Kalabharati School of Dance

Photo First: Nrityotsava 2019

Ways to preserve: Friderike Heuer takes her camera to Kalakendra's showcase of 11 Indian dance groups and records how they keep traditions

Photo Essay by FRIDERIKE HEUER

Kalabharati School of Dance

I could have kicked myself. Here I am friends with one of the most formidable dance critics around, ArtsWatch’s own Martha Ullman West, and yet it did not occur to me to drag her with me to the dance performance I saw last Saturday. Just as well, though, since no matter how learned a tutorial I’d have gotten, it would have been but a drop in the vast sea of my ignorance about dance.

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DanceWatch Weekly: Ten new tiny dances

Ten Tiny Dance returns to the Beaverton Farmers Market with ten new tiny dances

Ten Tiny Dances is back! The performance concept, created in 2002 by Portland dance artist Mike Barber, has become a staple of Portland’s dance scene. And Saturday at the Beaverton Farmers Market ten new dances will squeeze themselves inside the four-by-four foot Ten Tiny Dance stage.

The dances will be performed on five stages scattered throughout the market. (A map of the stage locations is available online here.) Throughout its lifetime, Ten Tiny dances has been seen in many locations around Portland include PICA’s TBA festival and most recently out of town in Tempe, Arizona, Columbus, Ohio, and Houston, Texas, and has seen far more variations on its theme than performance locations. It has also showcased a large swath of Portland dance talent. This is Ten Tiny’s 8th year at the Beaverton Farmers Market.

Each year the choreographers grapple with new ways to fill the tiniest stage they will probably ever dance on. Most often the dances happen on top of the stage, but I have seen dances on the ground around the stage, under the stage. The most notable for me personally was choreographed by Angelle Hebert: A man with an ax hacked the stage around dancer Carla Mann to smithereens, leaving her with an even smaller stage to writhe around on—the tiniest stage of all the Ten Tiny dances.

Yes, figuring out how to dance on the 4-by-4 foot stage and dealing with its limitations makes dancing on it challenging, but that is exactly what makes it interesting.

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