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Just Opened: In Good Company

A review of Northwest Dance Project's annual holiday show.


Right from the start, when Elijah Labay walks onto the floor wearing nothing but red velvet dance shorts and socks, you know Northwest Dance Project’s In Good Company isn’t going to be overly serious. The normally stoic Labay, whose portrayals often tend toward pain or distress, now alternates between deadpan stillness and a goofy, Dick Van Dyke smile. In short bursts, he snaps, twists ...   More
Monday, December 9, 2013 by AARON SPENCER

Live Review: Arcane Collective, Cold Dream Colour

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BodyVox, the Portland dance company that’s built a following around corny jazz numbers and a penchant for Tom Waits, is doing something unexpected. For the first time, it’s presenting an outside company, one that’s surprisingly different: the esoteric Arcane Collective.
The choice isn’t ...   More
Friday, December 6, 2013 by AARON SPENCER

American Me (Mizu Desierto)

Stars and stripes and spoon-fed absurdity.

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.

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

Live Review: Northwest Dance Project, New Now Wow


Northwest Dance Project is an asset to Portland’s dance community, serving as an incubator for new choreographers and a presenter of the city’s often remarkable talent. That said, its current show, New Now Wow, really shouldn’t have “wow” in the title.
Not that the show is bad—far from it. The collection of three contempo...   More
Friday, October 25, 2013 by AARON SPENCER

Live Review: Sydney Dance Company, 2 One Another

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As strides in technology connect us ever more seamlessly, we somehow grow increasingly isolated. Arguments about how texting and Facebook contribute to loneliness are making their rounds, ironically enough, in social media (See here,    More
Thursday, October 24, 2013 by AARON SPENCER

Live Review: Oregon Ballet Theatre, Dream


Under the tutelage of new artistic director Kevin Irving, Oregon Ballet Theatre presented two very different pieces Saturday night. Dream, the season opener for Oregon’s premier dance company, has something old and something new. The show opens with Nacho Duato’s Por Vos Muero, a contemporary contribution from Irving who has ties with the ...   More
Monday, October 14, 2013 by AARON SPENCER

Live Review: Compagnie Maguy Marin, Salves


Americans, and as dance presenter White Bird showed last night, apparently the French, have a preoccupation with the apocalypse. Even if you’re not the in the 41 percent of Americans who believe in an imminent rapture, media and pop culture constan...   More
Friday, October 11, 2013 by AARON SPENCER

Punk de Bourrée

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

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

TBA Diaries: Laura Arrington and Jesse Hewit, Adult


Laura Arrington wrote on her blog that she's not worried about her work Adult making sense. That's good—because it doesn't. For the piece, now at PICA's Time-Based Art Festival, Arrington draws from a number of inspirations about mortality and the meaning of life. I won't get into ...   More
Wednesday, September 18, 2013 by AARON SPENCER

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