Tuesday, April 28, 2009

OBT visit's the Doernbecher Hospital

Hello Everyone...

On Sunday April 26th we wrapped our Left Unsaid program at the Newmark Theater. Though we were all exhausted a group of 10 dancers set off to the Doernbecher Hospital on Monday to visit the children and make them smile. With tutu's in hand we set off in a caravan to the Hospital with John Ulsh, Roslyn Barnfield and Kathy Scoggins excited to see the kids. I was a little nervous because of personal reasons that being at the hospital may be overwhelming and emotional, but after seeing the kids I couldn't wipe the smile off my face.

We split into two groups of 5, one group visited the children in the Cancer wing, while the other group went to the surgical acute care wing. I was in the surgical acute care wing with Anne, Steven, Leta and Brennan. We visited kids from age 8-16, and even though the 16 year old boy may not have had the same experience as the 8 year old girl it still brought a smile to his face. Kathy Scoggins and Emily Russell put together wonderful coloring books that the kids loved, and we also brought along brand new pointe shoes that the kids could play with. The other group consisted of Janel, Olga, Lucas, Julia and Grace. I know that the first room they visited was a little girl who jumped to her feet and squealed as soon as they walked in. If all we did was distract them from what they're going through for 5 minutes then we did our job, hopefully they'll remember this forever as I know all of us will.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Step Right Up!

Did you know that now you don't have to wait for performances to purchase OBT dancers' autographed ballet shoes? We've set up a page on our website where you can select the dancer whose shoes you'd like to have, the number of pairs, and even request shoes from specific ballets or roles. We'll send the shoes directly to you, and you'll be helping us put a dent in the amazingly large cost of keeping us on pointe. (And keep in mind that you can order mens' shoes, too, of course!).


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Four Down

We're four shows into the ten-performance run and are taking a day off tomorrow!

Thanks to all our audiences this weekend--- the enthusiastic, yet thoughtful responses we got from you at each performance was gratifying and reassuring. I think I can say that we all feel re-invigorated and ever more committed to keeping Portland a city with a deeply passionate ballet company that pushes its audiences to think, consider, and explore their lives and the world they live in.

Thank you! See you next weekend!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

There are a lot of little tiny leotards lined up in the hall outside wardrobe:

That's a sign that Circus Polka is coming up very soon. Just imagine those leos on as many little girls, add on ponytails and tiny little tutus...
Be sure not to miss the annual School of Oregon Ballet Theater spring performance in just a few weeks! In addition to the perennial favorite, Circus Polka, the students will be performing several other ballets that show off their remarkable talent and polish, including one of my favorite Balanchine ballets, Allegro Brillante.

Friday, April 3, 2009


A correction: I made a typo in the link to William Forsythe's Synchronous Object project. Here's the correct address:

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Why Big Art Matters in Bad Times

If you aren't already familiar with Barry Johnson's fantastic  "Portland Arts Watch" blog on oregonlive.com, it's a great one to bookmark.  

He just posted a very salient essay encouraging support for the city's large arts organizations.  You can read it here. 


While OBT is working on reprising The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, one of William Forsythe's best-known ballets, the choreographer himself has been working on a cutting-edge project that could change the face of modern ballet and its relationship to disciplines not commonly associated with dance choreography. As explained in the New York Times this past Sunday, "Synchronous Objects for One Flat Thing, reproduced" was publicly unveiled today--- not on stage in a theater, but on the internet. See it here: https://synchronousobjects.osu.edu/.

Forsythe's collaboration with the Ohio State University's program for Dance and Technology and its Advanced Computing Center developed from his interest in moving choreography "from dance to data to objects" while continuing to develop his signature explorations in counterpoint and epaulment. To me, the most beautiful and exciting thing about this new project is its potential implications for the field of dance. For dance choreography to be seen and used as a developmental tool, a practical inspiration to architects, designers, computer engineers and graphic artists would be not just hugely validating for an art form somtimes maligned as stodgy or unuseful, but would push those of us in this field to continue expanding the boundaries of what we are doing while maintaining true to our classical roots.
You can read the article in the NYT here:http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/29/arts/dance/29sulc.html?_r=1&ref=dance