June 18-20 || Linda Austin’s Paired Spectacular

Performance Works NorthWest presents
Paired Spectacular
~ a performance diptych in honor of Deborah Hay & Yvonne Rainer ~

Paired Spectacular is a love letter in the form of a performance diptych, dedicated to Deborah Hay and Yvonne Rainer, two dance pioneers whose work continues to resonate in the bodies and minds of dance experimenters today. Each half of this hinged work pits choreographer Linda Austin‘s own history, compositional inclinations, and processes against that of the two iconic figures.

Dancers Linda K. Johnson and Richard Decker join Austin for “Part One: Universe,” in which each performer makes an exacting effort, a la the practices of Deborah Hay, to navigate ephemeral states of consciousness, summoning up an unpredictably arcane universe from mundane objects and dancing that remains stubbornly unfixed to any strict pattern.

Part Two: MUTT” is an homage to, and ersatz version of, Yvonne Rainer’s seminal 1966 work Trio A. After performing a continuous series of highly specific, multi-layered movement tasks as a solo, and then as a duo with Richard Decker, Austin is joined by a mob of 14 Portland dancers in ruffled shirts for a chain-letter version of the piece. Threaded throughout both halves is Austin’s penchant for revealing the magic in everyday materials—dental floss—popcorn—paper bag—brick—used in unfamiliar ways. Even more magic is revealed via the expertise of lighting wizard Jeff Forbes.

Part One: Universe
Linda Austin, Richard Decker & Linda K. Johnson

Part Two: MUTT
Linda Austin, Jin Camou, Richard Decker, Nancy Ellis, Anne Furfey, Dora Nicole Gaskill, Bonnie Green, Rebecca Harrison, Paige McKinney, Kaj-anne Pepper, Chelsea Petrakis, Danielle Ross, Robert Tyree, Fawn Williams and Taylor A. Young.

WHEN: June 18-20, 2010
Friday & Saturday at 7pm and 9pm;  Sunday at 7pm

WHERE: Performance Works NorthWest
4625 SE 67th Ave, Portland, OR

Tickets: $12 – $15 sliding scale
Reserve at 503-777-1907 or hulahub.com

Linda Austin has been creating, performing and producing dance and performance since 1983, when her first dance was presented by Danspace at St. Mark’s Church in New York City. After years based in NYC and Mexico, she returned to her native Oregon in 1998, and with Jeff Forbes, founded Performance Works NorthWest, Portland’s feisty incubator for experimental performance. Recent works include a 2009 collaboration with sound and video artist Seth Nehil, Bandage a Knife; a site-specific dance for the Lovejoy Fountain as part of The City Dance of Lawrence and Anna Halprin (2008); a previous collaboration with Seth Nehil and rhiza A+D, Circus Me Around (2007); and her solo adaptation of Deborah Hay’s Room, presented at the 2006 TBA Festival. She performed in Brody Condon’s Without Sun at TBA:09 and the Museum of Modern Art in NYC as part of Performa 09. Linda’s work has been supported bythe U.S. Mexico Culture Fund, RACC, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation; residencies at Watermill, Djerassi and Movement Research; and fellowships from the Oregon Arts Commission and the New York Foundation for the Arts. As a maker and performer of dance, Linda continues to find inspiration in the puzzle of the human body’s awkward, lyrical and often accidental beauty and in the paradoxical demands for both conscious guidance and spontaneity in the moment of performance.
“A strong theater artist who constructs movement scenarios with subtle wit and an eye for the unusual.” —Catherine Thomas, Oregonian

Linda K. Johnson has been a professional dance artist based in Portland for over 24 years. Currently a Visiting Artist in the Dance Department at Mills College, she has taught, performed, created and produced extensively throughout the region. Her concerns as an artist are social and environmental, and her projects have addressed these interests in unconventional compositional forms, formats and venues. Her most recent projects—The City Dance of Lawrence and Anna Halprin and the South Waterfront Artist In Residence Program—redefined the potentiality for artist projects to address issues of urban development and cultural preservation. An Oregon Artist’s Fellow in 1999, her work has been generously funded by public, private and individual sources, and has received serious critical review in many venues including Metropolis Magazine, NPRDance Magazine, and Landscape Architecture. Her projects have been presented by PICA/TBA:08, On the Boards, ORLO, Dance/SF, SFADI, Reed College, University of Oregon and Ohio State University. Both her work and her teaching are informed by her deep and ongoing interest in improvisation, somatic forms, architecture, sustainability and beauty. Co-founder of Conduit, she is a sought-after teacher in this region by both professional dancers and serious hobbyists, and has taught for extended periods as a guest and/or as faculty at Reed College, Lewis and Clark College, University of Oregon, Conduit, Jefferson High School, Oregon Ballet Theatre and the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics. She is honored to be a custodian in perpetuity of Yvonne Rainer’’s seminal post-modern work, Trio A and a performer of Bebe Miller’s Rain, and is currently in training to be a teacher of The Alexander Technique.

Richard Decker has previously enjoyed performing with Houston Grand Opera, scholarship studies at Merce Cunningham Dance Studio, folk dancing in town squares in Bulgaria, and procuring a bachelor of chemical engineering. Presently, he draws, bakes, collects bug carcasses, works on a 1983 toyota land cruiser, and continues to buzz while dancing. Having presented over here:now in the PWNW Alembic Series of events earlier in 2010, he’s relishing continued playing here at Performance Works NorthWest, the awesome organ-ism that it is!

The lighting design of Jeff Forbes has enhanced the work of theater and dance productions all around Portland and the world. A 9-time Drammy winner,he was worked with choreographers such as Linda Austin, Linda K. Johnson, Mary Oslund and theater companies such as Imago, A.R.T., Broadway Rose and NW Children’s Theatre. He toured with Imago’s FROGZ for 10 years, with choreographer Deborah Hay to Europe and with Antony & the Johnsons throughout the U.S. He is also currently serving as technical manager for White Bird Dance.

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