Tag Archives: Maurice Causey

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.

39 steps to a new and better Mr. Scatter

Leif Norby on the lam in "Alfred Hitchcock's 'The 39 Steps'" at Portland Center Stage. Photo: OWEN CAREY

It’s been a busy few days around Scattertown.

First, on Thursday night, Mr. and Mrs. Scatter took a break from the gala festivities of Science Night at Irvington Elementary School to scoot up the hill to Talisman Gallery on Alberta, where their friend Cibyl Shinju Kavan was having an opening of new assemblages. Scrolls, bamboo, feathers and rocks figure into the work, which is quite pleasing.

Cibyl Shinju Kavan at Talisman GalleryThen, at midday Friday, the Scatter duo showed up at the Gerding Theater in the Armory to see dancer Linda Austin and her cohort J.P. Jenkins tear up the joint with a fascinating visual, musical and movement response to Mark Applebaum‘s elegant series of notational panels, The Metaphysics of Notation, which has been ringing the mezzanine railings above the Gerding lobby for the past month. Every Friday at noon someone has been interpreting this extremely open-ended score, and this was the final exploration. California composer Applebaum will be one of the featured artists this Friday at the Hollywood Theatre in the latest concert by Third Angle New Music Ensemble, the band of contemporary-music upstarts for whom Mrs. Scatter toils ceaselessly.

Austin and Jenkins began by racing around the mezzanine and literally playing the hollow-steel guard rail, which was quite fun. They moved from pre-plotted base to pre-plotted base, always coming up with surprises, as the small crowd followed like Hamelin rats mesmerized by a piper’s tune. Mr. Scatter enjoyed the red fuzzy bargain-store microphone and the Sneezing Chorus and especially the shower of discarded clothing items floating down from the mezzanine into the path of the startled flower-delivery guy in the lobby below. Mr. Scatter took no photos, partly because the little camera doohickey on his cellular telephone is pretty much useless for anything more complicated than an extreme closeup snapshot of an extremely still object, and partly because he was just having too much fun to bother. But Lisa Radon of ultra was more disciplined and took some fine shots which you can ogle on her site.

On Friday evening
it was back to the Gerding for opening night of Portland Center Stage‘s comedy Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The 39 Steps,’ which takes the 1935 movie thriller and blows it to preposterous proportions.

Continue reading 39 steps to a new and better Mr. Scatter

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.