Mr. Scatter’s Sunday: Dance, chat, wine

The magnolia tree in Mr. and Mrs. Scatter’s front yard is budding. The handsome old plum trees a couple of doors down are in deep pink. And like an old tired bear stretching and yawning after a long winter’s nap, Mr. Scatter is cautiously poking his nose out of the cave and making a few public appearances.

You might recall his recent pre-game patter at White Bird‘s presentation of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, or his stint of instant analysis from the broadcasting booth of Portland Opera‘s Orphee.

Choreographer Maurice CauseyFor the next two Sunday afternoons he’ll be ambling over to the Northwest Dance Project studio just off North Mississippi Street (not all that far, as it happens, from the Scatter cave) to moderate talks with a couple of very interesting guest choreographers who are setting new work on the company for its spring performances.

The afternoons are called Dance Flights, and they’ll be casual, intimate affairs, a nice place to duck into and out of the rain. This Sunday’s chat will be with Maurice Causey (inset photo above), an independent choreographer identified closely with Nederlands Dans Theater (he’s been ballet master there, and also at the Royal Swedish Ballet) and with Ballet Frankfurt, where he was a principal dancer for William Forsythe for several years. On Tuesday I watched a couple of hours of Causey’s early rehearsal with the NDP dancers, and I’m eager to see what’s happened in the ensuing days.

Choreographer Luca VeggettiNext Sunday, March 7, the guest will be the Paris-based Italian choreographer Luca Veggetti (photo at right), whose career has roamed from La Scala Milan to London, Pennsylvania, Chicago, New York City Ballet and beyond. In 2000 he was the first Italian choreographer in the 20th century to set a piece on the dancers of the legendary Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet in St. Petersburg.

The format is this: Drop in, have a little nibble and a glass of wine, watch the dancers perform the pieces, then settle in for the talks. I’ll mainly ask the choreographers to talk about their backgrounds and their approach to dance, and I’ll encourage people in the audience to toss in their own questions. Very informal.

Each Dance Flight begins at 3 p.m. at the Northwest Dance Project studio, a pleasant, big-windowed space at 833 N. Shaver Street, just off of Mississippi Avenue. Suggested donation is $20 ($10 students), which helps pay for the events.

Northwest Dance Project’s spring performances, which will include the new works by Causey and Veggetti plus two pieces by artistic director Sarah Slipper, will be March 12-13 at the Newmark Theatre.