The Spin

Israel’s Inbal Pinto comes to Portland’s Whitebird Dance this season
Israel’s Inbal Pinto comes to Portland’s Whitebird Dance this season

First, an appeal: If you love dance like I do and long to see performances with national and international reach, please use this lull in local performance to consider a trip to Portland this year to see Whitebird Dance. 

I’ve recently made the easy commute to see the pioneering Twyla Tharp (review at the EW blog:, Kidd Pivot, Cirque Alfonse (which blew my mind) and La Compagnie Hervé Koubi, whose seminal work, What the Day Owes the Night, left me speechless (read more on Koubi here:

And if I had no other commitments, I’d get myself to PDX for every single event in Whitebird’s tremendous 19th season:

Camille Brown returns to Whitebird with a humorous and poignant look at what it means to be a young African-American woman today. Also on the bill: Britain’s charismatic BalletBoyz, Brazil’s urban street dancers of Companhia Urbana de Dança and Argentina’s stomping gauchos of Che Malambo. (Che Malambo recently came to Eugene via The Shedd, but I don’t think many dance people realized it.)

Whitebird season standouts include Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE and Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group, titans in contemporary dance. (Side note: Ronald K. Brown’s company performed at the Hult Center in 2008, the last effort of the Hult Presents dance series, before the city of Eugene’s Library, Recreation and Cultural Services department made the decision to put its dance program on hiatus and to transfer its funding to its public art and community events programs.) Here’s a bit of ancient history, a preview I penned for Brown’s Hult Performance in ’08:

Especially exciting is the long-awaited return of Israel’s Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak Dance Company. From Montreal’s 7 Fingers Circus Company (Les 7 Doigts de la Main) comes the thrilling and delectable Cuisine & Confessions, uniting acrobatics with cooking (take the kids). For more info, visit

Locally, we hear #instaballet will perform its unique brand of interactive dance at the Lane Arts Council’s First Friday ArtWalk through September. Missed the July event? Circle your calendar for the next one Aug. 5 at the Broadway Commerce Center Lobby (at Broadway and Willamette), 5:30 to 8 pm.

Heading to the Oregon Country Fair? Catch the #instaballet workshop 3 to 4 pm Sunday, July 10, on the Village Green at the Community Village.

Danceability International has a busy month with performances across the region featuring favorite repertory and new choreography by Jana Meszaros and Kelcie Laube. Catch Danceability at the Oregon Country Fair 11 am Sunday, July 10, at the new Dance Pavilion; in Kesey Square noon Wednesday, July 13; at Lane County Fair 2 pm Sunday, July 24; and at the Children’s Festival 10:30 Saturday, July 30, at Island Park in Springfield. The group also offers a teacher training with founder Alito Alessi Aug. 7 to Sept. 2. More info at

In studio news, South Lane Ballet Academy in Cottage Grove has opened a new studio, offering tap, jazz, ballet, modern and hip hop;

And the River Road area is heating up, according to Dance With Us studio’s Laura Taylor: “We had 70-plus people show up for our June Dance! It was great to see people from ages 19 to 93 having fun dancing together.”

Taylor adds: “Social dance is one of the few things that I have seen where multiple generations enjoy spending time together.” Check out

And Ballet Fantastique offers summer intensives for “seriously motivated dancers” ages 7 to 24 including its Professional Dancer Development Program, Conservatory Program, Young Ballerina Summer Intensive, Junior Summer Intensive with Dance Fundamentals Workshop and Dance Fundamentals Workshop. More info at