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

Live Review: Emio Greco, Rocco

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Arts & Books
Upon entering the Newmark Theatre for Rocco, a work choreographed by Emio Greco and Pieter C. Schoten that White Bird is presenting in its U.S. premiere, audiences will find a full-blown boxing ring on the stage. Part of the audience gets to sit ringside, facing two boxers, both dressed in shiny athletic shorts and dragging on cigarettes, who’ve already taken up posts in opposite corners. One slouches ...   More
 
Friday, April 11, 2014 KAITIE TODD

Live Review: Northwest Dance Project, Director's Choice

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Arts & Books
It was simulcast free to the public Thursday evening, but if you saw Northwest Dance Project's Director's Choice show live at the Newmark, you got your money's worth with nearly two hours of serious dance. Portland's leading contemporary company turns 10 this year, and artistic director Sarah Slipper's anniversary show is a selection of four works, including a premiere, from that decadelong ...   More
 
Friday, April 4, 2014 AARON SPENCER

Live Review: New Expressive Works

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Arts & Books
Studio 2’s New Expressive Works residency program, now in its third year, is developing a reputation for audacious moments—last year, drag queen Kaj-Anne Pepper taped back her penis in front of the audience, and in another act, Rosana Ybarra stuffed her mouth full of dried lavender. This year is no different, but also like previous years, the edge is tempered with milder material. The residency ...   More
 
Saturday, March 29, 2014 AARON SPENCER

Live Review: Stephen Petronio Company, Like Lazarus Did

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Arts & Books
The performance of Stephen Petronio's Like Lazarus Did is a special one for dance presenter White Bird, not because of the dance company—White Bird's presented Petronio six times, more than any other choreographer—but because of the live accompaniment by the Pacific Youth Choir. As the curtain rises merely a foot, just enough to show Petronio lying on his back in a black suit downstage ...   More
 
Friday, March 7, 2014 AARON SPENCER

Live Review: Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, Songs of the Wanderers

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Arts & Books
Abstract, expressive dance commonly seeks some kind of enlightenment. Butoh, for example, is often credited for changing lives with its agonizingly slow movement and grimaces. More difficult-to-categorize performance art has similar goals—if I may use a word as deliberate as “goal.” Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, presented by White Bird, abides by a similar rule, although perhaps more overtly. ...   More
 
Wednesday, March 5, 2014 AARON SPENCER

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