Weekend Dance: They’re even dancing in trees

While AWOL Dance heads to the forest, lots of other dance action stays in town

This week in Portland dance news, Ching Ching Wong of Northwest Dance Project received the Princess Grace Award. She is the fourth dancer in the company to receive it. The Princess Grace Award was created by Prince Rainier III of Monaco to honor his wife, Princess Grace Kelly. The Foundation’s mission is to identify and assist emerging talent in theater, dance, and film by awarding grants in the form of scholarships, apprenticeships, and fellowships.

We congratulate our new honoree, and we think this is a good week to look for other worthy and amazing local dancers all over our beautiful city.

Galaxy Dance Festival
Polaris Dance Theatre
August 6-8
Simon & Helen Director Park, 815 SW Park Ave
Polaris Dance Theatre, founded in 2002 under the artistic direction of Robert Guitron, is newly installed in its brand new home at 1826 NW 18th Ave. Polaris is a contemporary dance company that focuses on accessibility through community performances, classes and outreach.

In its 3rd year, the Galaxy Dance Festival is one of those programs, bringing together a large swathe of Portland’s dance community with classes and performances at Director Park. The featured dance companies that will perform during the three day festival: Polaris Dance Theatre, Polaris Junior Company, Pacific University, Northwest Conservatory of Dance, Automal, Pendulum Aerial Arts, The Skylark Tappers & PDX Dance Collective, The Circus Project, 3rd Shift Dance, WHYTEBERG and NW Fusion Dance Company.

AWOL Dance Collective will hit the trees this weekend.

AWOL Dance Collective will hit the trees this weekend.

Art in the Dark
AWOL: Dance Collective
August 7-16
Under the Trees at Mary S Young Park, West Linn
Awol’s Art in the Dark, is an annual happening in the forest, suspended from trees. This year’s event will recreate a fantastical, Old World circus performance that includes lions, poodles, mimes, clowns, strongmen, a ringmaster and, of course, beautiful dancing aerialists.

This will also be Emily Running’s last performance with Awol. Running has performed with Awol for seven years and is the mastermind behind Dance Wire, a webpage dedicated to uniting the Portland dance community online, and she is a co-director of Conduit Dance.

Summer Works
Moxie Contemporary Ballet
11:30 am August 7 at Bite of Oregon; 7 pm  August 7 at Lincoln Performance Hall, 1620 SW Park Ave.
Moxie ballet is the newest dance company on the Portland block. Directed by Gina Canland, this contemporary ballet company and school rages against the “ballet body,” opening it’s door to dancers of all body types, mixing rigorous ballet classes with cross training.

The company’s first summer intensive concludes with two shows in one day, an abbreviated version at The Bite of Oregon, and a full-length performance at Lincoln Hall. Students will perform dances choreographed by guest faculty—Drew Jacoby, Doug Baum, Marie Zvosec, Katie Scherman, Michele Oliva, Jourdan Epstein—and expect an appearance by Moxie Contemporary Ballet.

Moxie Contemporary Ballet's Emily Schultz/Photo by Lindsay Hille

Moxie Contemporary Ballet’s Emily Schultz/Photo by Lindsay Hille

(Un)Made Solo Relay, Grand Finale
Linda Austin, Claire Barrera, Danielle Ross, Noelle Stiles and Taka Yamamoto
August 7-8
Performance Works NW, 4625 SE 67th Ave.
It’s Grand Finale time! After a six-month adventure that began in March with a solo created and performed by Linda Austin who then passed it down to six other performers like a game of telephone in relay fashion, is now ready for its final stages where it will be witnessed and performed by a group of movers and then performed again by Linda Austin herself.

Pure Surface
Julia Calabrese, Patricia No, Eileen Isagon Skyers
6 pm August 9
Valentine’s, 232 SW Ankeny St
Curated by Stacey Tran and Danielle Ross, Pure Surface is a performance series interested in 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 movement artist Julia Calabrese, writer by Patricia No and filmmaker Eileen Isagon Skyers.

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