Friday, July 31, 2009

July 31; August 1,7,8 Modern Dance Conduit

Dance performance is often classed as ballet, jazz or modern. Ballet is ballet and is about 500 years old. It has an accepted role in learned childhood experience, like sports. That creates a pipeline and an economic lifeline. It is very expensive to present and company dancers are often salaried. Jazz is rhythmic and chorus oriented, Broadway and backup dance for pop concerts would be examples. It originated with dance brought from Africa by slaves. It's about 200 years old. Modern is everything else. It's extensible and spans reprise of early modernists such as Martha Graham to anything-goes experimentalism.

With a small audience, it is similar to contemporary art, in that audiences stay away for fear of not getting it. In reality, watching it can just be a dream with freedom from interpretation. It is also an interesting audience exercise in how we read non-verbal communication.

Portland has several spaces where modern dance movers congregate: Body Vox Studio, Performance Works Northwest, The Headwaters Studio at Disjecta; and Conduit. Centrally located, Conduit is a long running space for rehearsal, classes and workshops in modern dance, contact improvisation, microtheater. It is a beautiful spot with downtown views and a nice floor for rent.

Conduit needs to raise some funds and so is putting on performances which are an interesting way to sample who is doing what in Portland.

The first weekend, July 31 and August 1, performers include Gavin Larsen from OBT, Gregg Bielemeier, Josie Moseley, the Key Turn Project, Linda Austin, Ben Asriel and Tere Mathern Dance- Saturday only.

The second weekend, August 7 and 8th, the performers are Anne Muller from OBT, POV Dance, Jim McGinn, James Healey, Oslund+Co Dance, Tere Mathern Dance- Friday only and Candace Bouchard & Adrian Fry from OBT- Saturday only.

It all takes place at Conduit Dance 918 SW Yamhill, 4th Floor It's a fundraiser: $15-$100, in a small space holding about 30 - so advance tickets are at