Iris Erez

DanceWatch Weekly: Dance that travels

This week's performances move back in time, into our minds, to alternate states of reality, and to different countries around the world

This weekend’s performances offer us a chance to travel—back in time, into our minds, to alternate states of reality, and to different countries around the world. It’s a chance to experience the world through others’ lived experiences.

Beginning this weekend’s journey will be the The Bacchae, performed by the Portland State University School of Theater and Film with choreography by Tere Mathern. Next up on the itinerary will be White Bird’s performance of Cuisine & Confessions, during which the 7 Fingers Creation Collective from Quebec will cook and dance for us in real time. Then we will meet Iris Erez from Israel, who will dance about identity and place. Portland choreographer and scholar Eliza Larson’s caste of seven dancers will take us to dreamland in her new work In Circadia. We will dance battle with Bang Bang Boogie Vol. 5 at Center Space. Next, travel on to India/Portland with the Nritya Shubha Dance Festival, which will debut five styles of classical Indian dance at the Alberta Rose Theatre.

All of this traveling right here at your fingertips, and you didn’t even have to leave your own city, pack a bag, or renew your passport. You’re welcome. Enjoy!

Performances this week

Cuisine & Confessions. Photo courtesy of White Bird.

Cuisine & Confessions
The 7 Fingers Creation Collective, Montreal, Quebec
Presented by White Bird
March 2-4
The Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway
This nine-member ensemble will cook live on stage while dancing, performing acrobatic feats, and telling tales of family and food. Cuisine & Confessions draws on the idea that food, like DNA, contains our memories of family and place. Those memories are evoked through the tastes, smells, and textures of the food we eat, and that life, like cooking, is inherently messy.

Three interesting things to know about the show: all of the stories told during the performance are true, the set is inspired by the cast’s own home kitchens, and the cast members take turns washing the dishes after each show.

The Bacchae
Written by Euripides, translated by William Arrowsmith
Portland State University School of Theater and Film
Choreography by Tere Mathern
Music composed by Matthew Andrews
March 2-11
Low cost preview March 2
Portland State University, Lincoln Performance Hall, 1620 SW Park Ave
The Bacchae, an ancient Greek tragedy written almost 2500 year ago, is still strangely relevant today, as it grapples with the opposing sides of human nature—the rational, civilized side and the instinctive, animalistic side. With choreography by Portland choreographer Tere Mathern and original music composed by Matthew Andrews, this play promises to shed new light on ancient topics through a modern-day lens.

Local (not easy) by Iris Erez. Photo courtesy of Reed College Dance Department.

Local (not easy)
Iris Erez
Presented by Reed College Dance Department
March 3-4
Reed College, Massee Performance Lab, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd
Israeli dance artist Iris Erez, a former dancer with Inbal Pinto and Yasmeen Godder, will perform Local (not easy), a solo study on how space constructs the activity of body within it. Erez says, “As one who moved from the city to the village, from the beach to the mountain, from the bubble to the borderline, from singlehood to motherhood—I wish to discover how does space influence me and how does it make me who I am.”

In Circadia
Eliza Larson/Fault Line Dance
March 3-5
BodyVox Dance Center, 1201 NW 17th Ave
Originally inspired by her own insomnia and her out-of-step circadian rhythm, Portland choreographer and scholar Eliza Larson (recently seen in Tahni Holt’s Sensation/Disorientation), explores the dream state—where reality and fiction are intertwined, and the impossibilities become possible—in a new work for seven dancers (Katie Burks, Taylor Eggan, Sara Himmelman, Erin Kraemer, Eliza Larson, Ella Matweyou, and Ruth Nelson). The work shifts between improvisation and choreographic design tapping into the body’s innate, fluid ability to move between different states of being.


Bang Bang Boogie Vol. 5
Dance Battle Produced by Donna Mation
March 4
Doors open 5pm, prelims start at 6pm
Center Space Studio, 420 SE 6th Ave
Donna Mation, owner of Center Space Studio, artistic director of Axé Didé Music and Dance Company, and dancer extraordinaire in a multitude of styles, is uniting the NW street-dance community through regular, themed, dance battles. This month’s battle theme is Bonnie and Clyde—dancers partner up and battle against other dynamic duos for cash prizes. The magic is in the moment in this evening of improvised performances.

Dancers Maya Dhananjay and Mudra Dhananjay. Photo courtesy of Nritya Shubha Dance Festival.

Nritya Shubha Dance Festival
A Unique Confluence Of Indian Classical Dance
Presented by Yashaswini Yaghuram and Alberta Rose Theatre
5 pm March 5
Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta St
India’s history goes back thousands of years and its keepers of cultural history were the Brahmins (a station in the Hindu caste system whose job it is to perform religious rituals and to act as an intermediary between God and the people) and the artists. Before there was written language, the Brahmins spoke the religious stories and the dancers danced them.

