High Desert Museum Creations of Spirit Bend Oregon
Martha Ullman West
Martha Ullman West
Martha Ullman West
Martha Ullman West began her checkered career as an arts writer in New York in 1960. She has been covering dancing in Portland and elsewhere since 1979 for many publications, including The Oregonian, Ballet Review, the New York Times, and Dance Magazine, where she is a Senior Advisory Editor. She is a past-co-chair of the Dance Critics Association, from which she received the Senior Critics Award in 2011. Her book Todd Bolender, Janet Reed, and the Making of American Ballet was published in 2021 by the University Press of Florida.

Ballet review: OBT’s ‘Midsummer’ & more

Oregon Ballet Theatre opens its season with sparkling versions of Christopher Stowell’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Balanchine’s “Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux,” and Christopher Bruce’s “Hush.”

The Year of Living Cautiously

Dance critic Martha Ullman West looks back on a year of isolation and remembers moments of beauty that broke the spell.

All-American at the ballet

“Dance like you’re real people,” Trey McIntyre told the original cast members of his Robust American Love when he made it on Oregon Ballet Theatre for the 2013-14 season.  McIntyre’s take on the real people, particularly the women, who settled the American

Chauncey Parsons’ final bow

Chauncey Parsons, long dark cloak whipped behind him by the speed of his movement, makes an anguished, running entrance onto the Keller Auditorium stage, which is set as a medieval German graveyard, and flings the cloak aside as he kneels before Giselle’s

Stepping lively: Parsons Dance

On Thursday night I made my way down seven flights of cement steps in my building, plus God alone knows how many ditto steps leading from the Park blocks down to the Newmark Theatre, to see Parsons Dance, White Bird’s tenth show

Minh Tran’s journey to rebirth

When does the personal become the universal? That is one of several questions raised by Minh Tran’s Anicca (Impermanence), the Vietnamese-born choreographer’s first new piece in eight years, which premiered on Thursday night in Reed College’s Massee Performance Lab. Two years in

Fresh, vibrant, still the ‘Nutcracker’

Oregon Ballet Theatre has opened its current run of George Balanchine’s ®The Nutcracker at the Keller Auditorium with a meticulously detailed, swiftly paced, high-energy performance of a ballet that can be a chore for people like me to watch. And I say

Ballet dreams: stage for students

This is the season of visions and dreams and hope, whether symbolized by Hanukkah candles, Kwanzaa feasts, Christmas trees, fairies in snowy or summery forests, or budding dancers who stand at the barre in their various schools, doing their pliés and tendus

A Danish pastry, via Napoli

Teresina, the heroine of Napoli, is a woman for our time. Don’t believe me? Go see Oregon Ballet Theatre’s sparkling new production of August Bournonville’s signature ballet, which opens the company’s 29th season at the Keller Auditorium on Saturday night. With a

Warm hug from (and for) a giant

“Thank you, thank you. Now go home and do your homework,” Arthur Mitchell told 1,500 or so cheering children in the Keller Auditorium, his voice descending from the first balcony, sounding like the voice of God. Dance Theatre of Harlem, the company

Tripping on Memory Lane

A visit to Balanchine’s grave (and my mother’s). The departure of Eric Skinner for a new life in Chicago. A reunion of Pacific Ballet Theatre’s dancers. The death of Paul Taylor. These are the happenings of the past five weeks that have

Dancing in the Underworld

With its glorious melodies , menacing harmonies, and inclusion of music for dances that actually drive the plot rather than functioning as interludes giving singers a chance to catch their breath, Christoph Willibald Gluck’s 1762 opera Orfeo ed Eurydice has inspired some

American Ballet Theatre's new "Firebird." Photo © Gene Schiavone

Backstage at the Big Stage

NEW YORK – All New York’s a stage, and there is nothing “merely” about its citizens as players. I witnessed the following players make their exits and entrances in a packed visit to my hometown last month, in no particular order: Taxi

A lioness of the mind

I have been reading the many tributes to Ursula K. Le Guin, my friend of 52 years, who died on Monday at age 88, and they are, mostly, wonderful. They make me remember my own reactions to her work, as novelist, poet,

Portland Chamber Orchestra Valentines Day The Reser Beaverton Oregon
Portland Playhouse What I Learned In Paris Portland Oregon
Portland Center Stage Young Americans Portland Oregon
Boom Arts Okinum Hampton Opera Center Portland Oregon
Tualatin Valley Symphony Family Concert Featuring Star Wars NW Christian Church Tigard Oregon
Portland Piano International Solo Piano Series Portland Oregon
White Bird Dance Trinity Irish The Reser Beaverton Oregon
White Bird Dance Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall Portland Oregon
Profile Theatre Welcome to Arroyo's at Imago Theatre Portland Oregon
High Desert Museum Creations of Spirit Bend Oregon
push/FOLD at the Reser Beaverton Oregon
Triangle Productions Me & Tammy Portland Oregon
Eugene Ballet Petrushka with Orchestra Next Hult Center Eugene Oregon
Oregon Children's Theatre Dragons Love Tacos Newmark Theatre Portland Oregon
Northwest Dance Project Portland Oregon
Portland State University College of the Arts
Future Prairie Artist Collective Portland Oregon