White Bird Commissions Powerful New Work from Tahni Holt Celebrating Women’s Physicality



What: Tahni Holt Dance
Presented by: White Bird Uncaged
When: 7  Performances, Wednesday – Sunday, January 18-22, 2017, Wed-Thur 8pm,
Fri-Sat 7pm & 9pm (2 shows each night), Sun 7pm
Where:, Diver Studio Theatre, Reed College Performing Arts Building, 3203 SE Woodstock Boulevard, Portland, OR 97202. Free parking in West Lot adjacent to Performing Arts Building.
Tickets: Starting at $25, available at whitebird.org ; .1-800-380-3516 (added fees apply).

White Bird Uncaged is proud to present the world premiere of Portland-based choreographer Tahni Holt’s Sensation/Disorientation, a powerful 60-minute dance performed in the round by six multigenerational female performers with ages ranging from 15-60. Tahni Holt is a choreographer, teacher, curator and organizer based in Portland, Oregon who has been creating fiercely original work for the past 18 years. Her newest work Sensation/Disorientation focuses on juxtaposing rigorous physical extremes in the female body against emotional and sensory qualities.

There will 7 performances of Sensation/Disorientation, Wednesday-Saturday, January 18-22, 2017 (see above for specific times), held in a venue new to White Bird and perfectly suited for the intimate nature of Tahni Holt’s work– the Diver Studio Theatre in the Reed College Performing Arts Building.

Sensation/Disorientation is commissioned by White Bird, as a result of Tahni Holt receiving White Bird’s “Barney” Creative Prize in 2014, presented to a dance artist in the western states, to create a new work appearing in a future White Bird Season. The prize of $15,000 is supported by the Dorothy Lemelson Trust and the White Bird/MKG Financial Group New Works Fund.

Sensation/Disorientation was choreographed by Tahni Holt in collaboration with her 6 performers: Tracy Broyles, Aidan Hutapea, Carla Mann, Eliza Larson, Muffie Connelly and Suzanne Chi.  It is set to an original score by Luke Wyland, an interdisciplinary artist and composer now living in Portland, with costume design by Alenka Loesch, and lighting by Jeff Forbes (who also serves as White Bird’s Technical Director).  Kate Bredeson, Associate Professor of Theatre at Reed College, is serving as Dramaturg.

According to Kate Bredeson, in her program notes, “Tahni Holt’s Sensation/Disorientation stages a voluptuous world of organs, skin, breath, blood, bones, and corporeality. It is a celebration of weight, materiality, and the radical potential of bodies moving in space.” Tahni’s work is the result of a complex process by her company, started many months ago, of group exploration and conversation. Tahni has chosen to have the work performed in a round, and, according to Bredeson, “makes physical the idea that community presence is a necessary component of the composition. You are invited to see, and to see others seeing, the six dancers on this stark circle. ..Holt asks you when you feel aware of the weight of your own body, and when are you not even thinking about yourself at all?”

Bredeson points out that even though the work was not created to respond to the 2016 Presidential election, “the election has brought into particular amplification the questions that Holt and her company explore. “ Sensation/Disorientation is an exhilarating work that places women’s bodies front and center, and the exploration of their weight and presence can be seen as “radical act.”

Tahni Holt’s work has been presented throughout the United States, at On The Boards (Seattle), Fusebox Festival (Austin), and The Lucky Penny (Atlanta), and PICA’s TBA Festival (Portland) to name a few. In 2010 Tahni was curated into the PORTLAND 2010 Biennial and is an Oregon Arts Commission Fellowship awardee (2007). She has had the pleasure of being an artist-in-residence most recently at Caldera, as well as Anchorage, Boise, Atlanta, Walla Walla, France, Greece and, in 2013, Romania, with Bucharest choreographer Madalina Dan, funded through the Suitcase Fund of New York Live Arts. She is a 2014-2015 NDP Touring Award recipient for Duet Love, which toured to Velocity Dance (Seattle), Pica’s TBA Festival and DiverseWorks (Houston). As a performer Tahni has worked with Deborah Hay on Hay’s solo commissioning project, danced for Miguel Gutierrez’s performance of Freedom of Information and for Morgan Thorson’s past work at The TBA Festival in September, 2016. Along with choreographing, Tahni Holt is founder and director of Portland’s newest dance center, FLOCK. FLOCK is a dance center for movement exploration, creation and artistic practice, dedicated to Portland’s contemporary and experimental dance artists.

White Bird Uncaged 2016-17 is supported by Ronni Lacroute/WillaKenzie Estate and the National Endowment for the Arts. White Bird’s 19th season (2016-17) 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, including contributions from more than 75 companies and 2,000 employees; The James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, Oregon Arts Commission, Starseed Foundation, The Autzen Foundation and WESTAF.

White Bird Commissions Powerful New Work from Tahni Holt Celebrating Women’s Physicality