Like its variety of languages, India also has many dance styles, but the most popular and widely known are Bharatnatyam, Odissi, Kathak, Mohiniyattam, and Kuchipudi. Each are from a different region of Indian and each tells the scriptural stories in slightly different ways, utilizing every moving part of the body, from the eyebrows, to the tips of the fingers, to the bend in the waist and the knees.

Luckily for us, each of these dance styles will be represented in this evening of dance performed by Portland dancers, alongside visiting professionals dancers from India.

Performances next week

March 9-11, Companhia Urbana De Danca, Presented by White Bird
March 10, Spectacle Garden 10: Dance Party, Hosted by Ben Martens
March 10-12, TPB Studio Company Performance-Featuring dances by Anne Mueller, Jamey Hampton and Ashley Roland, John Clifford and guest artists from Kukátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, The Portland Ballet
March 10-16, Mr. Gaga, Living Room Theatres
March 10-19, In The Heights, Portland Community College

Upcoming performance

March 16-18, Carmen, NW Dance Project
March 17, The Baroque Dance Project, Alice Sheu and Julie Iwasa
March 19, Duality: Dance Ballet of India, Presented by Rasika
March 19, BodyVox and Oregon Symphony collaboration performance
March 23-April1, Skinner/Kirk Dance Ensemble, Presented by BodyVox
March 24, Shaping Sound, Travis Wall, Presented by Portland’5
March 24-25, Alembic Double Bill: Claire Barrera and Noelle Stiles, Presented by Performance Works NW / Linda Austin Dance
March 31, Junk in da Trunk, Tempos
April 2, Sahomi Tachibana Dancers, Portland Japanese Garden
April 4-5, Shen Yun, Presented by Oregon Falun Dafa Association
April 6-8, Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, Presented by White Bird
April 8-9, The Snow Queen, Eugene Ballet Company
April 10, Noontime Showcase OBT2, Presented by Portland’5
April 15, Synesthesia, BodyVox, TEDx Portland
April 15, Bridge the Gap, Presented by Sepiatonic
April 13-22, Terra, Oregon Ballet Theatre
April 14-16, New work by Jin Camou, Performance Works NW Alembic Co-Production
April 25-26, Che Malambo, Presented by White Bird
April 27-29, Contact Dance Film Festival, Presented by BodyVox and NW Film Center
April 28-29, Appalachian Spring Break, Scotty Heron and Brendan Connelly, Presented by Performance Works NW / Linda Austin Dance
May 4-7, Taka Yamamoto, Produced by Portland Institute for Contemporary Art
May 5, Spring Dance Concert, The Reed College Dance Department
May 5-7, Inclusive Arts Vibe Annual Performance, Disability Arts and Culture Project
May 10, Martha Graham Dance Company, Presented by White Bird
May 26-28, N.E.W. Residency performance, Dora Gaskill, Jessica Kelley, Stephanie Schaaf, and Kumari Suraj
May 26 – 27, Spring Concert – Tribute to the Ballet Russes, Featuring work by Michel Fokine, Tom Gold, George Balanchine, and Lane Hunter, The Portland Ballet
June 2-4, Interum Echos, PDX Contemporary Ballet
June 8-10, Summer Splendors, NW Dance Project
July 15, Pretty Creatives Showing, NW Dance Project
August 24-September 6, Portland Dance Film Fest, Directed by Kailee McMurran, Tia Palomino, and Jess Evans

DanceWatch Weekly: Inside and outside the bubble

The Oregon dance scene extends beyond Portland, we are happy to report, and a ton's happening in town, too

When I lived on the East Coast, New Jersey specifically, it took about an hour-and-a-half of driving to get anywhere—to New York, Philadelphia, even to southern New Jersey. That was the norm, it was accepted, and we did it obediently, with occasional grumbling here and there. But I’m glad I did it because New Jersey did not offer the artistic communities, resources and variety that I craved. Don’t get me wrong, Jersey isn’t ALL bad, it does have the best pizza and bagels in the land, and it’s home to a magical place called Grounds For Sculpture, a 45-acre outdoor sculpture park, inhabited by a pride of peacocks.

Because of this experience, I was relieved when I arrived in Portland five years ago to discover that everything I wanted and needed was just 10-15 minutes away from home. But now, in the process of scouring the internet for dance performances, I am learning a lot about dance communities outside of Portland, and my original concept of Portland’s community has broadened to include them. I see these communities as opportunities for exchange and partnership, and a way to break out of the Portland bubble and connect to other dance communities. It’s time to get back in my car.


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