An international news and notes: Juicy, too

A night with Cedar Lake, Artists Rep's new season, Debra Beers, 'Tartuffe', Cappella Romana, Shakespeare's canon

Debra Beers, 'Cleo’s Farewell', 2013, at Lewis & Clark's Hoffman Gallery through March 9

Debra Beers, ‘Cleo’s Farewell’,
2013, at Lewis & Clark’s Hoffman Gallery through March 9

Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet breezed into Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall Wednesday night for a couple of hours and danced the living daylights out of three demanding and fascinating pieces.  Presumably, the company is winging its way to some new locale today where it will do the same.  If they were performing here tonight again, I’d change my plans and make sure I saw them, even if they were just repeating the same program, just to see the way the three contemporary choreographers employed those superbly trained bodies one more time. We have reached a new age of virtuosity on our dance stages, and choreographers who have grown up with it, know how to use to create effects and moods that weren’t possible before, in quite the same way.

I remember when Twyla Tharp pushed her dancers to the very limit in the ’70s, and I still love those dances and dancers. But this level of athleticism and technique, that’s another story completely. I won’t go into last night’s program at length, because, well, it’s gone. And if you saw it, you saw this apex dance company dancing the new international style brilliantly and compellingly. This isn’t the only way to dance, of course, but it’s what the major touring companies are doing, and though I may have some reservations still, I have to say I was delighted and moved by last night’s show, which included Hofesh Shechter Violet Kid, Alexander Ekman’s Tuplet, and Crystal Pite’s Grace Engine.

But we have so much more on the docket today!

Artists Repertory Theatre announced its season, and I posted it on our social media outlets (right: Facebook, Twitter and G+), but hey, maybe you didn’t see them (especially if you’re relying on FB). My eye went instantly to Blithe Spirit (sucker for Coward!), then The Invisible Hand (so many years in the planning), and then to all the promising new plays. And I can’t remember the last time I saw The Price (Arthur Miller seems pretty relevant these days).

  • Intimate Apparel, by Lynn Nottage, Guest Director TBA, Sept 9 – Oct 5, Portland Premiere
  • Exiles, by Carlos Lacamara, directed by Dámaso Rodriguez, Sept 30 – Oct 26, NW Premiere
  • Blithe Spirit, by Noël Coward, Guest Director TBA, Nov 25 – Dec 21, “Vana O’Brien in a role she was born to play as the eccentric clairvoyant who inadvertently summons spirits from the beyond”
  • Tribes, by Nina Raine, directed by Dámaso Rodriguez, Feb 3 – Mar 1, Portland Premiere, 2012 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play
  • The Invisible Hand, by Ayad Akhtar, directed by Allen Nause, Mar 10 – Apr 5, NW Premiere co-produced with Seattle’s ACT Theatre
  • The Price, by Arthur Miller, Guest Director TBA, Mar 31 – Apr 26
  • 4000 Miles, by Amy Herzog, Guest Director TBA, Apr 28 – May 24, NW Premiere, 2013 Pulitzer Finalist
  • The Liar, by David Ives, adapted from the comedy by Pierre Corneille, Guest Director TBA, May 26 – June 21, Northwest Premiere

AL Adams votes in favor of the Texas version of Tartuffe at Post5 theater.

Cappella Romana has been selected to perform at the signature event in the early music world next September. At the 2014 Early Music Festival in Utrecht, The Netherlands, the great Portland-based choir will sing their popular program, “The Fall of Constantinople,” featuring Byzantine and other music from the 15th century. This is a major honor, and ArtsWatch congratulates all involved!

To the north, the venerable Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle is having financial problems, and the question is can it change quickly enough to stay relevant? The Stranger’s report goes pretty deep into the politics and economics, and the comment thread is a doozy.

William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday is coming up April 23, and Portland theater companies are planning a doozy of a blowout. Two years long, in fact. Starting on that day and continuing until April 23, 2016 (the 400th anniversary of his death) the collaborative effort of the Complete Works Festival will stage every one of Shakespeare’s plays—37, by the project’s count. We’re going to be digging into this more as we draw nearer to the festival.

Erstwhile Portlander Katerina Kramarchuck, the promising young composer who graduated from Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute in 2012 and whose music has been performed at Chamber Music Northwest and in concerts by Portland’s The Mousai, has written a new wind quintet that’s being performed around the country by the Curtis 20/21 Ensemble. Unfortunately, no Oregon presenter has booked a date on the tour; the closest stop is Seattle.

David Brewster explains how King County in Washington is trying to support the arts in a big league way.

The Cardboard Citizens approach to reaching the homeless with a kind of theater that matters to them is inspiring.

The Ronna and Eric Hoffman Gallery at Lewis & Clark College is showing work by Debra Beers (above) and Ted Vogel. The catalog for Beers’ work includes an introduction by Ursula K. Le Guin: “Insulated in our humanity, we approach the reality of a fern, a mole, a root: in learning to see them, in seeing their intrinsic beauty, we may come very near to them, but can we touch them? A mystery remains. It is this mystery that Debra Beers explores.”

Comments are closed.