Props to the city of Eugene for heeding the call for innovative, accessible dance programming in our community.
This summer has featured a variety of emerging and established dance groups from in and out of our local region. And what’s more — performances and workshops are free. This month is no exception, with a visit from the Bay Area’s Embodiment Project.
“Embodiment Project is a street dance theater company whose mission is to challenge systemic inequity by exploring themes of trauma, healing, womanist histories, race, and gender role dissolution,” says Nicole Klaymoon, the group’s founder and artistic director, who — along with her dancers as collaborators — will offer two learning opportunities for our community.
Catch Dance as a Call to Action at noon Aug. 17 at the Downtown Eugene Public Library, 100 W. 10th Avenue, and The Embodiment Project: They Didn’t Know We Were Seeds at 5:30 pm Aug. 17 in the Hult Center Plaza.
The Embodiment Project hovers at the intersection of art and activism. “Art functions to remind us of our humanness,” Klaymoon says.
And dance, the rawest of the art forms — the most visceral and embodied — can be a particularly effective modality for expression or even protest.
“Movement by its nature is healing. And all behavior [movement] is based in memory and experience, so movement will report the truth,” Klaymoon says. “As dancers, we voice the hidden narratives of our bodies. Dance expresses what has been archived, what has been repressed.”
Klaymoon says her objective as a dance maker is to become conscious of what story is being told through dance — and why.
“Embodiment Project Workshop participants can expect to be moved — and [to] think critically,” Klaymoon says. “By exploring memory through writing and dance, they will connect with themselves on a deeper level.”
The free evening performance will similarly move audiences through a compelling combination of “high-energy street dance, live song, choreo-poetry, and theater,” Klaymoon says.
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Also on the docket this month are free performances by the Portland-based Son de Cuba at 5:30 pm Aug. 3 in the Hult Center Plaza, featuring salsa, merengue and Latin jazz. And don’t miss local favorites The Middle Eastern Dance Guild of Eugene performing to live music at 6 pm Aug. 4 in the Downtown Eugene Public Library.
#Instaballet’s gala performance benefiting Bridgeway House features some of the group’s favorite audience-created ballet repertoire and new work by guest artists at 6 pm Aug. 12 at Oregon Contemporary Theatre.
Salseros Dance Company — beloved in the schools and the community — offers beginner salsa classes at 9 pm Fridays in August, with music and dancing starting at 10 pm, in the Vet’s Club, 1626 Willamette Street.
In grant funding news, the West African Cultural Arts Institute, was recently awarded Lane Arts Council’s Community Arts Grant in support of a father/son performance with Alseny and Papa Yansane.
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And after serving thousands over the past 15 years, the independent nonprofit Sparkplug Dance — founded by the author — has decided to dissolve its 501(c)(3) corporation, giving the remainder of its cash reserves, $2,500, to local nonprofit Parenting Now.
It’s been an honor to provide access to inclusive dance in the local community and across the state. Thank you!
Got a scoop on the local dance scene? Email Rachael Carnes at email@example.com