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The Spin

Who's who and what’s what in dance this month
Danceability’s Karen Daly
Danceability’s Karen Daly

On Jan. 8, DanceAbility International will offer a free screening and discussion of Afternoon of a Faun, a critically acclaimed film that tells the story of Tanaquil Le Clercq, muse to choreographers George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. At 27, “Tanny” contracted polio, her legs were paralyzed and she never performed again. “She was a strong woman,” writes DanceAbility’s Kathryn Gaines, “emboldened by inner strength and love of life.”  Catch the film at 7 pm Friday, Jan. 8, in the Blue Door Theatre at Lane Community College. Admission for this event is by donation, but due to limited seating, tickets must be pre-reserved. Email info@danceability.com or call 357-4982 to reserve seats. 

Also this month, DanceAbility International’s Oregon dance programs will expand to include several rural areas of Lane County. For more information about new and ongoing DanceAbility classes in Eugene, Cottage Grove and Junction City, visit danceability.com. 

Don’t miss the Oregon Belly Dance Showcase Benefit for Umpqua Community College, featuring live music by Arabesque and performances by dancers from across Oregon at 7 pm Saturday, Jan. 9, at Cozmic; $10 suggested donation with all proceeds benefitting the Greater Douglas United Way: UCC Relief Fund. For more information call 357-7418. 

At 7:30 pm Thursday, Jan. 14, at the University of Oregon’s Beall Concert Hall, UO Dance Faculty members Brad Garner and Shannon Mockli will present their own choreography set to Igor Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat suite, conducted by David Jacobs and performed by Louis DeMartino on clarinet, Steve Vacchi on bassoon, Sarah Viens on trumpet, Henry Henniger on trombone, Fritz Gearhart on violin, Tyler Abbott on bass and Pius Cheung on percussion at Beall Concert Hall; $10 general admission, $8 students and seniors. Tickets are available at the door or from the UO Ticket Office at 346-4363.

In studio news, Dance With Us begins an eight-week winter 2016 dance class series in cross-step waltz and East Coast swing on Jan. 14.. Registration is required. Contact dancelaurarobert@riousa.com to reserve a place in class.

And the West African Cultural Arts Institute (WACAI) offers dance and drumming for the new year. “Whether you are a complete beginner or an experienced drummer and/or dancer, Alseny Yansane will teach you how to coordinate your movements and synchronize your dance steps to the music, that you yourself are creating,” writes the institute’s co-founder, Andrea DiPalma Yansane. Check out the WACAI dance and drumming workshop 7 to 8:30 pm Wednesday, Jan. 20, at
Xcape Dance Academy, 420 W. 12th Ave. Drop-ins welcome; $15 general, $12 students. Beginning African Dance classes start Feb. 2. Email Andrea@WestAfricanCulturalArts.org or call 232-5471 by Jan. 18 to reserve a Dundun drum for the Jan. 20 workshop.

Lane Community College hosts a visiting artist: “Heidi Henderson returns to LCC as Artist-in-Residence,” writes lead faculty Bonnie Simoa. “She will be teaching classes and setting a new work on the Lane Dance Company Jan. 15-23 to premiere in Collaborations in February.” 

In rehearsal news, we hear the Eugene Ballet Company is gearing up for Carmina Burana, running Feb. 13-14 at the Hult Center. 

And in tumbling, contortion, juggling, cycling and gymnastics news, the Hult presents the Peking Acrobats Jan. 24.