By Bob Hicks
Last night I went to White Bird‘s opening-night performance by Goteborg Ballet (the Swedish contemporary company performs again tonight and Saturday night in the Newmark Theatre) and discovered a sort of sister-city alternate universe.
Three dances, all contemporary and very European, all very different from what you see at Oregon Ballet Theatre but also intriguingly complementary, and reminiscent of OBT’s old James Canfield days. I wrote about it in this essay, Sister dance cities? Goteborg meets Portland, on Oregon Arts Watch. An excerpt:
“At the core of OreloB is Jukka Rintamaki’s electronic score, based on the sinuous repetitions of Ravel’s Bolero but scratching them up so they sound ragged and removing the overly familiar undulations while retaining the hypnotic effect. Helena Horstedt’s costumes, with little shoulder-and-back ruffles that seemed like sea-creature gills, lent the piece a slightly sinister science-fiction feel (the designs reminded me a little of the stuff the late lamented Portland theater artist Ric Young used to do). And the dancing was vigorous and unstoppable, inventive and relentless. The energy doesn’t let up: when the dancers walk, they walk with purpose. It’s rhythmic, sexy, trancelike – maybe something like Ravel’s music was when it was fresh, before it became commonplace.”
Photo: “OreloB,” by Kenneth Kvarnstrom