lead a workshop on Saturday.

It’s a full weekend with many juicy bits to bite into. Enjoy!

Performances this week

Intisar Abioto
The Black
February 3-25
Opening Reception, Friday, February 3, 5:00 pm
University of Oregon, White Box Gallery, 24 NW 1st Ave
Intisar Abioto is a Portland based photographer-dancer-writer whose installation The Black is a photographic journey across 18 cities, seven countries, and three continents, that show the presence of people of African descent around the world.

The installation also includes Rehearsal at Portland Art Museum: In Response to Fujikasa Satoko’s Flow #1 by filmmaker Roland Dahwen Wu.

Photo of Julien Barnett courtesy of Flock Dance Center.

ODE 2 Fool
Julian Barnett (NYC)
Presented by Flock Dance Center
7:30 pm February 3
Workshop: Personal Poetics
12:30-2:30 pm February 4
Flock Dance Center, 8371 N Interstate Avenue, Studio 4
Born in Tokyo and raised in Northern California, Barnett has performed with Staatstheater Kassel Tanztheater, Keigwin’s & Company, Shapiro and Smith, Lar Lubovitch, Doug Elkins, Kevin Wynn to name a few, and is interested in creating “performances that explore the socio-political possibilities for transformation and empathy, through the lenses of choreography, philosophy, science, musicology, and the supernatural.”

In Barnett’s own words, “ODE 2 Fool offers an insight into practices that act as an ontological study of connection and resilience through the mechanisms of movement, singing, and language abstraction. The work explores the notion of ‘starting over’ as a mantra for the post-emerging artist, maneuvering through past, present and future in order to arrive at a new state of devotion. Part opera, part mantra, part lecture confessional, ODE takes on, taking on with the hope of finding deeper currents and callings to continue making and being.”

The Friday night showing will include feedback and discussion followed by drinks and snacks.

Portland Winter Light Festival
6-8pm February 3
The Portland Spirit
Portland’s BodyVox Dance Company under the direction of Ashley Roland and Jamey Hampton will perform So Dreamy on the illuminated Portland Spirit river boat as it cruises to and from the east and west banks of the Willamette river, as part of Portland’s Winter Light Festival.

So Dreamy was choreographed by Dan Schlosberg and Ashley Roland as part of the Pearl Dive Project, which gave choreographic authorship to a group of non-dancer artists.

Kúkátónón: let the good times roll. Naim Hason Photography

Looking Upward, Reaching Backward, Dancing Forward
Presented by Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe
Annual Gala Fundraiser
6-10 pm February 4
Madeleine Parish Hall, 3123 NW 24th Ave
Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe is a Portland children’s dance company founded by Rolia Manyongai-Jones in 1983, now directed by Dana Shephard, that focuses on inspiring confidence and vitality among the troupe’s dancers as well as broadening awareness of African and African American cultural traditions throughout Oregon.

The fundraiser will include performances by Kúkátónón dancers and drummers, as well as a traditional African meal and prizes in support of Kúkátónón.

SELFIE by Rainbow Dance Theatre. Photo courtesy of Rainbow Dance Theatre.

SELFIE
Rainbow Dance Theatre
8 pm February 4
Portland State University, Lincoln Performance Hall, 1620 SW Park Ave

Delving into the mystery of the self, SELFIE, created by former Pilobolus dancer Darryl Thomas and former Merce Cunningham dancer Valerie Bergman, melds dance and technology, using motion-tracking technology that allows projected images to respond to the dancers in real-time during the performance.

During the performance, audience members will become part of the show when they text their own selfies to the stage and see them appear during the performance.

Rainbow Dance Theatre, a dance ensemble based in Monmouth, Oregon, since 2000, performs and teaches worldwide, presenting work that celebrates cultural diversity, athleticism, technology, dance and theatre.

Timsila & the Cypress Tree. Photo courtesy of Meshi Chavez.

