San Francisco’s ODC/Dance Makes White Bird Debut with New Work by Kate Weare


Who: ODC/Dance, Artistic Director Brenda Way
Presented by: White Bird
When: Thursday – Saturday, April 7-9, 7:30 pm
Where: Newmark Theatre, Portland’5, 1111 SW Broadway, Portland, OR
Sponsors: Carol Ihlenburg, The Oregonian
Tickets: Starting at $26, available at and Portland’5 Box Office,
1111 SW Broadway (formerly PCPA) NO added fees.1-800-380-3516 (added fees apply).
Discounts available for groups/students and seniors.

“Irresistible…Astonishing… Breathtaking…” -SF Gate

Based in San Francisco, ODC/Dance is known worldwide for choreography that is athletic, passionate and intellectually alive. White Bird is thrilled to introduce ODC to Portland with a program featuring highly expressive, vibrant dance by Brenda Way (Artistic Director) and KT Nelson (Co-Artistic Director), and a special ODC/White Bird newly commissioned work by guest choreographer Kate Weare, supported by White Bird’s 2015 “Barney” Creative Prize. ODC has been widely recognized for its rigorous technique and for its numerous groundbreaking collaborations.

 White Bird’s program begins with Kate Weare’s new White Bird- commissioned Giant for 9 dancers. Controversial acts of heroism—from Salome to Edward Snowden—serve as a jumping off point to explore the perception of the heroic body and fantasies about courage and valor. Dubbed “the voice of the ‘it’s complicated’ generation” by Dance Magazine, Kate Weare, with Giant, charts her own view of humanism by tackling head-on the violence, sensuality and complex yearning for intimacy that mark our age.

The concluding work on ODC’s program is Triangulating Euclid (2013), a collaboration between Brenda Way and KT Nelson with Kate Weare. The inspiration for this work for the entire company, came from a rare original edition of Euclid’s Elements, perhaps the most influential work in the history of mathematics. This highly physical, insightful, and emotive work moves from the formal elegance of geometry to its human implication: from triangles to threesome, from lines to connections, from the page to the heart. In SF Gate, writer Allan Ulrich stated, “There’s a point-to-point logic to the piece that seems as irresistible and inevitable as those ancient mathematical theorem.”

ODC is known worldwide for its athleticism, passion and intellectual depth. Among the many awards ODC’s three resident choreographers–Brenda Way, KT Nelson, and Kimi Okada–have received are a Guggenheim, NEA American Masterpiece Award, 30 years of  NEA fellowships and production grants, seven Isadora Duncan Dance Awards, two Nureyev Awards, a San Francisco Examiner Golden Slipper Award, and a Tony nomination.  ODC has been hailed as “Best Dance Company” in the San Francisco Bay Guardian’s Best of the Bay 2002, 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2011 editions. In 2009, ODC was selected by the Brooklyn Academy of Music as one of three dance companies invited to tour internationally under the aegis of the U.S. State Department’s inaugural DanceMotion USA tour.

Founded in 1971 by Artistic Director Brenda Way, ODC (Oberlin Dance Collective, named after its place of origin, Oberlin College in Ohio) loaded up a yellow school bus and relocated to San Francisco in 1976.  Brenda’s goal was to ground the Company in a dynamic, pluralistic setting.  In 1979, ODC was the first modern dance company in America to build its own home facility, from which it now operates the dance company, a school, a theater, a gallery, and a health clinic for dancers. Brenda Way is a national spokesperson for dance, has been published widely, has received numerous awards including Isadora Duncan Dance Awards for both choreography and sustained achievement, and 40 years of support from the National Endowment for the Arts. She is a 2000 recipient of the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2009, she was the first choreographer to be a Resident of the Arts at the American Academy in Rome, and in 2012, she received the Helen Crocker Russell Award for Community Leadership from the SF Foundation. Way holds a Ph.D. in aesthetics.

KT Nelson (Co-Artistic Director) joined ODC/Dance in 1976 and partners with Brenda Way, directing the ODC/Dance Company. Nelson choreographed and directed the Company’s first full-length family ballet in 1986, The Velveteen Rabbit, which has since been performed annually in the Bay Area as a holiday production. Nelson has been awarded the Isadora Duncan Dance Award four times: in 1987 for Outstanding Performance, in 1996 and 2012 for Outstanding Choreography, and in 2001 for Sustained Achievement.

White Bird’s Barney Creative Prize winner, Kate Weare creates dances with rawness and precision dealing directly with violence, sensuality and interconnectedness. Raised by visual artists in the San Francisco Bay Area, Weare received a BFA from California Institute of the Arts and danced in Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Belgrade and Montreal before settling in New York City. She founded Kate Weare Company in 2005. Weare is a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow, 2011 Mellon Foundation Awardee, and 2009 Princess Grace Award-Winner for Choreography.

Kate Weare’s Giant is made possible in part by White Bird’s ‘Barney’ Creative Prize, awarded to Kate Weare in March 2015. The ‘Barney’ Creative Prize is supported by the Dorothy Lemelson Trust and the White Bird/MKG Financial Group New Works Fund. White Bird’s 18th season (2015-16) is supported by the Regional Arts & Culture Council, including support from the City of Portland, Multnomah County and the Arts Education & Access Fund; Work for Art,;  The James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, Meyer Memorial Trust, The Collins Foundation, Ronni Lacroute/WillaKenzie Estate, National Endowment for the Arts, Oregon Arts Commission, Starseed Foundation. Multnomah County Cultural Coalition, Oregon Cultural Trust,  WESTAF, Herbert A. Templeton Foundation, Rose E. Tucker Charitable Trust, and New England Foundation for the Art.

San Francisco’s ODC/Dance Makes White Bird Debut with New Work by Kate Weare