The ArtsWatch Calendar: March 1-15 — James Lavadour, Kidd Pivot, Renee Fleming, Portland biennial, etc.

Kidd Pivot's "Dark Matters" with Scary Puppets comes to White Bird.

With Oregon Ballet Theatre’s luscious “Giselle” continuing this weekend at the Keller, and John Logan’s meditation on art and life, based on an incident in the life of Mark Rothko, crackling away at Portland Center Stage, there are plenty of great options for the next couple of weeks that have already opened. Oh, yes, and the Mark Rothko exhibition itself at the Portland Art Museum — how could we forget? And yes, it must be nearly spring because the Oregon Shakespeare Festival has already burst to life. (More about that in a later post!)

But this is a calendar of new events, coming exhibitions and shows that are going to make choosing what to do the next couple of weeks difficult. But, you might ask, isn’t a calendar meant to make things easier, not harder? And frankly, you might have a point!

Really Big Shows

Oregon Symphony, March 3-5, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway — Impressive Israeli pianist Inon Barnatan guest stars in Saint-Saens’ Piano Concerto #2, and the orchestra plays music by Mozart and Dvorak’s Slavonic Dances. On March 13, soprano Renee Fleming visits with a program of  intriguing vocal music, from Ravel to Leonard Cohen.

“March Music Moderne,” March 5-31, various venues throughout Portland — Bob Priest has gathered strands from various part of the city’s music scene to produce a challenging and busy month of new music, from Kronos Quartet and Third Angle to the Oregon Symphony.

“Race,” March 6-Apr. 15, Artists Repertory Theatre, 1516 SW Morrison St. — David Mamet’s courtroom drama hinges, as the title suggests, on matters of racial politics, but with Mamet, it’s never as easy as that.

Portland Taiko, et al., 7 pm March 10, Aladdin Theatre, 3017 SE Milwaukie — This benefit for the  Oregon Tomodachi Recovery Fund, established after last year’s earthquake in Japan, features Portland Taiko, Thomas Lauderdale of Pink Martini, Michael Allen Harrison, Andrew Paul Woodworth, Devin Phillips Band, Kodo Araki VI, and Marv and Rindy Ross (the Trail Band).

Kidd Pivot, March 15-17, White Bird, Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway — Leading Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite’s meteoric rise in dance has been global. “Dark Matters” combines her inventive movement style with life-sized puppets. Her first visit here was startling and wonderful.

Portland2012 Biennial,  dates vary but generally, March-April, at The Art Gym, Disjecta, PCC Rock Creek, PDX Across the Hall, and White Box — Curated by Prudence Roberts, longtime curator of American Art at the Portland Art Museum, this regional survey features work by 24 artists and arts groups working in sculpture, painting, photography, installation, video and more. An excellent slice of Portland’s vivid art scene.

Generations: Betty Feves, March 14-July 28, Museum of Contemporary Craft, 724 NW Davis Street — A retrospective of work by the late ceramic artist whose story re-writes the male-dominated narrative of post-war American ceramics. The Pendleton-based Feves relentlessly experimented with processes and locally-sourced materials in the creation of her Modernist functional and sculptural works. Her story is fascinating, and so is her work.

More music, mostly modern 

Cascadia Composers, March 3-4, Colonial Heights Presbyterian Church, 2828 SE Stephens St. — New music by emerging and leading Oregon composers.

Shashank Subramanyam, March 3, First Baptist Church, 909 SW 11th Ave. — In this Kalakendra concert,  the Indian bamboo flutist plays music of South India accompanied by violinist and percussionist.

Metropolitan Youth Symphony,  March 4, Newmark Theater, 1111 SW Broadway — Concerto Competition winners take the spotlight in music by J.S. Bach, contemporary composer David Maslanka, Dvorak and more.

Wildwood Consort,  March 4. Stonehenge Studios, 3508 SW Corbett Ave. — Portland’s own Baroque music ensemble performs vocal and instrumental music from and inspired by 18th century Scotland , including Haydn, Geminiani and more.

Portland Youth Philharmonic, Young String Ensemble, March 4. World Forestry Center’s Cheatham Hall — Family friendly informal “cushion concert” includes an instrumental petting zoo, instrument demos, and more. And on March 10, the full orchestra takes on Mahler and more.

Marlise Stroebe, March 8, Classic Pianos, 3003 SE Milwaukie Ave. — The expert pianist plays music by women composers from medieval to modern times.

Consonare Chorale, March 10-11,  First Congregational United Church of Christ, 1126 SW Park Ave and Montavilla United Methodist Church, 232 SE 80th Ave. — The singers join FearNoMusic pianist extraordinaire Jeffrey Payne and Grupo Condor for Latin American sounds.

Parker Quartet, March 12-13, Lincoln Performance Hall, PSU, 1620 SW Park Ave. — Friends of Chamber music brings the admired foursome to play music by Mozart, Janacek, Debussy and more. Their residency also includes lots of free events: click the link!

More Theater and Dance

“A Lesson Before Dying,” March 2-27, Profile Theatre, 3430 SE Belmont St. —  This Romulus Linney adaptation of Ernest Gaines’ powerful novel about the last days of an African-American  man wrongly accused of murder in the Jim Crow South has an undeniable of its own.

“4 Men Only,” 8 p.m. March 2-3, Conduit, 918 SW Yamhill, #401 — This show really isn’t just for men, but it does feature four men dancers dancing solos, and their approaches are quite different: Gregg Bielemeier, Bob Eisen, Meshi Chavez and  Greg Sax. We’re expecting intimate, intense, challenging work.

Northwest Dance Project’s Spring Premieres, March 9-10,  Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway — Three world premieres by choreographers Sarah Slipper, Patrick Delcroix and Wen Wei Wang are on the program for this high-energy modern-ballet hybrid company. Delcroix has worked extensively with the Nederlands Dans Theater, and the Chinese-born Wen Wei Wang is one of Canada’s leading choreographers.

More Visual Arts


James Lavadour's "Shine" will on display at PDX Contemporary Art this month.

The Interior, Feb. 28-March 31, PDX Contemporary, 925 NW Flanders — The interior in question is that of Eastern Oregon where renowned painter James Lavadour has lived and worked for decades, deeply inspired by the land around him. Of course, there are lots of other First Thursday and First Friday shows of great interest going on, too.

About Framing, March 2-April 14, Half/Dozen Gallery, 722 E Burnside Basement, entrance on SE 8th Ave. — Thinking about the traditional role of frames, Avantika Bawa shows new work addressing the tension between containment and dispersal.

Emerging, New Photography Acquisitions, Mar.10-Jun 24, Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park Avenue — Curated by Julia Dolan, this exhibition reveals the diversity and breadth of the more than 500 photographs added to the Museum’s extensive photography collection between 2009 and 2011.  The 50 works in the show include those by Adolphe Braun, Berenice Abbott, and Chris McCaw, Frederick Henry Evans, Bea Nettles, Mark Klett, Linda Connor, Eadweard Muybridge and others.


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