Timsila & the Cypress Tree
Performed by the Being Moved workshop participants
Choreography by Meshi Chavez with music by Lisa DeGrace and design by Yukiyo Kawano
February 4-5
The Headwaters Theater, 55 NE Farragut St

Inspired by Zen Koans (riddles used by Zen Buddhists to reveal deeper truths), and the Lakȟóta tribes’s creation stories, Timsila & The Cypress Tree examines the human condition through a journey into the unexpected, guided by a world of unseen spirits.

Being Moved is a nine-week Butoh performance intensive taught and directed by choreographer Meshi Chavez that culminates in a weekend of performances at The Headwaters Theater.

“It is my belief that performance is not just for the artistic elite, that everyday people are made of movement and within that movement is an inherent and profound beauty. With adroit direction and focus, the quotidian can, in an instant, transform into something moving and delightful.” – Meshi Chavez

Workshop participants are Mara Steen, Teresa Vanderkin, Jen Gwirtz, Nicole Walters and Joe Mclaughlin.

Performances next week

February 10-12, Cuba Infused: Featuring Stories of Ochun the Goddess of Love, Donna Oefinger, Axé Didé music and Dance Company
February 10-11, Cabaret Boris & Natasha, Presented by Performance Works NW / Linda Austin Dance
February 10-12, Interlude, PDX Contemporary Ballet

Upcoming performance

February
February 16-18, Faculty Dance Concert, University of Oregon
February 17, The Missing Generation, Sean Dorsey, Presented by Reed College Dance Department
February 18-25, Swan Lake, Oregon Ballet Theatre
February 22, Ballet De Lorraine, Presented by White Bird
February 23-26, Attention Everyone!, A-WOL Dance Collective

March
March 2-4, Cuisine & Confessions, Presented by White Bird
March 3, Local (not easy), Iris Erez, Presented by Reed College Dance Department
March 3-5, In Circadia, Eliza Larson
March 3-11, The Bacchae, PSU School of Theater + Film, choreography by Tere Mathern
March 9-11, Companhia Urbana De Danca, Presented by White Bird
March 10 – 12, TPB Studio Company Performance-Featuring dances by Anne Mueller, Jamey Hampton and Ashley Roland, John Clifford and guest artists from Kukátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, The Portland Ballet
March 16-18, Carmen, NW Dance Project
March 19, Duality, Presented by Rasika
March 19, BodyVox and Oregon Symphony collaboration performance
March 24, Shaping Sound, Travis Wall, Presented by Portland’5
March 24-25, New works by Alembic Artists Claire Barrera and Noelle Stiles, Presented by Performance Works NW / Linda Austin Dance
March 23-April1, Skinner/Kirk Dance Ensemble, Presented by BodyVox

April
April 4-5, Shen Yun, Presented by Oregon Falun Dafa Association
April 6-8, Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, Presented by White Bird
April 10, Noontime Showcase OBT2, Oregon Ballet Theatre
April 15, Synesthesia, BodyVox, TEDx Portland
April 13-22, Terra, Oregon Ballet Theatre
April 14-16, New work by Jin Camou, Performance Works NW Alembic Co-Production
April 25-26, Che Malambo, Presented by White Bird
April 27-29, Contact Dance Film Festival, Presented by BodyVox and NW Film Center
April 28-29, Appalachian Spring Break, Scotty Heron and Brendan Connelly, Presented by Performance Works NW / Linda Austin Dance

May
May 5-7, Inclusive Arts Vibe Annual Performance, Disability Arts and Culture Project
May 10, Martha Graham Dance Company, Presented by White Bird
May 26-28, N.E.W. Residency performance, Dora Gaskill, Jessica Kelley, Stephanie Schaaf, and Kumari Suraj
May 26 – 27, Spring Concert – Tribute to the Ballet Russes, Featuring work by Michel Fokine, Tom Gold, George Balanchine, and Lane Hunter, The Portland Ballet

June
June 8-10, Summer Splendors, NW Dance Project

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