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Dance

November 13, 2014

Emery Blackwell, 55, dancer, choreographer, musician, composer and teacher, retires from 25 years with DanceAbility International this fall. A giant figure in the local dance scene and a representative of disability rights around the globe, Blackwell will perform onstage one last time with his longtime dance partner Alito Alessi, as part of Vanessa Martin’s Xcape Dance Company’s premiere piece, Love!

November 6, 2014

If the chill in the air has you pining for warmer climes, then check out dancer-choreographer Bonnie Simoa and photographer-videographer John Watson’s mixed-media presentation Balinese Dance: Beyond Touristic Culture, based on their recent visit to Bali with the Lane Community College Dancers.

October 23, 2014

The 1983 film Flashdance shook up American culture. Racy and sweet, the movie defined fashion at the time, introduced what seemed like very new, edgy street dance, and taught a generation of young women how to take their bras off underneath their sweatshirts. 

Based on the phenomenally successful film, Flashdance: The Musical adapts to the stage the story of Alex Owens, a welder by day and bar dancer by night, who has big dreams of one day becoming a professional ballet dancer. 

October 16, 2014

In the annals of things I’ve made my long-suffering husband Ben do, this latest one might take the cake: “Honey,” I said. “Thursday night we’re going to the Vet’s Club for a night of English country dancing, OK?” 

Ben immediately suggested that if we were going to try our hand at the intricate dance forms of the Regency Era, we really ought to be crocked out of our gourds on claret — or at least, he should be. 

October 8, 2014

This is your last chance to score tickets to Ballet Fantastique’s 5X5 celebration Friday, Oct.10, at the Hult Center, featuring dinner, performances, an auction and after party (Good thing dancers have a lot of stamina). Proceeds from the 5X5 shindig benefit Ballet Fantastique’s educational outreach programs. Tickets are $55-$155 at balletfantastique.org. 

September 11, 2014

While you’ve been getting ahead of that bumper crop of zucchinis, local dance-makers have been busy building new pieces to perform this month. Check out Dance in Dialogue (D.i.D.), a “salon-style community performance series” initiated by choreographers Margo Van Ummersen, Shannon Mockli and Carolina Cabellero that invites the audience to provide precious feedback to artists on new and emerging works. A thoughtful approach to two problems facing any performing artist — securing a venue and finding an audience — D.i.D.

August 6, 2014

All That! Dance Company
Ballet, contemporary jazz, tap, hip hop, ballroom
allthatdancecompany.com
688-1523

August 6, 2014

Peering through the fence at New Day Bakery in the Whiteaker on any second Wednesday, you may see the twirling of skirts, the shuffling of cowboy boots and dance partners shimmying to the sounds of accordion and washboard. If you squint and listen to the zydeco music, it almost feels like a bustling square in New Orleans. 

August 6, 2014

The Senior Moments Dance Team got its start when Richard Walker, retired owner of Champion Friction, issued a public invitation in The Register-Guard to join a seniors’ flashmob. Seventy-seven people showed up to that first rehearsal at the Vet’s Club in May of 2013, and the group’s been dazzling audiences ever since. 

August 6, 2014

Habib Iddrisu has a slender, compact body, an unlined, youthful face and a headful of small, short dreads. The University of Oregon adjunct dance professor travels the world with traditional African singing and dance groups and actively teaches African history. But he won’t reveal his age. “I keep that to myself,” he says. 

August 6, 2014

While in Moscow last autumn, ballet dancer Rachel Richardson experienced a decidedly Russian moment at the gilded Kremlin Palace. 

“It was crazy,” she recalls with a laugh. “While we were backstage, 80 military men in the stereotypical fuzzy hats with their machine guns were marching through, literally right next to us as we were warming up.” 

August 6, 2014

Susan Kincaid never thought she would take dance classes and perform on stage. But, at 44, she finally found herself “brave enough” to step out of her comfort zone and try tap dancing at Petersen Barn Community Center.

May 8, 2014

A local mother-daughter team is pushing the limits of ballet by finding inspiration in the most unlikely of places. For The Book of Esther, Ballet Fantastique’s Donna Bontrager and her daughter Hannah Bontrager go way, way back — to approximately 486 BC — for the finale of their 2013-2014 season. What better way to end the company’s “New Legends” series than with a story from one of the oldest existing works of literature: The Old Testament?

