Welcome back to DanceWatch. The dancers are still here and they are dancing!
I know, I know, watching virtual dance performances isn’t the same as watching live performances, but who cares? This is where we happen to be. So let’s celebrate and enjoy it as it is, in all of its uniqueness. Someday we may even look back on this moment nostalgically, though I’m not taking any bets.
There are some benefits to these new viewing conditions. You don’t have to get dressed up and put on those uncomfortable shoes you only wear to performances. You don’t have to fight traffic and time and look for parking. And if you don’t like what you are watching, you can turn it off or switch the channel and no one will be the wiser, and no one will be offended. Sometimes you can even watch it again, if you want.
So get comfy, invite your friends (virtually), order or make some great food, grab a cold drink, ‘cause it’s really hot out there, and enjoy the virtual dance world brought to you by a whole lot of dancers who just want to keep dancing, no matter what!
Dance performances in August!
Virtual Last Thursday Online
Hosted by Last Thursdays On Alberta and Alberta Main Street
7-9pm July 30
Live streamed from the Blind Insect Gallery
To view go to YouTube #SummerofAlberta
Take a virtual art walk down Alberta Main Street and experience live streamed performances by African drummer Alex Addy; singer, songwriter and performer Justin Leon Johnson; and dance company Rejoice! Diaspora Dance Theater.
On the Alberta Main Street YouTube channel you can also dance and make masks with renowned multi-disciplinary artist Bobby Fouther, take a dance class with Rashad Pridgena, who teaches a remix of the Soul Line creating an African American line dance, and engage with a high-energy fitness class with Broadway dancer and choreographer Kemba Shannon, to name just a few options.
Virtual Obon Fest fest
Hosted by the Oregon Buddhist Temple
10-8pm August 1
Obon, also known as the Festival of Lanterns, is a summertime Japanese festival that joyfully remembers and pays tribute to the dead. It involves dancing (Bon Odori dances), visiting with friends and family, offering food to the ancestors, and hanging lanterns in remembrance of loved ones.
The origin of the festival comes from a story in a Buddhist text about a monk who had a vision that his mother was suffering in the World of Hungry Ghosts. Buddha instructed him to provide a feast for the monks returning from their summer retreats. Upon doing so, his mother was released from her suffering and he danced with joy. This joyful dance became the Bon Odori dances that people perform today.
In Japan, the Bon Odori dances differ from region to region and depict the area’s history, geography and trades. To explore the different Odori dances, click here!
Portland’s Obon festival streaming schedule:
10-11am ObonFest Service that includes commemorative lanterns and sutra chanting by Reverend Sugahara and a dharma Message by Reverend Sugahara.
6-7pm Obon Dance Radio Tribute on KBOO radio at 90.7 FM in Portland/104.3FM in Corvallis/ 91.9 FM in Hood River.
7-8 pm Virtual ObonFest (Zoom link to be announced)
Celebrating 10 years of bringing dance outdoors to the public, Polaris Dance Theatre goes virtual, bringing you eight hours of fantastic, prerecorded dancing, by a wide array of dance groups representing styles from around the globe.
The festival features performances by: West African Cultural Arts Institute, Chisao Hata, Rangeela Dance Company, Trainor Dance, Soomi Kim, Dance Inspired, Sébé Kan Drum and Dance Company, Sinha Danse, ELa FaLa Collective, push/FOLD, Noelle Simone, Polaris Junior and NEO Youth Companies, Manasi and Mahathi Sridhar, Echo Pro Lab, Sankalpa Dance Ensemble, and Polaris Dance Company. For detailed information on the companies, choreographers, and the works that they will be performing, please visit the event link here.
If you are unable to attend the LIVE event, a recording of the performance will be posted afterwards to the Polaris Dance Theatre Youtube channel.
Heidi Duckler Dance/ Northwest and the Halprin Landscape Conservancy present two short films created in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Keller Fountain. A fountain inspired by the waterfalls of the Columbia River Gorge, designed by Angela Danadjieva, a designer for Lawrence Halprin who was the husband of renowned post-modern dancer, Anna Halprin. It was dedicated in 1970 shortly after a series of violent clashes between police and anti-war protestors and became a symbol of the Portland community and the power of public space.
Following the films, there will be a Q&A with the artists and members of the Halprin Landscape Conservancy.
In a mindful approach that provides financial support to artists of color in the community, while centering dance and experimental performance, PWNW has created a Happy Hour on Zoom that features a variety of artists, twice monthly! The evening includes a cocktail demo (featured drink this week is the Moscow Mule), a toast, a performance, PWNW-themed Bingo, and prizes, of course!
This week’s featured artist is Alembic Resident Artist maximiliano whose multimedia performance will include video, audio, lighting, and space, with the intent to slow down and glitch the embodied narrative.
Celebrating India’s Independence and cultural diversity, Portland’s Indian Cultural Association hosts a day of music, dance, and culture from across India.
In this virtual fundraiser gala, #instaballet, directed by Eugene Ballet resident choreographer Suzanne Haag and Antonio Anacan, continues to reimagine the audience’s involvement in the making of dance. If you have ever wanted to choreograph a ballet or a musical score but aren’t a dancer, choreographer, or musician, now is your chance! The #instaballet gala program offers several ways for you to get involved. If you would like to dance in the heART in Motion Community Dance video, click here! If you would like to create a solo for the MC of the event, Bill Hulings, click here! All proceeds go towards paying artists and keeping #instaballet creating.
If you are interested in learning more about Instaballet and how it came to be, Eugene ArtsWatch correspondent Gary Ferrington wrote about them in 2015 in Crowd-sourced Choreography.
Stay tuned for a celebration of Oregon’s cultural diversity with postings of video activities, music, stories, dancing performances, and much more!
This week’s Happy Hour on Zoom at PWNW features2016 Alembic Resident Artist claire barrera. Barrera is a Portland-based organizer, educator and artist whose current projects include the zine anthology When Language Runs Dry, organizing for Brown Girl Rise, and a 2021 group performance about the transformation capacity of games. Barrera’s Happy Hour performance explores how play and games are a space for discipline, imagination, liberation and kinship for both youth and adults.
Take a virtual art walk down Alberta Main Street and experience live streamed performances by musician, singers, and dancers, as well as prerecorded dance and mask making classes with multi-disciplinary artist Bobby Fouther, a dance class with Rashad Pridgena who teaches a remix of the Soul Line creating an African American line dance, and a high-energy fitness class with broadway dancer and choreographer Kemba Shannon, to name just a few.
Out of town festivals to check out!
Emerge Fusion Dance Festival
Battery Dance Festival
The Dance Enthusiast
Dance performances and events from around the world listed by date.
A list of online platforms that are presenting performances, films, and talks.