Danielle Ross

DanceWatch Weekly: It’s a Rantum Scoot

A busy summer dance weekend issues an invitation to be here now!

It’s all kind of up in the air this weekend. Will it work or won’t it? Who cares where we’re going—it’s beautiful outside. Just relax. Forget about the destination or the drive. Let intuition take over. Be here now.

It’s that kind of dance weekend.

Enjoy the ride!

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Dance Weekly: Time to improvise!

The Improvisation Summit of Portland 2016 will go where no dancers have gone before

Summer is upon us and that brings festivals, festivals of all kinds, but most importantly dance festivals. I am biased, I know.

Summer festivals to me feel different from the regular programming of the traditional performance season. To me they encapsulate the qualities of summer—bright, festive, free and open—and they run the gamut of experimentation and expression. It is a time to sample many ideas in one place.

Opening on Thursday night, the Improvisation Summit of Portland 2016, curated by Portland dance artist Danielle Ross, features a large swath of the Portland dance community. Since its inception in 2012, the Improvisation Summit, a subset of the Creative Music Guild, has brought together dancers, musicians, filmmakers and other experimental artists to create improvised, one-of-a-kind performances. For me there is a feeling of electricity and risk watching dance artists create movement in the moment while they are performing. There is an aliveness and a deep listening that happens in their bodies that is not always present in set choreographed movement. This year’s summit is stocked to the brim with veteran improvisers and performers who are willing to take those risks.

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Dance Weekend: Doing it with improv

Two improv duets form Fun/Fuck at Performance Works NW, and Pure Surface turns 1

This weekend brings us more hot weather (I’m not complaining, really I’m not) and a lull in the Portland performance scene, giving us a chance to hone in on the two dance performances that are happening this week. Pure Surface, a vehicle for the intersection of improvisation, dance, writing and film curated by Stacey Tran and Danielle Ross, celebrates its one year anniversary on Wednesday, and Fun/Fuck, a new dance performance piece created by Lucy Yim, Takahiro Yamamoto, Linda Austin and Karen Nelson, premieres Friday.

Fun/Fuck
Lucy Yim, Takahiro Yamamoto, Linda Austin, Karen Nelson
8 pm, July 24
Performance Works Northwest, 4625 SE 67th Ave

Fun/Fuck will be performed as two duets of the same score, exploring the shape and power of those two words, fun and fuck.

The project’s choreographic score—sometimes used as a tool in the choreographic process to help shape an idea or used like a musical score that replaces notes with dancers, ideas, sounds or objects—came to life during a residency on Vashon Island, Washington, hosted by renowned dance improvisation artist Karen Nelson. The score will provide the framework for the dance and everything in between will be improvised. It will get all fucked up, in the words of the dance, and should be lots of fun to watch.

I thought it would be interesting to talk to Yim and Yamamoto and hear about the ideas and creative processes that brought us Fun/Fuck. I emailed questions to Yim who was performing in Morelia, Mexico, with Austin,  and then she emailed the questions and her answers to Yamamoto, who sent them back to me. This is that conversation.

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