It's like a First Thursday Drive-In for dance. Northwest Dance Project, Portland's scrappy chamber dance company, is 10 years old, and it's celebrating the milestone by making its dancers bigger—50-foot projections of them will be turning and twisting on the side of the Jive Building this evening.
The performance, the company's Director's Choice show, will be going on live at the Newmark through Saturday for $36-$49, but with the video and sound from small speakers, you can technically see the show for free from the sidewalk. It will be simulcast at 8 pm tonight and rebroadcast at 10:30 pm. You can also watch the stream on the company's website.
"We like to break the boundaries, crack the walls of the theater open" says artistic director Sarah Slipper, who's put on previous performances in parks and other public spaces.
The show includes four works from the company's past 10 years, including Slipper's first work for the company and a new work she's premiering. That first work, 2004's A Fine Balance features dancers Andrea Parson and Viktor Usov navigating the stages of romance using a table and chair. Her new piece, which closes the program, is inspired by the Shakers religious sect and features its signature brooms. Both are loose narratives, an unwavering proclivity for Slipper over the past 10 years.
Two recent pieces by guest choreographers round out the show. Ihsan Rustem's State of Matter has Parson performing a whirling solo to poetry by Benjamin Wardell, and Patrick Delcroix's Harmonie Défigurée features a group of what Delcroix calls "nasty girls" that try to steal men away from their women. Slipper says it's impossible to distill 10 years and 160 pieces into one show, but that wasn't exactly her goal, either.
"It's our gift back to the city," says Slipper. "I want someone to happen upon it and say, 'Cool. This is why I live here.'"