Tag Archives: Luca Veggetti

Reminder: Dance Flight this afternoon

I’ll be at Northwest Dance Project‘s studio in North Portland this afternoon for an onstage chat with Luca Veggetti, the Paris-based Italian choreographer who’s in town to update his dance Ensemble for Somnambulists, which he created on the company dancers in 2006.

Choreographer Luca VeggettiThis should be interesting. I sat in on a rehearsal a few days ago and afterwards talked with Veggetti for about 20 minutes. He’s smart and eloquent (he speaks five languages, fortunately including English), with a lot to say about his own background and the state of dance in general. He also has strong background in experimental theater and opera (“I was raised at La Scala,” he says) so his outlook is broad.

The format is the same as last Sunday, when I had a good talk with Maurice Causey, a freelance choreographer associated closely with Nederlands Dans Theater. Show up at 3 p.m., have some wine and cheese, watch a brisk rehearsal, then get ready for the interview. Last week a lot of people in the crowd asked questions, and I expect the same today. Address: 833 N. Shaver Street, just off of Mississippi Avenue. Suggested donation is $20 ($10 students), which helps pay for the event.

Veggetti and Causey will each have a piece in Northwest Dance Project’s spring performances, which will also include two dances by artistic director Sarah Slipper, March 12-13 at the Newmark Theatre.

Random Dance, and other movements

Random Dance, coming to White Bird and the Newmark.

Mr. Scatter is not a dancer. This may seem odd, considering the number of dance posts that have been on this site of late (or maybe, once you’ve read them, it seems painfully obvious), but that is partly a matter of coincidence. There’s been a lot of dance in town lately, and more is on the way.

We’re talking, of course, about presentational dance, art dance, dance as performance — not the social dance that Mr. Scatter did not learn in the 1950s and 1960s, when he suffered from a not uncommon affliction known as Two Left Feet, complicated by a textbook case of shyaroundgirlitis. Yes, he did go to his senior prom. He was in the band. The perfect end-run.

Mr. Scatter's unfortunate childhood affliction.Watching dance, on the other hand, is a longtime pleasure, one that slides from tap to tango, classic to contemporary, Broadway to ballet. And it strikes Mr. Scatter that, while a lot of people weren’t looking, Portland’s become a heck of a dance town.

Oregon Ballet Theatre is somewhere near the middle of it all, continuing its lovely performances of Christopher Stowell‘s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and George Balanchine‘s The Four Temperaments through Saturday at Keller Auditorium.

And surely much of this renaissance can be laid at the feet of White Bird, which has routinely brought the un-routine to Portland audiences, exposing the city to worldwide dance ideas. Fresh from Hubbard Street, which has barely had a chance to skip back to Chicago, here White Bird comes again, this time presenting England’s Random Dance (that’s them in the photo above) Thursday through Saturday in the Newmark Theatre. The piece, Entity, by company leader Wayne McGregor, runs an hour and is reputed to be fast and furious. It also marks the end of White Bird’s two-year Uncaged series, which has spotted dance in adventurous spaces around town while it’s waited for its regular second-season home, Lincoln Performance Hall, to be refurbished. That’ll be done by the start of next season.

But as important as they are, the scene is far from just OBT and White Bird. Keep an eye out for these upcoming events, too. (The dance action’s so hot and heavy that we’re sure we’re missing something; we apologize in advance.):
Continue reading Random Dance, and other movements

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.