Modern Dance Weekend

San Franciscan, Walt Whitman, ballet-infused…which will you choose?

By Anne Adams March 18, 2011

Well, we’ve had an interesting couple of weeks when it comes to modern dance discussion. In an attempt to cover Disjecta’s three part In Site dance series, Culturephile unintentionally stumbled into a couple Big Dance Dilemmas. Further reflection only brings more questions, and hopefully there will be time soon to wrangle these into a post of their own. In the meantime, this is a busy weekend for the apparently hotly contentious art form.

Check out your options below, then feel free to comment:
What does or doesn’t pique your interest, and why?

~ Danielle Ross & Co. will host the “Alembic Series #12”: at Performance Works Northwest, joined by San Francisco company FACT/SF, which will perform its Consumption Series. Here’s a sample of the piece:

~ Lisa Degrace and Meshi Chavez will present 6 1/2 , a portrait of “a brave and terrified fool,” and Two Boys , a Walt Whitman-inspired guy-on-guy pas de deux, at mOUth (tEEth’s usual performance space)

~ Northwest Dance Project (NWDP), a relatively modern-infused, minimalist ballet company, will present two new works. Watch a video and read more info.

~ Linda Austin, a pillar of the PDX modern dance community, will perform the third part of In Site, a Saturday-afternoon series of improvised works that use Karl Burkheimer’s installation at Disjecta, as their literal and figurative platform. Austin weighed in on Culturephile last week about narrative vs. non-narrative dance performances:

I’m going to side with the idea that narrative can get in the way of the play of presence—-both for performers and witnesses/public. I like to notice things and be in the present moment. I like my senses to be sharpened like an animal in the wild. I like to let the eyes and ears roam, find pattern and beauty in odd moments, take in the reality of people just doing, who aren’t representing something that they aren’t. Like when watching someone climb a tree perhaps. Or if performers are “characters” I like when they wear the character obviously and get to shine through as themselves. I also like to let myself slip away from noticing, go off on a tangent and then come back. Having a consistent narrative through-line seems to align more easily with discursive and logocentric forms, you know, like the novel. I don’t always hate narrative in dance, but certainly, especially in more open improvisational forms, I don’t require it and at times it makes me cringe. I like the freedom of dance NOT to dwell in the sort of middle ground of pseudo-realistic psychology, i.e “acting”. Which isn’t to say narrative elements aren’t fun to play with too. Nothing is a given.
—Linda Austin

And here are some excerpts from Linda’s 2007 piece, Circus Me Around:

For more about Portland arts events, visit PoMo’s Arts & Entertainment Calendar, stream content with an RSS feed, or sign up for our weekly On The Town Newsletter!

Filed under
Show Comments