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Oregon Ballet Theatre’s Man/Woman Brings Classics to Portland + a World Premiere

Explore gender in dance and society with OBT’s spring production at the Newmark Theatre. Five unique ballets. One amazing performance.

Presented by Oregon Ballet Theatre April 4, 2018

Oregon Ballet Theatre continues its record-shattering 2017-18 season with Man/Woman, a thrilling dance performance that is also an intriguing journey into the unique experiences of men and women, and the societal expectations placed upon both. This evening of all-female and all-male works invites audiences to explore gender stereotypes in dance and life, and then brings both genders together with one of Resident Choreographer Nicolo Fonte’s most successful works.

Man/Woman runs April 12-21, 2019 at the Newmark Theatre. Visit obt.org/manwoman for performance dates and pricing. Or read on to learn about the five ballets being featured!


Choreographer: Michel Fokine

Music: Camille Saint-Saëns

This four-minute masterpiece, with its tight focus on one female dancer, epitomizes the ethereal beauty and delicacy of the romantic era ballerina. Created in 1905 for Anna Pavlova, the work was inspired in part by Alfred Tennyson’s poem “The Dying Swan.” Pavlova performed it more than 4,000 times as she toured the world, attracting countless new audiences to ballet. Her interpretation has influenced generations of ballerinas in Swan Lake

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OBT dancers in rehearsals for Darrell Grand Moultrie’s Fluidity Of Steel.

Image: Yi Yin


Choreographer: Darrell Grand Moultrie

World Premiere 

Oregon Ballet Theatre welcomes Grand-Moultrie back for his second creation for the Company. Fluidity Of Steel examines maleness without conformity as the dancers explore their own identities in the context of a society that often has a narrow view of what masculinity should be. There is a whole range of human emotions and experiences that American men are rarely supposed to show: tears, doubt, unrestrained affection. This work aims to step beyond those confines by celebrating brotherhood, vulnerability, physicality, and the rich potential of what a man can be. 

The creation of Fluidity Of Steel was supported in part by a significant grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for creating work that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement, and strengthening communities through art.


Choreographer: Nicolo Fonte

Music: Johann Sebastian Bach

Resident Choreographer Fonte’s Left Unsaid features six dancers and three chairs interacting in a series of shifting moods, but always with an undercurrent of implicit human relationships. The irony is that while the work is explicitly gendered, it isn’t about gender at all: Fonte took his inspiration from the idea of the anima/animus and the dynamics of both male and female energies within every person—with the implication that a sense of fulfillment comes from a balance and uniting of these forces.

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OBT Principal Dancer Brian Simcoe in rehearsals for James Canfield’s Drifted in a Deeper Land.

Image: Yi Yin


Choreographer: James Canfield

Oregon Ballet Theatre welcomes back its founding Artistic Director and the piece he originally created for the Company in 1990. Created during the height of the AIDS epidemic, the subdued and introspective ballet features seven men moving through abstract patterns against the backdrop of a dark stage. It was originally set to Ray Lynch’s Drifted in a Deeper Land, but for the current revival Canfield chose to have the dancers perform the seven and a half minute work in silence.

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OBT Principal Dancer Xuan Cheng in rehearsals for Jiří Kylián’s Falling Angels.

Image: Yi Yin 


Choreographer: Jiří Kylián

Music: Steve Reich

An award winning artist of international renown, Kylián served as Artistic Director for Nederlands Dans Theatre for nearly a quarter century, and has choreographed 100 works to date, including the groundbreaking Falling Angels. This piece explores the female dancer’s drive for perfection. Steve Reich’s percussive score drives the dancers’ increasingly extreme and even frantic movements. This mesmerizing and occasionally humorous ballet demands intense athleticism from the eight women who make up its all-female cast. This is the first Kylián ballet OBT has ever performed.

Made up of truly stunning classics and one exhilarating world premiere, OBT’s Man/Woman promises to be an unforgettable production.

Learn more at www.OBT.org