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The Spin

Who's who and what’s what in dance this month
Ballet Fantastique’s Hannah Bontrager and Fabio Simoes in An American Christmas Carol. Photo by Stephanie Urso.
Ballet Fantastique’s Hannah Bontrager and Fabio Simoes in An American Christmas Carol. Photo by Stephanie Urso.

Bid adieu to 2015 and ring in 2016 with dance! 

The Eugene Youth Ballet tours the town with The Nutcracker 4 pm Thursday, Dec. 3, at Springfield Public Library, 10:15 am Friday, Dec. 4 at the Sheldon Branch of the Eugene Public Library and 2:45 pm Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Waldorf School. The final performances will be at 4 and 5 pm Wednesday, Dec. 9, at the downtown Eugene Public Library, 7:30 pm Thursday, Dec. 10, at Elmira High School and finally 10:15 am Friday, Dec. 11, at the Bethel Branch of the Eugene Public Library; FREE.  

Pacific Classical Ballet partners with Ballet North West Academy to present The Nutcracker: Kingdom of the Sweets 2 pm Sunday, Dec. 6, at the Wildish Theater, Springfield; general admission is free with a suggested donation of $20 per family or $5 per person.  

Ballet Fantastique offers An American Christmas Carol, a colorful twist on the classic tale, set in post-WW II America, featuring jazz singer Halie Loren, 7:30 pm Friday and Saturday, Dec. 11-12, and 2:30 pm Sunday, Dec. 13, at the Hult Center; $28-$58.

Eugene Ballet Company’s Nutcracker travels the Northwest before landing in Eugene Dec.18. Performances feature OrchestraNEXT and the Festival Singers and include pre-show holiday shopping in the lobby as well as a chance for photographs with Clara and the Sugar Plum Fairy at 7:30 pm Friday and Saturday, Dec 18-19 at 7:30 pm and at 2 pm Sunday, Dec. 20, at the Hult; $15-$53. 

Americanistan & Friends perform 3 pm Thursday, Dec. 24, at the Holiday Market, Lane Events Center. 

And Laura Taylor and Robert Phaigh of Dance With Us will sponsor a “Non-Alcohol New Year’s Eve Dance Party” 7 pm to midnight, Dec. 31,  at Trinity United Methodist Church, 440 Maxwell Road; $8, singles and couples welcome. “Robert will DJ an awesome mix of swing, ballroom and Latin dance music,” Taylor says. For more information, visit danceeugene.com. 

In education news, Lane Community College’s Balinese dance group Tirta Tari travels to Bali this month. “They have been invited to return to Bali to perform the treasured old-style Legong dance in the Gianyar region,” says Bonnie Simoa, LCC dance faculty lead. “This continues the exciting cultural exchange between the Lane Dance Program and the Balinese dance community, which began when the governor of Bali invited Tirta Tari to perform at the Bali Arts Festival in 2014.” 

The Northwest Screendance Exposition begins accepting submissions Jan. 15, 2016, for its 2016 exposition. To enter, email your name, the title of the piece, running time and a link to the piece to nwscreendanceexpo@gmail.com. There is no entry fee. Find more info at nwscreendanceexpo.com. “Following the 2015 Exposition, we were pleased to learn that our program’s closing piece, ‘Snags in Palladio’ by Michele Manzini and Barbara Canal of Venice, Italy, is now an official selection of the Dance On Camera Festival, to be held at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York, February 12-16, 2016,” writes Screendance co-founder John Watson.

Also noteworthy: Local nonprofit Sparkplug Dance has received a $2,500 grant from the Oregon Community Foundation in support of its ongoing “Dancing Dreams” residency, a well-established partnership between Sparkplug Dance and the Relief Nursery of Eugene/Springfield, providing weekly therapeutic dance classes to children ages 2-5. This is the second year in a row Sparkplug Dance has received this competitive award. (Full disclosure: Rachael Carnes is the founder and director of Sparkplug Dance — her day job and first love.) Find more info about our programs at sparkplugdance.org.