Ten Tiny Dances is back! The performance concept, created in 2002 by Portland dance artist Mike Barber, has become a staple of Portland’s dance scene. And Saturday at the Beaverton Farmers Market ten new dances will squeeze themselves inside the four-by-four foot Ten Tiny Dance stage.
The dances will be performed on five stages scattered throughout the market. (A map of the stage locations is available online here.) Throughout its lifetime, Ten Tiny dances has been seen in many locations around Portland include PICA’s TBA festival and most recently out of town in Tempe, Arizona, Columbus, Ohio, and Houston, Texas, and has seen far more variations on its theme than performance locations. It has also showcased a large swath of Portland dance talent. This is Ten Tiny’s 8th year at the Beaverton Farmers Market.
Each year the choreographers grapple with new ways to fill the tiniest stage they will probably ever dance on. Most often the dances happen on top of the stage, but I have seen dances on the ground around the stage, under the stage. The most notable for me personally was choreographed by Angelle Hebert: A man with an ax hacked the stage around dancer Carla Mann to smithereens, leaving her with an even smaller stage to writhe around on—the tiniest stage of all the Ten Tiny dances.
Yes, figuring out how to dance on the 4-by-4 foot stage and dealing with its limitations makes dancing on it challenging, but that is exactly what makes it interesting.
Performances this week
July 7-July 24
The White Big Top, located a Zidell Yards in South Waterfront, 3030 Moody Ave
Combining 65 horses, special effects, acrobatics, dance, aerial work and live music under a big top, this equestrian ballet celebrates beauty in nature, transporting the audience to virtual environments around the world.
Todrick Hall Presents: Straight Outta Oz
Presented by Portland’5 and True West
7:30 pm July 9
Aladdin Theatre, 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave
This modern day version of The Wizard of Oz was created by actor, MTV star and American Idol finalist Todrick Hall. It tells the tale of Hall’s adventures traveling from his small town in Texas to the big Emerald City of “Oz Angeles.” While trying to succeed in the business of Hollywood, Hall dodges falling houses, wicked witches and the “Poppyrazzi” while re envisioning classic songs like Singing in the Rain to “Twerking in the Rain.”
Ten Tiny Dances Beaverton
Created and Directed by Mike Barber
10:30 am July 9
Dances will be performed on each stage simultaneously starting at 10:30 am, 11 am, 11:30 am, 12 pm and 12:30pm
Talk-back with performers on stage 5 at 1:00 pm
Farmers Market at Beaverton City Park, 12375 SW 5th Street, Beaverton
This year’s choreographers (two groups per stage) and locations are:
Stage 1 at Ava’s Roasteria, Mike Barber and Subashini Ganesan and NW Dragon and Lion Dance Association: Mike Barber, a contemporary dancer and founder of Ten Tiny Dances will combine forces with Bharatanatyam dancer Subashini Ganesan in an exploration of culture, race, abstraction of tradition and personal history in, History of Habits.
NW Dragon and Lion Dance Association will perform a Traditional Lion Dance, a traditional Chinese dance that is performed on auspicious occasions.The lion is a symbol of power, wisdom, and good fortune and chases away evil spirits and brings happiness, longevity, and good luck.
Stage 2 at Emily Andrews Studio, Def Con 5 and Tracy Broyles: Def Con 5, a Portland based b-boy group established in 1992, will perform Time, an exploration on the effects that the passing of time have on motivation and inspiration. Long-time Portland dance artist Tracy Broyles in collaboration with dancer René Soulier Smith, and musician Adrian Hutapea, will perform URGE WITHOUT IMAGE, a dance that summons invisible elements inspired by the “Duino Elegies” written by Rainer Maria Rilke.
Stage 3 at City Park, Meshi Chavez and Kalabharathi School of Dance: Butoh choreographer Meshi Chavez along with visual conceptual artist Yukiyo Kawano and composer/musician Lisa DeGrace will brings to life the mythical animal trickster Tanuki in the, sad tale of Tanuki, part fiction, part truth, part reality, and part dream. Tanuki asks If the forests, the earth and water is all being contaminated, who is being dishonest now?
Kalabharathi School of Dance directed by Bharatanatyam dance artist Sivagami Vanka will perform Chaturanga – The Square Stage. A dance based in the pure dance form of Bharatanatyam created by mathematically linking the 4-x-4 dimensions of the stage to the four beat tala or rhythm of Indian classical dance and music.
Stage 4 at Book Corner, Adam Stell and TJ Yale and Uriah Boyd: Combining rhythm tap, body music, and improvisation, the duo of Adam Stell and TJ Yale will perform Potion, a combination of all the things that they are thinking about and working on in this moment in time.
Uriah Boyd a Portland native and founding members of Rejoice! Diaspora Dance Theater, will perform Zombie, a work that symbolizes the act of revolution on an individual scale. With this work Uriah hopes to remind each individual community member of their inner power, and to inspire them to challenge the barriers and stereotypes in their lives—both internally and externally enforced.
Stage 5 at Library Lawn, Linda K. Johnson and Andrea Parson: Long-time Portland dance artist Linda K. Johnson will perform Trio A Pressured (after Trio A), an adaptation of the original choreographic work created by New York choreographer Yvonne Rainer in 1966. Johnson is a repetiteur of the work and will be performing a version of the piece, maintaining the elements of the dance that keep it historically intact.
Producer, filmmaker and costume designer Fuchsia Lin in collaboration with NW Dance Project dancer Andrea Parson and composer and pianist Jeremy Reinhold, will present Crystals of Transformation, a piece inspired by the research of Japanese scientist and author, Dr. Masaru Emoto, and his discovery of that water has the ability to retain memory in its molecular structure.
July 13, A Wake for Conduit: Celebration & Farewell Party, Conduit Dance
July 14-23, Death and Delight, BodyVox Dance Company
July 15-17, West Side Story, Hollywood Theatre
July 16, Un Jour Pina M’A Demande (One Day Pina Asked), Directed by Chantal Akerman, introduced by Linda Austin
July 16, Pretty Creatives Showing, NW Dance Project
July 17, Noelle Stiles, Veronica Martin, Chris Lael Larson, Pure Surface
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 29-31, 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