Double Difference

DanceWatch Weekly: To vogue and then to taco

Dance comes in many forms this week with films, cross genre collaborations, dance battles, a panel, Trisha Brown films, 65 dancing horses and tacos.

Are you a talented makeup artists, costume designer, voguer or waacker? If you are screaming, “Yes, I Am!”, then you could enter to compete in Critical Mascara: A Post-Realness Drag Extravaganza. It’s part of PICA’s Time Based Arts Festival and combines performance art, drag, and vogue to incite us to new heights of glamour and ferocity. If you aren’t sure what waacking is, Kumari Suraj, one of Critical Mascara’s newest co-directors, explains the dance form in her instructional video. Voguing, which is based on hand gestures, poses and turns, originated in the Harlem ballroom scene in the 1980’s and was brought to mainstream attention through Madonna and the documentary Paris is Burning, which chronicled the lives of LGBT African-American and Latino dancers in that scene.

Critical Mascara is broken up into two main categories: Looks and Moves. These two are broken down further into four sub-categories: Scrap Identities (hybrid-culture couture), Neck Up! (artface), Vogue Elements, and Waacking. Go to PICA’s website for more info if you are interested in entering.

Critical Mascara was created four years ago by Portland’s own Pepper Pepper—queen, choreographer, and performance artist. This year, Critical Mascara has added Isaiah Esquire, a dance artists well known in Portland’s drag ball scene, and Kumari Suraj, who introduced waacking to the masses on the reality TV show So You Think You Can Dance. The extravaganza celebrates community and creativity, and is a setting for diversity, agency, self-expression and fierce, powerful dancing.

While you are considering which category appeals to you, Voguing or Waacking, looks or costume or are trying to figure out how to take two weeks off of work to see all of the TBA events (which I will break down for you in September), you can check out this weekend’s performance offerings. They come in many forms: films, cross genre collaborations, dance battles, a panel, Trisha Brown films or 65 dancing horses—one of these events includes tacos with the price of admission.

Performances this week

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Photo courtesy of Ben Martens personal archive.

Headwaters Showcase #4: Video Art Edition + Tacos
Curated by Ben Martens in association with Water in The Desert
7 pm August 18
The Headwaters Theatre, 55 NE Farragut St, Ste 9

The proceedings include two hours of short films, music videos, dance for film, and animated shorts by regional and national filmmakers, and, of course, a break for tacos (included in the price of admission).

Ben Martens, who has been curating monthly performances at The Headwater Theater for several months now, is a poet, electronic music producer, emcee, mover, organizer and performance artist with an interest in revolution, existentialism, comedy, mindfulness and environmentalism. He studied Music and Performance at Naropa University and has been studying Butoh with Mizu Desierto since his arrival in Portland in January 2015. He and Desierto are hoping to rev up Portland’s performance community by bringing them together through low-cost, low-ambition, high energy community showcases. Martens is planning shows for September 27 and October 28, and is always looking for future performers, particularly performers of color and diverse ages, in theatre, comedy, dance and ensemble work. If you are interested in performing contact Martens at bensmateria@gmail.com.

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3 performances with movement + dance + sound. Photo courtesy of Takahiro Yamamoto.

3 performances with movement + dance + sound
8 pm August 20
Beacon Sound, 3636 N Mississippi Ave.

This single evening of cross genre collaborative performances features Jin Camou, Ayako Kataoka, Takahiro Yamamoto, Jesse Mejía, Jmy James Kidd, and Tara Jane O’Neil. Choreographer and costume designer Jmy James Kidd and multi-instrumentalist and composer Tara Jane O’Neil from Los Angeles, will perform Magical Diagonal.
Portland-based dancer and choreographer Jin Camou will present a solo that transforms the everyday into a heightened state. Dancer/experimental musician Ayako Kataoka, composer/engineer Jesse Mejía, and choreographer/performer Takahiro Yamamoto presents Circuitous, a trio that investigates the coexistence of multiple, performative states.

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Photo of Malik “Kilam” Delgado. Courtesy of ADAPT.

ADAPT 2016
All styles dance battle
A Mic Check! Event presented by: PSHA x APANO x AMP x ALLY
5 pm August 20
Portland State University: Smith Memorial Student Union (1st floor), 1825 SW Broadway

The event, hosted by Malik “Kilam” Delgado and accompanied by DJ Fish Boogie, will consist of preliminary competitions early in the day with the top 16 contenders competing one-on-one starting at 5pm. The competition will be judged by Isiah Munoz (Chapter1ne), Jireh Spoon (Soul Felons Crew, BDB, HOODZ), and Pandora (Style Elements Crew, Venus Fly, LXD, Step Up 3). The winner takes home $300 and a trophy.