April 10, 2014

Sarah Ebert may be a newcomer to choreographing for the Eugene Ballet Company, but she hasn’t shied away from the pace. “In modern dance, we take months to let things marinate — we explore, we play. But in ballet, the time limit is interesting. It’s fast, and it works, because the EBC dancers are willing to experiment,” Ebert says. 

October 3, 2013

“Spin the windmill,” yells out Tim Matteson, the caller for Eugene’s Spin City Square. He adds, “Flip the hourglass,” “Horseshoe turn” followed by “Split the outside couple.” As he calls out steps, eight dancers move about the floor, switching partners and sharing laughs. 

August 15, 2013

Burlesque is just stripping for hipsters, right? Or the kind of show to which Don Draper from Mad Men would take clients (performed at places with names like “The Boom Boom Room”)? 

Wrong. The truth of the matter is burlesque has a long and storied history, and while dance is vital to burlesque, the popular variety shows also feature comedy, live music and social commentary. 

August 15, 2013

All That! Dance Company

Ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, ballroom
www.allthatdancecompany.com 

Argentine Tango Practica
Argentine tango
541-681-9681 / jackethanger@gmail.com

Ballet Fantastique
Ballet
www.balletfantastique.org

Ballet North West Academy
Ballet
541-343-3914 / www.bnwa.net

Celebration Belly Dance and Yoga
Bollywood, Zumba, samba, capoeria, African, 40+
www.celebrationbellydanceandyoga.com

August 15, 2013

This year, Betty Waterhouse decided it was time to give competitive ballroom dancing a whirl. After a mere month and a half of training, she sashayed through the Emerald Ball, a competition held each May in Los Angeles that attracts over 15,000 participants, earning seven first-place titles in her age division. 

August 15, 2013

Lounging on the overstuffed chairs and couches of All That! Dance Company’s studio, Jordan Ross and twin brothers Coleman and Kaelen Byrum look like any clean-cut, athletic 18-year-olds. Only Ross’s I.C.U. Dance Crew T-shirt gives any indication that the guys might not be into just the usual track and football. 

Yet get them and the other two crew members, 18-year-olds Logan McGann and Aidan Ziegler-Hansen, on stage and there’s no mistaking that these guys are an award-winning hip-hop dance group. 

August 15, 2013

Every Wednesday Anthony Carter, 15, suits up for practice. He throws on a T-shirt and joins the other boys as they sweat through 90 minutes of complex combinations, draining jumps and — on a hard day — upward of 200 push-ups. Afterwards, they head to the barre to decompress and leave feeling focused, energized and confident.

August 15, 2013

Eugene may not have Moscow’s Bolshoi or New York’s Martha Graham Dance Company; however, just below the city’s surface is a vibrant world of dance, of clacking heels and pointed toes, of “pop, lock and drops” and ball changes. From classical performances at the Eugene Ballet Company and sensual Middle Eastern folk dance at Celebration Belly Dance and Yoga to pioneering modern dance at the University of Oregon and glitzy hip-hop productions at Work Dance Company, there’s a groove for everyone’s mood.

August 15, 2013

There is perhaps no one better known in the local dance community than international dance visionary Alito Alessi. The Eugene-based dancer, teacher and artistic director for DanceAbility International created the Joint Forces Dance Company and DanceAbility — a globally renowned method that explores artistic expression between people with and without disabilities through movement — with his dance partner Karen Nelson in 1987. And, naturally for a dancer, he just can’t stay in one place. This spring, he was chosen as an “arts envoy” by the U.S.

May 23, 2013

Everything is dark except for the truck-sized monolith. Two female figures emerge from the shadows, their bodies athletically twisting and spinning and stomping to the electronic beat, which sounds like someone drumming on crystal stalagmites. Crisp, geometric patterns project upon the monolith, creating a digital trompe l’oeil effect, the electronic shapes dissolving into and out of the forms of the dancers, whose projected images appear to be writhing within the structure as their counterparts writhe freely outside.

April 18, 2013

I was part of the contemporary dance scene at the point when everyone was pushing for equality, respect of all people and the idea that all people could dance,” says Alito Alessi, artistic director of DanceAbility International. “But no one was doing anything about it, including myself. So I said, ‘Well, what would it look like to do what we say we all believe in?’”