Night Flight Aerial & Circus Arts

October DanceWatch: The moves get spooky

The month in dance will haunt the senses as the choreography calls on the spirits

Happy Halloween my little ghosts and ghouls, welcome to the spooky October issue of DanceWatch. The veil between the worlds has thinned and dance is lurking everywhere, so beware…

This month, aerial company Night Flight takes over Lincoln Hall with creepy creatures flying about, and Ballet Fantastique sinks deep into the soul of Poe with the world premier of their new ballet, Nevermore: Stories of Edgar Allan Poe.

Oregon Ballet Theater celebrates its 30th season with three significant ballets that span three decades in OBT Roar(s), and White Bird begins its 22nd season with illusionist dance company Momix, German choreographer Sasha Waltz and Guest, and facile young tap dancer Caleb Teicher and Company from New York. 

Portland Dance Film Fest, directed by Kailee McMurran in partnership with NW Film Center, takes over the Portland Art Museum’s Whitsell Auditorium for three days, presenting dance films from around the world. 

New to the DanceWatch list is a performance that melds visual arts and burlesque by Lacy Productions, a world premiere circus production by Amaya Alvarado and Kate Law called Pole Disclosure, a 7-to-Smoke open styles dance battle, an Odissi performance by the renowned Odissi dancer Collena Shakti and her students, and a night of improv with Linda Austin and the Holy Goats. 

There is of course much, much, more to see on the list so look if you dare…

Week 1: October 1-6

The Value of the Black Ballet Star: Politics of Desire in the Economy of Institutional Diversity
Lester Tomé
6 pm October 3
Reed College, Performing Arts Building, Massee Performance Lab (PAB 128), 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd

In his lecture, dance scholar Lester Tomé will interrogate the ballet world’s move towards diversity onstage while simultaneously ignoring its colonialist and racist history and culture offstage.

Tomé teaches dance history and anthropology, as well as cultural studies, social theory and research methods in dance. He is an associate professor in dance and an affiliate of the Latin American and Latino/a Studies Program at Smith College and a faculty member in the Five College Dance Department. Tomé is the author of articles in Cuban Studies, and you can find his writing in Dance Magazine, Dance Research Journal, Dance Chronicle, The Routledge Companion to Dance Studies, The Cambridge Companion to Ballet, and The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Ballet, to name just a few.


Dance Weekend: SubRosa and ‘Sea of Dreams’

SubRosa explores self-criticism while Night Flight Aerial & Circus Arts goes underwater

Summer is finally here and with it the inevitable slowing down of the performance season.

Actually that isn’t true at all.

The summer part is, but not the slowing down part. I am happy to report that the dance offerings just keep pouring in. The creative juices in Portland aren’t slowing down anytime soon, even if it is hot outside. And of course the best place to be if you do need cooling off, is inside a theater. So really this is a weekly public service announcement to help you stay cool, because tickets to a performance are much cheaper than buying AC.

This weekend SubRosa Dance Collective will be collecting at the Headwaters Theater in North Portland showcasing an eclectic mix of ideas to movement. And fantasy will play out in Sea of Dreams with Night Flight Aerial & Circus Arts.


Save the date: Diaspora Dance Theatre’s ICONS, featuring choreography by Oluyinka Akinjiola, Uriah Boyd and Jamie Minkus, a PWNW Alembic Co-Production, and NW Dance Project’s Summer Splendors with Chamber Music Northwest will both be happening next weekend starting on the 26th.

Sea of Dreams, An Underwater Circus
Night Flight Aerial & Circus Arts
June 19-20
Alberta Rose Theater, 300 NE Alberta St
In this nautical adventure, Night Flight, an aerial and circus arts company, creates a magical, underwater fantasy adventure, with mystical mermaids, electrifying eels, creepy creatures of the deep, shimmering dancing lobsters and drowned sailors seeking lost treasure. The perfect watery illusion to keep you cool.

SubRosa Dance Collective
June 19-28
Headwaters Theater, 55 NE Farragut St., Suite 9
SubRosa Dance Collective is a contemporary dance company comprising seven eclectic, multi-talented women dancer/choreographers (0ne collaborates long distance from Japan). Formed in 2011, they work in dance, film, photography and live performing and have self-produced and performed in dance festivals throughout Portland. SubRosa strives to showcase how a “village” of artists can do so much more together, in tandem, in communication, and in support of and with each other.

SubRosa Dance Collective will be in action this weekend./Courtesy SubRosa

SubRosa Dance Collective will be in action this weekend./Courtesy SubRosa

The Collective, Carlyn Hudson, Cerrin Lathrop, Jessica Evans, Kailee McMurran, Lena Traenkenschuh & Zahra Banzi with guest artist Kate Rafter, Artistic Director of Automal, will delve into the world of self-criticism, “peering in at our shortcomings, our perceived gritty-bits of self that often lay like dim pools, untouched, mirroring a rendering of ourselves that is often fearsome and cold.”

Themes within the concert range from “the sometimes sadness of twerking” in Kate Rafter’s piece, “What is the Sound of One Ass-Cheek Clapping,” to an examination of the experience of women in the military by Cerrin Lathrop called “Good Citizen.”

If you’re lucky, you might be able to get a taste of baked goods in the air wafting over the train tracks to the Headwaters Theater from the Nabisco factory next door while you wait in line.