The dance weekend mixes heat with improv

Improvisation is the root of all movement invention. Some dance artists solidify steps they have worked for many hours in the studio to create; others prefer to leave it open to chance in the performance setting enjoying the freedom of possibilities. That is not to say that they too haven’t spent many hours in the studio inventing movement, because they have.

Composing while dancing or improvising will be happening en masse here in Portland starting on Thursday at Disjecta at The Improvisation Summit 2015. On the flip side, this week also offers a slightly more traditional approach to dance, with the debut of Moxie Contemporary Ballet Company, featuring guest companies Muddy Feet and Happydog.

On Sunday as the temperatures here in Portland soar into the 90s, PSU’s Dance in Film course will present “12 Variations,” which showcases an array of diverse, evocative, dance films.

“Improvisation is more about the thrill that comes from not knowing what it will be in the next moment or the next time. That dare is its lure.” Melinda Buckwalter, Composing While Dancing

Amanda Coleman of Moxie Contemporary Ballet/Photo by Lindsay Hille

Amanda Coleman of Moxie Contemporary Ballet/Photo by Lindsay Hille

A La Mode
Moxie Contemporary Ballet with guest companies Happydog and Muddy Feet
7:30 pm June 4
Newmark Theater, 1111 SW Broadway
MOXIE Contemporary Ballet, a brand new Portland dance company, will debut this week with three brand new pieces by the company’s artistic director Gina Candland. Also debuting new works will be guest companies Happydog, a multi-city performance collaboration between friends, directed in Portland by Muffie Connelly, and Muddy Feet Contemporary Dance Company, which serves as a platform for the development of new work by artistic director Rachel Slater, as well as other commissioned works by choreographers in the community. This is a great concert to attend if you want to keep track of the newest emerging contemporary dance happening Portland.

Improvisation Summit of Portland 2015, presented by Creative Music Guild
June 4-6
Disjecta, 8371 N Interstate Ave.
The Improvisation Summit of Portland is a three-day performance festival combining  dancers, musicians, filmmakers and performance artists. The dance bill includes such improv masters as Linda Austin (co-founder and director of Performance Works NorthWest),  Mike Barber (producer and curator of Ten Tiny Dances), Dawn Stoppiello (co-founder of Troika Ranch, a dance company that plays with the relationship between the moving body and technology), and newer dancers to the scene, Jin Camou and Taka Yamamoto.

PSU’s Dance in Film ll Presents: 12 Variations
3 pm June 7
5th Avenue Cinema, 510 SW Hall St.
Portland State University’s Dance in Film course, taught by Portland choreographer Eric Nordstrom, is hosting an afternoon of dance films from the silver screen era to now. Some of the selections include excerpts from Singin’ in the Rain, A Chorus Line and West Side Story as well as excerpts from documentaries on Bill T Jones, Pina Bausch and Paul Taylor, to name a few of the more illustrious dance makers on view. Sunday is projected to be a hot one with temperatures climbing into the low nineties. Disappearing into a dark cool theatre to watch the best bits of the best dance movies with a bunch of filmophiles sounds like a dreamy way to spend a hot afternoon to me.

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