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

Live Review: Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet

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Arts & Books
Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, an ever-popular company out of New York, is no stranger to popular culture: Emily Blunt was cast as a company dancer in The Adjustment Bureau. But its repertoire is at least high-minded in intent, as seen in a one-night performance Wednesday night, presented by White Bird, that featured three works by European choreographers. The first, Violet Kid by Hofesh Shechter, is ...   More
 
Thursday, February 27, 2014 AARON SPENCER

Live Review: Oregon Ballet Theatre, Reveal

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Arts & Books
Alison Roper begins Bolero with steely energy, surrounded as she was in 2008, when the piece premiered, by metal panels that gradually rise as Ravel’s snare drum-driven score increases in intensity. Within moments, Artur Sultanov bursts gallantly from stage right and rushes to her, completing the time warp to six years ago when the pair first danced the piece by Nicolo Fonte.  Sultanov, who at ...   More
 
Sunday, February 23, 2014 AARON SPENCER

Live Review: (a)merging (Program Nox)

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Arts & Books
The second weekend of Lindsey Matheis’ (a)merging compilation show is a lot prettier than the first. While the first weekend leaned more experimental—with such ornaments as rave rings and frying eggs—the second is largely straightforward, pleasant dance. The lineup of choreographers includes Princess Grace Award-winner Katie Sherman and Portland Festival Ballet dancer Emily Shultz, both of whom ...   More
 
Saturday, January 25, 2014 AARON SPENCER

Live Review: (a)merging

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Arts & Books
Although she couldn’t resist the allure of decorative punctuation and lower-case letters, the title for Lindsey Matheis’ show (a)merging is actually pretty clever. It’s succinct and whimsical, but also descriptive: “A merging of emerging artists” is a fairly accurate tagline for the compilation show produced by the Northwest Dance Project member.Arguably, not all of these dancers who performed ...   More
 
Saturday, January 18, 2014 AARON SPENCER

Live Review: Phillip Adams BalletLab, Amplification

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Arts & Books
Australian Phillip Adams created his signature piece Amplification after visiting a morgue in Melbourne. Two body bags from that morgue were onstage again last night in Portland, for the opening night of a three-night run presented by White Bird.The piece, created in 1998, is a great example of how inspiration for art doesn’t necessarily define the finished work. Adams imaged the choreography by ...   More
 
Friday, January 24, 2014 AARON SPENCER

Live Review: Pacific Dance Makers

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Arts & Books
Former BodyVox member Éowyn Emerald’s third installment of Pacific Dance Makers, which in concept is a showcase of Northwest talent, is really more about Portland this year. Seven Portland choreographers joined one from Seattle on Friday’s opening night for a show that included some real talent as well as some duds. The standout is definitely dancer Katarina Svetlova. Svetlova danced for seven ...   More
 
Saturday, January 11, 2014 AARON SPENCER

Live Review: Arcane Collective, Cold Dream Colour

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Arts & Books
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 random. BodyVox co-artistic directors Jamey Hampton and Ashley Roland danced with Arcane Collective’s co-founder ...   More
 
Friday, December 6, 2013 AARON SPENCER

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