Review by Aaron Spencer, Willamette Week
As strides in technology connect us ever more seamlessly, we somehow grow increasingly isolated. Arguments about how texting and Facebook contribute to loneliness are making their rounds, ironically enough, in social media (See here, here and here).
But while that message has merit, the cursory way it’s delivered misses the mark. Sydney Dance Company, on the other hand, illustrates this shortfall of high-tech humanity in a way that’s poignant and hopeful—and aptly performed before a backdrop of sparkling LED lights.
In this space we will be posting all commentary, published and in blog form, about Lucy Guerin's new work "Weather," that is being performed Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 17-19 at Lincoln Hall.
You can add your comments below--we really welcome you to join in the conversation about Lucy's work.
Dance Review: Lucy Guerin's Plastic Storm
by Barry Johnson
Lucy Guerin Inc's "Weather" is a high pressure system with lots of great dancing
What is it about Australian dance that prompts us to keep bringing work from Down Under? We have brought more dance from Australia than any other country excepting the U.S.
Coming up this week is the remarkable Lucy Guerin, and then next week, Sydney Dance Company with Portland’s first view of Rafael Bonachela’s work.
It’s wrong to pigeon-hole dance from a certain country. What are the hallmarks of Australian dance? What are the hallmarks of American dance? Or French dance? Etc. The diversity of movement, of styles, of artistic approaches is much too broad to categorize country by country.
What we have noticed however about the Australian work we’ve seen and brought is an uncanny combination of physicality, inventiveness, theatricality and visual sensibility. That’s certainly true of Lucy Guerin.
Maguy Marin's "Salves" will undoubtedly generate much discussion and possibly argument.
In this space we will be posting the blogs and reviews that appear during and after the run. Click the links following the writers to read further.
ALSO-- WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO ADD YOUR COMMENTS AND JOIN IN THE CONVERSATION!
This coming Wednesday we begin our 16th season with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. This is the third time we have presented the company, and we thoroughly enjoy having this company each time they're in town. Why?
First off, the two guys who founded the company are smart and care deeply about their company. They are Artistic Director Tom Mossbrucker and Executive Director Jean-Phillipe Malaty. Paul and I often compare ourselves to them because we both started our organizations around the same time: ASFB in 1996 and White Bird in 1997. They are as hands-on as we are. And they strongly believe in putting the best dancers in the best work on stage, wherever they tour. We similarly are dedicated to presenting the best dance companies we can find.
Photo by Rosalie O'Connor
We can't believe that the summer is near over and our 16th season is starting up. Where does the time go?
But we had a fantastic summer--wonderful Portland weather--and 4 street fairs. Barney was a big hit at all of them. See below at the Alberta Street Fair.
And a week from today we open with one of our favorite companies Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. There is so much to talk about with the coming season, but one theme that will run through is SURPRISE.
A few teasers--
Aspen has a fantastic new choreographer in its midst--Norbert de la Cruz III. We saw a showcase in January 2012 in New York and his piece Square None was a standout. We could not believe he was only in his mid-twenties, a recent graduate of Julliard--and also a former dancer with Complexions. The imagination and complexity of the work are impressive.
This has been an incredibly busy time for us at White Bird. Last week 3 nights of the Paul Taylor Dance Company at the Newmark--the highlight was certainly Saturday night when Paul Taylor himself arrived and joined the dancers on stage for bows--followed by the two incredible pianists Jeff Payne and Susan DeWitt Smith, who performed Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" for two pianos live.
Then "Feathered Follies" on Sunday, April 7--White Bird's most ambitious fundraiser to date, at Castaway. Highlights there: Dale Johannes, our host, singing "Beautiful Girls" from Sondheim's "Follies" as our bevy of Latino drag queens paraded around in towering feathered headdresses-- awards to Paul Taylor, Nancy and George Thorn, BodyVox and a cash commissioning prize to Alonzo King. And we raised good money too. There are not enough thanks to go around to everyone who made the event possible-- our board, staff, event and decorating committees, sponsors, Art of Catering, Michael Curry, Michael Magaurn and his amazing crew,, our performers Vagabond Opera and the Dolly Pops--our pastry chefs--and all our guests and contributors.
Reed student Kiri-Strack Gros has submitted a blog on her reaction to Akram Khan's "Vertical Road," that White Bird presented at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall last night, Oct. 17. The audience response was overwhelmingly enthusiastic.
White Bird Dance presented Akram Khan Company’s Vertical Road last night at the Schnitz. The dancers’ athleticism, the poetics inherent within the piece, and the collaboration between the choreographer, Khan, and all of the designers were the most striking aspects of this beautiful evening-length work. When the lights came up, there was no one on stage, just a brightly lit scrim--lengths of light, translucent fabric, some taut, some billowy, sewn together and pulled across the stage for a backdrop. A figure of a man approaches the scrim from behind, touches it. Waves of fabric surge out from the point of contact and ripple back down. The man behind the curtain plays with the scrim, jabbing it, scribbling on it, his figure sometimes clear and sometimes foggy.
The blogs and reviews on Trisha Brown Dance Company are coming, and they are all highly enthusiastic.
Click HERE for Nim Wunnan's analytical response to the program in Oregon Arts Watch, noting Trisha Brown's comparison of herself to a bricklayer.
Click HERE for Catherine Thomas' appreciative review in The Oregonian.
Click HERE for Robert Tyree's commentary.
Click HERE for Portland Stage Review.
And following is Kiri Strack-Grose perceptive and detailed take on the evening. Kiri is a dance student at Reed College.
Trisha Brown Dance Company: Beauty and Logic