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Crash Corset

A burlesque skeptic spends 10 sequined weeks learning the art of the tease—and how to make tear-away pants.


Dance
Headmistress Zora Phoenix wears 5-inch pumps and a black leotard. It’s a Saturday afternoon in January, and the drag queen is instructing us to walk to the mirror and “look sexy.” She demo   More
 
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 AARON SPENCER

Metal Machine Music (Kogut Butoh)

Lou Reed, with white kimonos and candlelight.


Dance
When Lou Reed’s album Metal Machine Music came out in 1975, critics assailed it as a contemptuous joke, a smack in their faces and an immature scrape with career suicide. Now, the album, a 64-   More
 
Wednesday, March 5, 2014 AARON SPENCER

Luciana Proaño

From Peru to Portland, with poetry and hammocks.


Dance
In 20 years of performing in Portland, Luciana Proaño has never gotten significant media attention. She acknowledges she could do more to promote herself, but by her nature—she improvises all   More
 
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 AARON SPENCER

3x3 (POV Dance)

Climbing up walls and sliding down banisters.


Dance
The last time POV Dance performed was in 2010, when the company balanced on windowsills and did handstands in the atrium of Southeast Portland’s Ford Building. The years since have been eventf   More
 
Wednesday, January 8, 2014 AARON SPENCER

The Nutcracker

Busby goes big.


Dance
The Nutcracker makes Busby Berkeley seem like an austere minimalist. Compared to that ballet’s sumptuous, self-satisfied bliss, synchronized swimming might as well be a hockey fight. Oregon Ba   More
 
Wednesday, December 18, 2013 MATTHEW KORFHAGE

American Me (Mizu Desierto)

Stars and stripes and spoon-fed absurdity.


Dance
When you think of butoh—if you think of anything at all—it’s probably bald guys in G-strings and white body paint staggering around like mimes on acid. That generalization bothers Mizu Des   More
 
Wednesday, December 4, 2013 AARON SPENCER

Float (TopShakeDance)

Cuttin’ a rug here, under the sea.


Dance
Swim instructors will tell you that floating on your back is a nifty trick for staying alive when stranded in a body of water. It’s an act that involves a sort of urgent calm: Either relax o   More
 
Wednesday, October 30, 2013 AARON SPENCER

Punk de Bourrée

How ballet and punk rock keep a Wisconsin farm boy from flying off the rails.


Dance
Growing up, Michael Linsmeier milked cows in rural Wisconsin. His family lived in a town of 1,600 people along the shores of Lake Michigan and grew half the food they ate. Linsmeier spent most o   More
 
Wednesday, October 9, 2013 AARON SPENCER

Alchemy (Lindsey Matheis)

Dance dance revolution.


Dance
Lindsey Matheis is trying to reinvent the way Portland does dance—at least this weekend. That she’s attempting it at all is surprising, considering her quiet, agreeable manner. “It’s not   More
 
Wednesday, September 4, 2013 AARON SPENCER

Light Noise (Lucy Yim)

Contemporary dance strips down and flops around.


Dance
On a Sunday afternoon, in a studio off Southeast Foster Road littered with old blankets, Lucy Yim turns from her dancers to me. “We’re actually going to do the run in costume,” she says.    More
 
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 AARON SPENCER
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