Portland’s White Bird Dance Is Hosting a Prestigious Showcase in NYC

Founders Paul King and Walter Jaffe break down why this is such a big deal.

By Fiona McCann December 21, 2015 Published in the January 2016 issue of Portland Monthly

0116 white bird photo credit jennifer alyse xzuqgg

What’s this American Dance Platform all about?
WJ: We go to the British Dance Edition or the Performing Arts Market in Seoul, but there’s not that kind of funding to bring international presenters to the US. And if they came, they would have to hop around the country. So this is a great opportunity to give them a glimpse into American dance right now.

So it’s a pretty big deal ...
PK: Our first reaction was thank you so much, we’re honored. And then as the reality began to settle in, we thought, “This is how to make a few friends and many, many enemies.”

Whom did you invite?
WJ: We are going to have each program reflect a different region of the country, and pair an emerging company with an established one: the Martha Graham Dance Company (New York), the Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group (Brooklyn, NY), Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, TU Dance (Saint Paul, Minnesota), Spectrum Dance Theater with Donald Byrd (Seattle), Alonzo King LINES Ballet (San Francisco), and Ate9 (Los Angeles).

Anyone from Portland?
WJ: We invited Northwest Dance Project.

PK: They’re doing great work.

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