Michelle Ellsworth

TBA dance: new forms and new connections

Reviews of three TBA Festival dance concerts: Alessandro Sciarroni, Michelle Ellsworth, Amy O'Neal

This year, I chose to see just three of the performance pieces offered by Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s (PICA) Time-Based Art Festival (TBA): Folk-S by Alessandro Sciarroni, Preparation for the Obsolesce of the Y Chromosome by Michelle Ellsworth, and Opposing Forces by Amy O’Neal.  For me, TBA is similar to standing in the cereal aisle at the grocery story; overwhelmed by the possibilities, I tend to chose none. Real life is also happening simultaneously, which makes seeing everything that I want to see, impossible.

So I did some choosing and I’m glad I chose what I did, I walked away from these performances with three vastly different experiences and many lingering questions, which is a good thing.  If a dance leaves a lasting impression, good or bad, the choreographer their job.

Some similarities between the pieces: each choreographer intentionally created ways to connect with the audience outside of the traditional audience performer relationship; all subject matter involved research around identity shared through social commentary context; all three choreographers successfully transcend established choreographic forms and created new ones.