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

Live Review: Polaris Dance Theatre, Homegrown

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Arts & Books
Five dancers, ribcages printed on their black tank tops, swing outstretched arms and jolt to a stop. The sound of mechanical clanking and whirring propels them backward, each reaching one leg behind as they hop on one foot. Then they fall and crawl away, panicked. The piece, Post-Op by company dancer Kiera Brinkley, is one of seven dances in Polaris Dance Theatre’s Homegrown show, playing its second ...   More
 
Thursday, June 12, 2014 AARON SPENCER

Live Review: Northwest Dance Project, Summer Splendors

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Arts & Books
The annual summer show from Northwest Dance Project, Portland’s standout contemporary chamber company, is a sea of airy turns and dreamlike reflection. The four pieces, two of them world premieres, have notable similarities in style and approach, even though they were created by four different choreographers. The first, How the Light Gets In, is a world premiere from Portland dance mainstay Carla ...   More
 
Saturday, June 7, 2014 AARON SPENCER

Live Review: Oregon Ballet Theatre, Create

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Arts & Books
“I’m a bit of a reality TV show junkie,” says Oregon Ballet Theatre artistic director Kevin Irving, holding a velvet bag tied with gold ropes, à la Project Runway. The dancers, wearing rehearsal clothes, stand in a line behind him. The two dancers whose names are selected from the bag will be the performers in a stunt that seems almost cruel: a public rehearsal, under Irving’s direction, ...   More
 
Friday, May 30, 2014 AARON SPENCER

Live Review: Ragnarok (Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre)

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Arts & Books
The shell of the former Rexel/Taylor Electric Supply building has become a graffiti-covered urban backdrop since someone set fire to the building in 2006. The four-alarm fire, fed by wire and other electrical components, all but destroyed the building, collapsing its ceiling and busting out its windows. Since then, taggers have covered the remaining walls with colorful and often elaborate graffiti, ...   More
 
Saturday, February 1, 2014 AARON SPENCER

Live Review: Oregon Ballet Theatre, Celebrate

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Arts & Books
So get this: At the end of this show, people throw roses. Roses! As if this were Europe! Point is, bring roses to this show, because you get to throw them.The show, of course, is Celebrate, Oregon Ballet Theatre's season closer and the last performance for principal dancer Alison Roper, who's retiring after 18 seasons with the company. Roper's been all over local media in the past few weeks, from our Q&A ...   More
 
Friday, April 18, 2014 AARON SPENCER

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