Live Review: TopShakeDance, A-bout

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Arts & Books
“Put those elbows in!” the coach shouts at the wrestler on the mat who, pinned to the floor and in a headlock, shakes in struggle. Her opponent holds the pose tight before being suddenly knocked onto the floor with an unexpected move, and the crowd chatters amidst shrill whistles and cheers.  This isn’t the scene at some Friday night wrestling match—instead, it’s the opening sequence ...   More
 
Saturday, November 15, 2014 KAITIE TODD

Live Review: Polaris Dance Theatre, Word

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Arts & Books
Is the pen mightier than the score? That’s a question that surfaces during Polaris Dance Theatre’s season opener, Word, which plays with movement set to the cadence and rhythm of spoken word. The texts are by the likes of Maya Angelou and Samuel Beckett, as well as by local writers including Claire Willett and high-school student Sophie Mautz. Word consists of short vignettes and longer works—14 ...   More
 
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 KAITIE TODD

Live Review: BalletBoyz, Serpent and Fallen

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Arts & Books
For a company called BalletBoyz, the dancers aren't really what you'd expect. Either bringing to mind cheesy '90s dance routines or rigid, classical all-male ballet, the United Kingdom-based dance company—founded by former Royal Ballet dancers Michael Nunn and William Trevitt—instead opts for something entirely different. Neither cheesy nor rigid, BalletBoyz are a group of 10 male dancers with ...   More
 
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 KAITIE TODD

Live Review: Allie Hankins, Like a Sun that Pours Forth Light but Never Warmth

Dance Review: Allie Hankins, Like a Sun that Pours Forth Light but Never Warmth

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Arts & Books
Experimental dancer Allie Hankins might be quick to stress the differences between herself and Vaslav Nijinsky, the notoriously troubled 20th-century Russian ballet dancer who inspired her latest performance. But her hourlong solo, titled Like a Sun that Pours Forth Light but Never Warmth, presents a compelling and often hypnotizing look into the iconic moves of her legendary muse and the struggle ...   More
 
Saturday, October 25, 2014 KAITIE TODD

Live Review: Northwest Dance Project, New Now Wow!

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Arts & Books
Northwest Dance Project’s season opener showcases three world premieres from local and international choreographers, incorporating contemporary movement with classical elements. The title of the show, New Now Wow!, might be a little hacky, but in this case, it's a name well-deserved. The evening opens with Yin Yue’s Between Rise and Fall, which sends the audience into a dark world. It ...   More
 
Saturday, October 25, 2014 KAITIE TODD

Live Review: Oregon Ballet Theatre, OBT/25

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Arts & Books
Oregon Ballet Theatre is turning 25, and it wants to celebrate. The company’s season opener, OBT/25, acts as its party, and with it comes a reflective mix of past works paired alongside a world premiere. This, understandably, leads to a night of truly diverse dances, all connected by a common feeling of festivity. One thing is for sure: OBT knows how to throw a party. Artistic director ...   More
 
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 KAITIE TODD

Live Review: Diavolo

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Arts & Books
Watching the dance company Diavolo is kind of like watching someone work through a recipe—at least that’s what artistic director Jacques Heim said at the beginning of the company’s Portland performance on Thursday. The ingredients: part everyday movement and part ballet, hip-hop, martial arts and breakdancing, with a dash of architectural structures thrown into the mix. Toss these together, ...   More
 
Friday, October 10, 2014 KAITIE TODD

Live Review: New Expressive Works, Studio 2

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Arts & Books
For the second time this year, Studio 2 this past weekend showcased the work of four artists-in-residency. For a collection of work from different dancers with different backgrounds, this fall edition of New Expressive Works finds a common focus in themes of femininity, motherhood, growing up and sexuality. The show opens with local choreographer Muffie Connelly’s piece LADY PARTS, a modern ...   More
 
Monday, September 29, 2014 KAITIE TODD

Live Review: Conduit Dance, Dance+ (Program 2)

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Arts & Books
When many people think of dance, they think of pretty ballet, or they imagine the high-energy, Top 40-driven human body tricks on So You Think You Can Dance. In Portland, though, much of the dance isn't like either of those. Dance here is more often a mind experiment, a cerebral exercise in the flow of consciousness and the oft-cited “human condition.” It can be tempting, then, for audiences to ...   More
 
Friday, July 18, 2014 by Aaron Spencer

Live Review: Conduit Dance, Dance+ (Program 1)

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Arts & Books
The Dance+ festival, which community dance hub Conduit is presenting for a third year, encourages collaboration between dancers and other artists—sculptors, sound engineers, video game designers, etc. Multimedia shows aren’t uncommon, but the pieces in the Dance+ festival unite art forms rather than juxtaposing them.  In the festival's first program, which runs this weekend, interactive ...   More
 
Friday, July 11, 2014 AARON SPENCER

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