Raise the Barre

Join us to Raise the Barre for  Contemporary Dance in Portland

Over the last decade, Ovations presented 43 performances by 32 companies from five continents and helped give life to three new contemporary dance works. And we’ve only just begun. Together, we can nurture a community of dancers and dance lovers who come together to support this beautiful, complex and vital art form.

The inaugural RAISE THE BARRE (RtB) series is a myriad of styles, vocabularies, aesthetics, traditions and scale. We open with a free and open to all performance from returning Ovations artists of BANDALOOP, an innovator in vertical dance performance performing live on Portland’s waterfront. Next is Music from the Sole “Partido”, blurring the lines between dance and music performance. Step Afrika! blends percussive dance styles practiced by historically African American fraternities and sororities, traditional African dances and an array of contemporary dance and art forms into a cohesive, captivating experience. “Hour Wolf” is a collaborative project between Maine-born dance artist Riley Watts and Canadian choreographer Heather Stewart/little house dance. Watts is one of five Commissioned Maine Artists.

“For me, dancing is flying – doing the physically impossible – making it beautiful, breathtaking and magical.  There’s no other art form that is so ethereal and appeals to so many of the senses all at once. The thing about dance is that not only is it beautiful to watch  – but it looks so easy to the untrained eye.  We don’t see the years of exhaustive daily  training, the aching taped knees and ankles and total devotion to the exclusion of other parts of one’s  life that professional dancing requires. Most people just don’t appreciate the extraordinariness of this art form.”—Francesca Galluccio-Steele, Ovations Member and RtB Patron

Gather

At its core, dance is a human experience meant to be shared both onstage and off. Engaging with fellow dance lovers as well as the dancers and choreographers themselves is central to RAISE THE BARRE. In addition to post-performance talkbacks and receptions with the dancers, we are excited to introduce Raise the Barre Pre-Performance Lounges: opportunities to gather together with friends and members of the visiting companies in an informal, intimate setting.

Discover

The opportunities to discover more about dance, whether on your feet through one of the many masterclasses or during one of our lively pre-performance lectures, are plentiful. Watch our website and social media for the addition of dance lectures, community workshops and masterclasses throughout the season.

Further Learning & Enjoyment

Bates Dance Festival

Jacobs Pillow Dance Interactive Long considered the birthplace of American modern dance, the Jacob’s Pillow website is a rich interactive resource. With hundreds of performance excerpts (some dating back to the 1930s!), a game to test your dance knowledge, and an extensive section of multimedia essays featuring talks, photos, programs, and other exclusive content organized into themes including Tap, Dance of the African Diaspora, Women in Dance, and more.

Dance Magazine Continuously published since 1927, Dance Magazine is your source for everything dance!

New York Times’ Dance Section

The Kennedy Center’s ArtsEdge Dance Resources

Portland Dance Month A 7 week month of dance in Portland, Maine. October 4 – November 24, 2019