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The Spin: From world premiers to baking banana bread onstage

Who’s who and what’s what in dance this month
Ballet Fantastique’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Photo By Stephanie Urso.
Ballet Fantastique’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Photo By Stephanie Urso.

We hear University of Oregon professor of dance and Dance in Dialogue co-founder Shannon Mockli recently participated in an open showing at Seattle’s renowned center for contemporary performance On the Boards (OtB). 

“It was an informal showing, so I had to really pare down my work, Finding a Way of Being, to fit within a short timeframe,” Mockli says. “It is so good to show work elsewhere, among a community that doesn’t know you. There is no back history and that means I have to consider new ways in.” 

Mockli and dancers performed in OtB’s black box studio theater, an intimate space. “Being able to see faces as you perform is something I enjoy, but also something that is quite intimidating.”

Another intimate performance opportunity, Dance in Dialogue offers D.i.D. #12, an informal, inquiry-based performance from 6-8 pm Thursday, March 2. Cynthia Gutierrez-Garner explores timely poems by Emma Lazarus and Langston Hughes, Brittani Holland investigates the personal and political, and Jessica Rose Taylor relates to the body and identity using found objects; the performance is at the Friend’s Meeting House, 2274 Onyx Street. 

And Lane Community College presents Collaborations 2017 at 7:30 pm Thursday through Saturday, March 2-4, on the LCC main campus. The performance features new works by Bonnie Simoa, Sarah Nemecek, Jackie Thelen, Hannah Downs and Mariah Melson, as well as members of the Eugene Youth Ballet presenting choreography by Sarah Ebert.

Ballet Fantastique premieres the much-anticipated Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon with cellist DaXun Zhang and the Oregon Mozart Players as well as a reprisal of five short ballets from BFan’s 2014 Tales from the Floating World, featuring koto player Mitsuki Dazai, 7:30 pm Friday and Saturday, March 3-4, and 2:30 pm Sunday, March 5, in the Hult’s Soreng Theater. 

Up I-5, Portland’s WhiteBird Dance offers Montreal’s Seven FingersCuisine & Confessions March 2-4 featuring circus, dance, music and food in this kooky combo of on-stage baking and acrobatic arts, perfect for all ages. Also on tap, Companhia Urbana de Dança, a Brazilian hip-hop company, hits town March 9-11. Both performances are at the Newmark Theatre. 

And the Hult Center brings back Kansas City’s Quixotic Fusion on March 28. The group was last here in 2015, in conjunction with the (Sub)urban Projections project. If it’s “acro-rhythmic cirque” you seek, you’ll go home happy. (And I’ll keep a candle lit for the potential return of touring contemporary dance as part of the Hult Presents series.) 

In local independent arts nonprofit news, the West African Cultural Arts Institute has been able to offer an afterschool Drum and Dance Club at Fairfield Elementary, made possible by the Oregon Community Foundation’s Fred W. Fields Fund. Kudos! 

In studio news, Dancing for Life, a dance class specifically for people with Parkinsons or other movement disorders, is offered at 1 pm Sundays at the Campbell Senior Center. More information at 541-510-4629 or pcballet@comcastnet. 

We hear Makayla Rice, a 15-year-old who trains with All That! Dance, was recently awarded a scholarship by NUVO Dance Convention to continue her dance studies. And All That! Dance will share its work at the Wildish Theater on March 18. 

DanceAbility International has added a Monday after-school creative movement class, open to children with mental or physical disabilities; ages 5 and up. Scholarships and registration information are available at danceability.com and enrollment is ongoing.

And Ballet Fantastique Academy presents the next session of Adult Absolute Beginner Ballet Workshop on Wednesdays 6:30-8 pm through April 5; $90.