Hofesh Shechter Company
's dance preview, here
) began in the U.K. in 2008, and has only made four trips to the United States—Portland was actually only one of two American stop on this tour. The Schniz grew hot and muggy on Wednesday, Oct 21 as the majority of its 2,776 seats were filled for the British company's performance of two pieces, Uprising
and In Your Rooms
. Out of the smoke in the dark, the dancers emerged, and only simple white lights illuminated them through the show.
, a piece for seven men, the dancers themselves were striking—a band of athletic, forceful dudes who looked as if they'd be as much at home drinking micros and squabbling over Blazers stats as they would sliding and gliding across the stage in their stocking feet. Their bodies held the audience's attention by fluidly switching between mechanical poses and curvaceous movements. At one point, the men formed a circle, affectionately patting the guy to their right until an overzealous member smacked his neighbor. Little playful moments like that kept the show fresh. In In Your Rooms
, flickering scenes of couples quarreling were meant to provoke ideas of vulnerability and isolation. Simple moments, like when the men made cocoons with their arms around the women in unison—only to watch their partners slide weakly down to the floor—were extremely moving.
Hofesh Shechter, who received the Critics' Circle
National Dance Award for Best Choreography last year, also composed most of the rhythms that pulsated through the performance. Dark and theatrical, this company is off to a very interesting start.
Photos of Hofesh Shechter Company performing in Portland on Wednesday, Oct. 21 by Chris Roesing courtesy of White Bird.