DanceWatch Weekly: A late summer medley

Clear the way for TBA, A-WOL Dance Collective in trees, student dancers from NW Dance Project, JamBallah NW, India Festival and Interview with a Zombie.

The last month of a summer, that has never really looked like summer so far, is near. The dance offerings are slimming down as Portland prepares itself for a new performance season that begins September 8 with Portland Institute of Contemporary Art’s annual TBA festival. Clear your schedules now for performances, workshops, talks and dance parties with artists from Portland and around the world.

This does not mean that fantastic dancing cannot be found right now, because it can.
This weekend you can find A-WOL Dance Collective dancing in trees, catch the next generation of contemporary dancers from NW Dance Project’s summer intensive, or travel the globe with three days of performances and classes with JamBallah NW, a festival focusing on belly dance that will partner with India Fest on Sunday.

Interview with a Zombie by Portland choreographer Jim McGinn opens for a second run tonight, but happily/sadly it is completely sold out. If you didn’t get your tickets in time (or even if you did) you can get an in-depth look at his thought process and the making of the dance in my interview with McGinn last week.

Also beginning on Sunday, ArtsWatch will run a twelve-part daily series called Everyday Ballerina: The Shaping of a Dancer written by former Oregon Ballet Theatre dancer and and dance writer Gavin Larsen. The series will disclose the real-life challenges, uncertainties and triumphs of a ballet dancer’s life.

Upcoming performances


A video still of Kelly Koltiska and Dustin Ordway in Interview with a Zombie by Jim McGinn. Photo courtesy of Jim McGinn.

Interview with a Zombie
Top Shake Dance directed by Jim McGinn
Featuring Kelly Koltiska, Celeste Olivares, Dustin Ordway, and Rachel Slater
August 5-12
New Expressive Works, 810 S.E. Belmont St.
Jim McGinn describes the show as “a peek into some possible future of post-human adaptation to changing environmental and biological landscapes. Interview with a Zombie probes our response to pervading uncertainty by asking questions such as: what are the neo-neurobiologies that we shall soon inhabit? From artificial intelligence to supplemental mobility, how are we preparing for our survival? Who are the untouchables in our lives, and what possible paths of redemption are acceptable? Join in this dance as we create some strange new religion for our future.”

McGinn is the artistic director of Top Shake Dance and has been a staple in the Portland dance community for more than 20 years. He has performed with Linda Austin, Catherine Egan, Keith V. Goodman, Linda K. Johnson, Carla Mann, Mary Oslund, and Tere Mathern, and has created many works of his own.

Interview with Jim McGinn on Interview with a Zombie

Double Difference
Linda K. Johnson and Linda M. Wysong
4 pm August 13, Double Difference Celebration
3 pm August 20, Panel, Demolition & the Stones of Ross Island
3 pm August 27, Artist talk
Indivisible Gallery, 2544 SE 26th Ave
(Indivisible is open for viewing: August 13, 20, and 27, noon to 5 pm)
In this gallery exhibit, Portland dance artist Linda K. Johnson and Linda M. Wysong, an environmental design and social practice artist, continue a 25-year, collaborative dialogue revolving around Portland’s layered and ever-changing landscape.


Art in the Dark: By the Light of a Different Moon. Photo courtesy of A-WOL Dance Collective.

Art in the Dark: By the Light of a Different Moon
A-WOL Dance Collective
August 12-16
Mary S Young Park, 19900 SE Willamette Falls Drive, West Linn
A-WOL’s Art in the Dark, is an annual happening in the forest, suspended from trees. This year’s aerial theatre production illuminates the potency of light, set to a commissioned score played live by musician Dirty Elegance. For a closer look at A-WOL’s art, check out their feature story from 2015 on OPB’s Oregon Art Beat.

Summer Dance Intensive Showing
NW Dance Project
7:30 pm August 12
Portland State University, Lincoln Performance Hall, 1620 SW Park Ave
Students from NW Dance Project’s four-week summer intensive will showcase the culmination of their hard work, performing in selected works from NW Dance Project’s repertoire, and in new works choreographed by members of the company.


JamBallah NW instructor Rachel Brice. Photo courtesy of Rachel Brice.

JamBallah NW
Presented by Narcissa Productions LLC and Marissa Mission
August 12-15
Artist Repertory Theatre, 1515 SW Morrison
Bellydance, fusion and Indian dance will take over Artist Repertory Theatre in a three day festival full of performances, workshops, lectures and shopping. Check out the JamBallah NW website for the full schedule of events.


Photo courtesy of India Cultural Association.

Indian Festival 2016
Produced by the Indian Cultural Association
11 am – 9 pm August 14
Pioneer Courthouse Square, 701 SW Sixth Avenue
Portland’s Indian Cultural Association will celebrate India’s Independence and cultural diversity with live music and dance and food from many different regions.

By Cavalia
July 7-August 28
The White Big Top, located at Zidell Yards in South Waterfront, 3030 Moody Ave
Combining 65 horses, special effects, acrobatics, dance, aerial work and live music under a big top, this equestrian ballet celebrates beauty in nature, transporting the audience to virtual environments around the world.

image_main2_22 (1)

Photo of “Spiral” (1974)-choreography by Trisha Brown. Photo by © Gene Pittman 2008.

A group show curated by Kari Rittenbach
July 23-September 2, 2016
Opening July 23, 4-6pm
Gallery hours Thursday-Sunday 3-6pm
Yale Union, 800 SE 10th Ave
Three videos of works by Trisha Brown—La Chanteuse (1963), Falling Duet (1968), and Spiral (1974)—will be shown on a loop at Yale Union as part of a curated festival by Kari Rittenbach. Rittenbach is a graduate of Yale University, the Courtauld Institute of Art, and the Whitney Independent Study Program and is a writer and independent curator based in New York.

The concept behind TREES IN THE FOREST: “Considering nature as a concept, structure, or formal subject, the exhibited works examine its cultural and social mediation, as well as “naturalized” systems of knowledge and power in the world at large. TREES IN THE FOREST takes an ecological approach to a disparate selection of recent art practices; it is an experimental survey of understudied territories in an era of routine environmental catastrophe.”

Upcoming performances
August 18, Headwaters Showcase #4: Video Art Edition + Tacos, Curated by Ben Martens
August 25-September 11, Visiting Alembic Artist Margit Galanter, Performance Works NW
August 27, Late Summer Harvest: A Showing of Two Works in Progress, choreographers Eliza Larson, Taylor Eggan and Daniel Addy
September 10, Collection, NW Dance Project
September 8-18, TBA: 16, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art

Comments are closed.

Oregon ArtsWatch Archives