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February 26, 2015

“I’m an activist,” says Angelita Chavez in her pico, a traditional handmade slip with red lining that shows when you pull the skirt up to dance the zapateado. “Here, I’m a dancer.”

February 19, 2015

The musical Memphis follows stardust hopeful Felicia Farrell and disc jockey Huey Calhoun on their ascent from underground juke joints to rock ‘n’ roll fame. 

A Broadway smash from 2009 to 2012, Memphis won Tony Awards in 2010 for Best Musical, Best Book (by Joe DiPietro) and Best Original Score (by David Bryan and DiPietro). Now on its second national tour with new direction and choreography by Amy McCleary, the 22-person touring version of Memphis performs at the Hult Center Feb. 23 and 24.  

February 19, 2015

In the Information Age, it can be difficult to assess where routine ends and passion begins. The monotony of the daily grind can make you downright maniacal. Luckily, Work Dance Company director and choreographer Nate Boozer is here to give you a reboot. 

Boozer and more than 100 dancers, that is. Work Dance Company’s presents Mechanical Dancer: REINV3NTION Feb. 21 at the Hult Center. 

February 12, 2015

In its initial release, George Bizet’s 1875 opera Carmen received mixed reviews. Today, in its 140th anniversary year, many see Carmen, the story of a woman far before her time, as a feminist text. 

February 5, 2015

Dance in 2015 is beginning to bloom! The Eugene Ballet Company offers Carmen, a sultry love story set to Bizet’s romantic score. Choreographed in 2007, the piece pulses with the passionate influence of Spanish flamenco and features Danielle Tolmie and her fiancée Mark Tucker in the lead roles. Check out the free “Ballet Insider” conversation with EBC Artistic Director Toni Pimble 45 minutes prior to each performance. Carmen runs Feb. 14-15 at the Hult Center; $28-53. 

January 8, 2015

All across town, dance is lighting up the New Year. 

A chapter in the local dance scene has closed, as Geni Morrow, who has served as the director of The Reach Center and its dance company The EDGE, also serving as the impresario behind the 20-year-running performance fundraiser Dance for a Reason, announced that there would be no Dance for a Reason this year. 

December 4, 2014

This holiday season, stages beckon with dance offerings for the young and young at heart. Ballet Fantastique rolls out its new holiday tradition, An American Christmas Carol, choreographed by Donna Marisa Bontrager and Hannah Bontrager. This jazzy retelling of Charles Dickens’ classic tale sets the ghostly story in post-WW II America and features live music by jazz singer Halie Loren. Performances run Dec. 12-14 at the Hult Center; $17-$49. Folks on the coast can catch the show Friday, Dec.19, at the Florence Events Center; $16-$24. 

November 13, 2014

Lots of little kids take a dance class or two, but most won’t make a career of it. Sometimes, however, a special child comes along who has the talent and drive, along with the family support needed, to keep investing in dance for a lifetime. Choreographer Vanessa Martin was one of those lucky kids, who had big aspirations and a parent to back her up. 

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

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.