“ADAPT is committed to connecting dancers of all backgrounds to inspire and further elevate the NW Dance community. Welcoming all experiences and walks of life under one roof to exchange through music and movement.”

Double Difference
Linda K. Johnson and Linda M. Wysong
3 pm August 20, Panel, Demolition & the Stones of Ross Island
3 pm August 27, Artist talk
Indivisible Gallery, 2544 SE 26th Ave
(Indivisible is open for viewing: August 20 and 27, noon to 5 pm)
In this gallery exhibit, Portland dance artist Linda K. Johnson and Linda M. Wysong, an environmental design and social practice artist, continue a 25-year, collaborative dialogue revolving around Portland’s layered and ever-changing landscape.

Odysseo
By Cavalia
July 7-August 28
The White Big Top, located at Zidell Yards in South Waterfront, 3030 Moody Ave
Combining 65 horses, special effects, acrobatics, dance, aerial work and live music under a big top, this equestrian ballet celebrates beauty in nature, transporting the audience to virtual environments around the world.

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Photo of “Spiral” (1974)-choreography by Trisha Brown. Photo by © Gene Pittman 2008.

TREES IN THE FOREST
A group show curated by Kari Rittenbach
July 23-September 2, 2016
Opening July 23, 4-6pm
Gallery hours Thursday-Sunday 3-6pm
Yale Union, 800 SE 10th Ave
Three videos of works by Trisha Brown—La Chanteuse (1963), Falling Duet (1968), and Spiral (1974)—will be shown on a loop at Yale Union as part of a curated festival by Kari Rittenbach. Rittenbach is a graduate of Yale University, the Courtauld Institute of Art, and the Whitney Independent Study Program and is a writer and independent curator based in New York.

The concept behind TREES IN THE FOREST: “Considering nature as a concept, structure, or formal subject, the exhibited works examine its cultural and social mediation, as well as “naturalized” systems of knowledge and power in the world at large. TREES IN THE FOREST takes an ecological approach to a disparate selection of recent art practices; it is an experimental survey of understudied territories in an era of routine environmental catastrophe.”

Upcoming performances

August 25-September 11, Visiting Alembic Artist Margit Galanter, Performance Works NW
August 27, Late Summer Harvest: A Showing of Two Works in Progress, choreographers Eliza Larson, Taylor Eggan and Daniel Addy
August 27, Open House, New Expressive Works
September 10, Collection, NW Dance Project
September 8-18, TBA: 16, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art

DanceWatch Weekly: A late summer medley

Clear the way for TBA, A-WOL Dance Collective in trees, student dancers from NW Dance Project, JamBallah NW, India Festival and Interview with a Zombie.

The last month of a summer, that has never really looked like summer so far, is near. The dance offerings are slimming down as Portland prepares itself for a new performance season that begins September 8 with Portland Institute of Contemporary Art’s annual TBA festival. Clear your schedules now for performances, workshops, talks and dance parties with artists from Portland and around the world.

This does not mean that fantastic dancing cannot be found right now, because it can.
This weekend you can find A-WOL Dance Collective dancing in trees, catch the next generation of contemporary dancers from NW Dance Project’s summer intensive, or travel the globe with three days of performances and classes with JamBallah NW, a festival focusing on belly dance that will partner with India Fest on Sunday.

Interview with a Zombie by Portland choreographer Jim McGinn opens for a second run tonight, but happily/sadly it is completely sold out. If you didn’t get your tickets in time (or even if you did) you can get an in-depth look at his thought process and the making of the dance in my interview with McGinn last week.

Also beginning on Sunday, ArtsWatch will run a twelve-part daily series called Everyday Ballerina: The Shaping of a Dancer written by former Oregon Ballet Theatre dancer and and dance writer Gavin Larsen. The series will disclose the real-life challenges, uncertainties and triumphs of a ballet dancer’s life.

Upcoming performances

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A video still of Kelly Koltiska and Dustin Ordway in Interview with a Zombie by Jim McGinn. Photo courtesy of Jim McGinn.

Interview with a Zombie
Top Shake Dance directed by Jim McGinn
Featuring Kelly Koltiska, Celeste Olivares, Dustin Ordway, and Rachel Slater
August 5-12
New Expressive Works, 810 S.E. Belmont St.
Jim McGinn describes the show as “a peek into some possible future of post-human adaptation to changing environmental and biological landscapes. Interview with a Zombie probes our response to pervading uncertainty by asking questions such as: what are the neo-neurobiologies that we shall soon inhabit? From artificial intelligence to supplemental mobility, how are we preparing for our survival? Who are the untouchables in our lives, and what possible paths of redemption are acceptable? Join in this dance as we create some strange new religion for our future.”

