Happy July! The perfect time for outdoor performances with sunny skies and warmer days. This month offers three outdoor site-specific dance performance opportunities, a deep exploration of the evolution of Middle Eastern dance, and a performance lecture by Emily Jones and Hannah Krafcik that delves into the origins of our aesthetics. Ten Tiny Dances® is back at the Beaverton Farmers Market with ten new dances on a four-by-four stage. And the aerial dance company A-WOL Dance Collective will be swinging limb to limb in trees under the stars at Mary S. Young State Park. New to Portland’s outdoor summer dancing is Laura Cannon’s exploration of “Break to Build,” a multi-media deep dive into the history and archeology of the historic shipyard at Zidell Yards. So put on sunscreen and comfortable shoes, and head out or in to see some adventurous summer dancing. Enjoy!
Presented by Narcissa Productions
June 29-July 2
Lewis and Clark College, 0615 SW Palatine Road, Portland
This four-day festival celebrates Middle Eastern dance and its American Fusion versions, featuring performances by regional, national, and international dance artists. The annual festival also includes a variety of classes for all levels, lectures, an artisan vendor fair, and curated evening performances.
The performances feature Amel Tafsout (Algeria/CA); Pynksy Shell (Mozamqique/Toronto), Esraa Warda (Algeria/New York), Ebony Qualls (Washington DC), Emilie Lauren (PDX), and live music and dance group Baksana Ensemble (PDX).
Ten Tiny Dances®
5 pm, July 8
The Round Amphitheater, 12600 SW Crescent Street, Beaverton
Watch ten different dance groups of varying styles perform on a small 4-by-4-foot stage, showcasing their limitless creativity. Established in 2002 by Portland’s renowned dance artist Mike Barber, Ten Tiny Dances® has become a popular fixture in Oregon’s dance community. The goal is to explore diverse choreographic options on a small stage, providing the audience a unique and engaging viewing experience. The dancers may perform on or under the stage, and the stage itself may be manipulated in unexpected ways, offering limitless possibilities.
Featured dance groups, choreographers, and performers include Ritual Azteca Huitzilopochtli, Akela Jaffi, Grace Eucker, Jazmyn Thomas, Mike Barber and Heather Perkins, Sweta Ravisankar, Sruthi Sathyanath, Deepika Padmanabhan, Taylor Eddleston, Addam Stell and TJ Yale, Bernard Okuley Tetteh, also known as Face King, push/FOLD/Maile Crowder, Briley Jozwiak, Holly Shaw, Summit Wushu Academy and Painted Sky, Inc.
Following the performance will be a talkback, where the audience can meet Ten Tiny Dances® founder and artistic director Barber, and the event choreographers and dancers, to learn about their experiences and the creative process used to produce dances for the tiny stage.
Emily Jones and Hannah Krafcik
6pm, July 8-9
Performance Works NW, 4625 SE 67th Avenue, Portland
In this performance lecture co-created by Portland-based dance artist, movement educator, bodyworker Emily Jones, and interdisciplinary neuroqueer artist and writer (Oregon ArtsWatch) Hannah Krafcik, the long-time artistic partners explore the mysterious connection between Aesthetics, our principles of beauty and artistic taste, and Intuition. Through interweaving sculptures, spoken text, and choreography, they explore how these preferences are developed, how they are affected by Context, and how they affect our relationships.
Break to Build
Directed by Laura Cannon/ProLab Dance
7:30pm, July 21-23 and July 28-30
Zidell Yards, South Waterfront, 3121 S Moody Avenue, Portland
Explore the history and archeology of Zidell Yards through the eyes of a dancer in this immersive, mobile show that incorporates movement, sound, and visual art. Inspired by rusty cranes and industrial relics, Break to Build director Laura Cannon, along with a crew of dancers, media artist Fernanda D’Agostino, and new music composer Jennifer Wright, explores the 33 acres of the former shipyard site slowly being taken back by nature and ponders our place in time.
Art in the Dark 2023: Drop of a Hat
Featuring a musical score and live performance by Anthony Meade
July 27th-August 5th
Seating begins at 7:30pm; performance begins at dark (9pm)
Under the Trees at Mary S Young Park, 19900 Willamette Drive, West Linn
During the summer, A-WOL Dance (short for Aerial Without Limits) performs its annual Art in the Dark show at Mary S. Young Park in West Linn. The dancers, suspended from trees under the stars, create a captivating performance that blends the tangible and ethereal with their twists and twirls through the treetops.
This year’s show, Drop of a Hat, features a group of everyday 9-to-5 workers who unexpectedly transform into a circus troupe. The production is filled with dreams and drama that often arise in large groups. Watch as a rebellious lion, love-struck aerialist, hapless magician, talented poodle on a Cyr wheel, and mischievous stagehands aim to steal the show. All of this takes place in the enchanting outdoor setting at Mary S. Young Park.