Road trip! Seattle festivals packed with dance this June

By SANDRA KURTZ Seattle loves a festival.  Whatever the topic—food, film, music, boats—we’ve got some kind of event that offers city dwellers a chance to dive into their obsessions, and dance is one of those. In June, when a lot of dance communities are winding up the year with studio recitals, Seattle audiences are facing […]

Keylock company finds its footing

Portland’s Shaun Keylock Company staged its first evening-length performance this past weekend at New Expressive Works, offering contemporary pieces that demonstrate the emerging company’s aesthetic and interests, as well as founder/artistic director Shaun Keylock’s curatorial practice, which combines technical rigor with historical references and a queer sensibility. The bill featured two of Keylock’s pieces as […]

Linda Austin’s ‘Ordinary Devotions’ is a peculiar playground

Linda Austin looks for the extraordinary in "Ordinary Devotions." Photo by Jeff Forbes.

Ordinary Devotions, a new contemporary dance work by veteran Portland choreographer and performer Linda Austin, is meant to do two things: find glamour in everyday objects and honor the ordinary—and extraordinary—qualities of the aging body. Now 65 years old, Austin has had time to consider both topics. She has been a working artist for more […]

Compagnie Marie Chouinard’s sublime dance with the surreal

Compagnie Marie Chouinard performs "Henri Michaux: Mouvements." Photo courtesy of White Bird.

“Man not by abdomen and buttock plates or vertebrae but through his currents, his weakness what recovers from shock, his startings.” So begins a selection from surrealist French poet and artist Henri Michaux, who asserts himself in Compagnie Marie Chouinard’s current performance at the Newmark Theatre. If you’re familiar with Chouinard’s electric, transgressive, and sometimes […]

‘She never wanted to leave anyone out’: Bonnie Merrill, 1935-2019

Merrill's work We Gather was performed at the citywide Portland arts festival Artquake in 1994. Photographer unknown.

Generations of Portland dancers—with one conspicuous exception—turned out to see Minh Tran’s concert Anicca (Impermance) last weekend at Reed College. Tran’s work, inspired by the recent deaths of his parents, premiered just a week after one of his teachers, Bonnie Merrill, succumbed to leukemia on Valentine’s Day. Tran’s piece, already weighted with grief and memory, […]

Finding humanity at the intersection of contemporary dance and circus

Circa, Australia’s leading contemporary circus dance company, has chosen Portland for the West Coast premiere of Humans, which runs through October 13 at the Newmark Theatre. This is a smart show with lots of audience appeal; it’s family-friendly enough that there’s even a Sunday matinee. Artistic director Yaron Lifschitz describes Humans as “a report on what […]