Oregon's premier ballet company is losing its premier ballerina. Alison Roper, after 18 seasons with Oregon Ballet Theatre, is retiring, performing for the final time this weekend. In this Celebrate program, she dances the company premiere of Nacho Duato's Cor Perdut, a dynamic pas de deux set to a lushly syncopated Turkish score sung by Catalan vocalist Maria del Mar Bonet. Young company member Jordan Kindell proves he has the chops to partner with someone of Roper's athleticism and sensitivity, and the two shape their bodies into ornate postures—backs arched forward, arms scooping up air—and move with carefree joy. The company also performs Petal, a vivacious and colorful piece by Helen Pickett that's like a court dance-cum-iPod commercial, and The Lost Dance, a contemporary piece with an edge that Matjash Mrozewski set on OBT in 2012. With the men in slender slacks and shirts that miraculously never come untucked, and the women in long, backless gowns, The Lost Dance bends back and forth between soulful electronica and a trance-party vibe. The dancers move with sex as their motivation, often crawling, often challenging each other with domineering postures. Roper, to no surprise, pops up again at the end of the evening. On that note, bring roses: You get to throw them as she takes her final bows.
SEE IT: Oregon Ballet Theatre is at the Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway, 222-5538. 7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday, April 24-26. 25-$142.