McGinn is the artistic director of Top Shake Dance and has been a staple in the Portland dance community for more than 20 years. He has performed with Linda Austin, Catherine Egan, Keith V. Goodman, Linda K. Johnson, Carla Mann, Mary Oslund, and Tere Mathern, and has created many works of his own.

Interview with Jim McGinn on Interview with a Zombie

Double Difference
Linda K. Johnson and Linda M. Wysong
4 pm August 13, Double Difference Celebration
3 pm August 20, Panel, Demolition & the Stones of Ross Island
3 pm August 27, Artist talk
Indivisible Gallery, 2544 SE 26th Ave
(Indivisible is open for viewing: August 13, 20, and 27, noon to 5 pm)
In this gallery exhibit, Portland dance artist Linda K. Johnson and Linda M. Wysong, an environmental design and social practice artist, continue a 25-year, collaborative dialogue revolving around Portland’s layered and ever-changing landscape.

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Art in the Dark: By the Light of a Different Moon. Photo courtesy of A-WOL Dance Collective.

Art in the Dark: By the Light of a Different Moon
A-WOL Dance Collective
August 12-16
Mary S Young Park, 19900 SE Willamette Falls Drive, West Linn
A-WOL’s Art in the Dark, is an annual happening in the forest, suspended from trees. This year’s aerial theatre production illuminates the potency of light, set to a commissioned score played live by musician Dirty Elegance. For a closer look at A-WOL’s art, check out their feature story from 2015 on OPB’s Oregon Art Beat.

Summer Dance Intensive Showing
NW Dance Project
7:30 pm August 12
Portland State University, Lincoln Performance Hall, 1620 SW Park Ave
Students from NW Dance Project’s four-week summer intensive will showcase the culmination of their hard work, performing in selected works from NW Dance Project’s repertoire, and in new works choreographed by members of the company.

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JamBallah NW instructor Rachel Brice. Photo courtesy of Rachel Brice.

JamBallah NW
Presented by Narcissa Productions LLC and Marissa Mission
August 12-15
Artist Repertory Theatre, 1515 SW Morrison
Bellydance, fusion and Indian dance will take over Artist Repertory Theatre in a three day festival full of performances, workshops, lectures and shopping. Check out the JamBallah NW website for the full schedule of events.

finale

Photo courtesy of India Cultural Association.

Indian Festival 2016
Produced by the Indian Cultural Association
11 am – 9 pm August 14
Pioneer Courthouse Square, 701 SW Sixth Avenue
Portland’s Indian Cultural Association will celebrate India’s Independence and cultural diversity with live music and dance and food from many different regions.

Odysseo
By Cavalia
July 7-August 28
The White Big Top, located at Zidell Yards in South Waterfront, 3030 Moody Ave
Combining 65 horses, special effects, acrobatics, dance, aerial work and live music under a big top, this equestrian ballet celebrates beauty in nature, transporting the audience to virtual environments around the world.

image_main2_22 (1)

Photo of “Spiral” (1974)-choreography by Trisha Brown. Photo by © Gene Pittman 2008.

TREES IN THE FOREST
A group show curated by Kari Rittenbach
July 23-September 2, 2016
Opening July 23, 4-6pm
Gallery hours Thursday-Sunday 3-6pm
Yale Union, 800 SE 10th Ave
Three videos of works by Trisha Brown—La Chanteuse (1963), Falling Duet (1968), and Spiral (1974)—will be shown on a loop at Yale Union as part of a curated festival by Kari Rittenbach. Rittenbach is a graduate of Yale University, the Courtauld Institute of Art, and the Whitney Independent Study Program and is a writer and independent curator based in New York.

The concept behind TREES IN THE FOREST: “Considering nature as a concept, structure, or formal subject, the exhibited works examine its cultural and social mediation, as well as “naturalized” systems of knowledge and power in the world at large. TREES IN THE FOREST takes an ecological approach to a disparate selection of recent art practices; it is an experimental survey of understudied territories in an era of routine environmental catastrophe.”

Upcoming performances
August 18, Headwaters Showcase #4: Video Art Edition + Tacos, Curated by Ben Martens
August 25-September 11, Visiting Alembic Artist Margit Galanter, Performance Works NW
August 27, Late Summer Harvest: A Showing of Two Works in Progress, choreographers Eliza Larson, Taylor Eggan and Daniel Addy
September 10, Collection, NW Dance Project
September 8-18, TBA: 16, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art