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February 17th, 2010 KELLY CLARKE | Headout
 

China Is Here

A cadre of Chinese movers use old stories to push dance forward.

     
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IMAGE: Mr. Wang Shengsheng

Talk about cultural highs and lows. The same week locals can go cheer on Jack Burton as he battles Lo Pan in the ’80s flick Big Trouble in Little China (see page 51), they can also watch 34 movers from the Beijing Dance Academy Resident Dance Company translate 1,000-year-old stories into modern ballet marvels. “China has 1.3 billion people, so these are the crème de la crème,” gushes show organizer Hong Mautz of the dancers, many of whom had never set foot on U.S. soil before The Butterfly Lovers’ L.A. premiere last week. The touring show’s main piece, created by House of Flying Daggers choreographer Zhang Jianmin, puts a modern spin on The Butterfly Lovers, China’s answer to Romeo and Juliet. Unlike R&J Butterfly includes cross-dressing, thunderbolts and dancers performing incredible jumps while dressed in costumes with giant butterfly sleeves.)The show also boasts old-world/new-world dance mashups that take cues from Peking opera and Buddhism. “This is a new creativity coming out of China. When I go to China now I encounter young people [who are] brave in their sense of creativity. They do not fear censorship. Not like my generation,” Beijing native Mautz says. “They have found their own identity.”


GO: The Butterfly Lovers at Newmark Theatre, Portland Center for the Performing Arts, 1111 SW Broadway, 248-4335. 7:30 pm Tuesday-Wednesday, Feb. 23-24. $33-$64. Tickets at 877-784-4859, PCPA box office and ticketmaster.com.

Headout Picks

WEDNESDAY FEB. 17


[WORDS] THREE DAYS BEFORE THE SHOOTING
Ralph Ellison may be gone, but his second novel has just presented itself. Lewis Clark College, 0615 SW Palatine Road, 768-7000. 7:30 pm. Free. All ages.

[MUSIC] YACHT
You thought YACHT’s “Psychic City (Voodoo City)” was rad when the band was just a duo? Wait till you see what it sounds like now that Bobby Birdman and Jeffrey Jerusalem are part of the live show. Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St., 239-7639. 8:30 pm. $5. 21+.

THURSDAY FEB. 18


[VIS ARTS] ALEXIS MOLLOMO
Mollomoconfronts and exorcises the demons that haunt post-feminist women. 310 NW Broadway, 227-4333. Closes March 27.

FRIDAY FEB. 19


[SCREEN] HOUSE
WW movie critic Aaron Mesh’s own Beer and Movie Fest hits its perverse climax with a 1977 Japanese schoolgirl horror-comedy AP Kryza calls “one of the weirdest films ever crafted.” Cinema 21, 616 NW 21st Ave., 223-4515. 9 pm. $8. See review here.

SATURDAY FEB. 20


[MUSIC] THE DHARMA BUMS
One of PDX’s first major indie-rock groups plays a reunion show for all ages. Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside St., 225-0047. 8 pm. $15 advance, $17 day of show. All ages.

[MUSIC] SWOLLEN MEMBERS
Canada’s best rap export hits town just in time for the Olympics. Hawthorne Theatre, 3862 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 233-7100. 9 pm. $13 advance, $15 day of show. All ages.

SUNDAY FEB. 21


[CLASSICAL] THE PLAY OF THE VIRTUES
Classical vocal quartet FourScore stages a morality play by 12th-century nun/visionary Hildegard of Bingen with help from a 100-plus-singer pickup choir. First Presbyterian Church, 1200 SW Alder St., 228-7331. 2 pm. $8-$10.

TUESDAY FEB. 23


[DANCE] HUBBARD STREET DANCE CHICAGO
Stellar movers Hubbard Street perform a wild array of works, including a wall-slapping, body-slamming take on “Boléro” called Walking Mad from Johan Inger. Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, 248-4335. 7:30 pm. $20-$50. Tickets at ticketmaster.com.
 
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