Raise the Barre

Raise the Barre for Contemporary Dance in Portland

Over the last decade, Ovations has presented 49 performances by 36 companies from five continents and supported the creation of five new contemporary dance works. Alongside these dynamic programs, our RAISE THE BARRE (RtB) initiative has helped nurture a community of dancers and dance lovers who come together to support this beautiful, complex and vital art form.

At its core, dance is a human experience meant to be shared both onstage and off. Through a wide variety of community programming including masterclasses, salons, public workshops, post-performance talkbacks, film screenings and artist receptions, audiences are invited to engage with fellow dance lovers in our community—as well as the dancers and choreographers themselves.

Ovations is pleased to present the following public events for the 2022-23 RtB series:

Keep an eye on your emails and our social media as additional programs are added throughout the season.


There are many opportunities to discover more about dance right here in Greater Portland.

For Performance:

Bates Dance Festival | Mechanic’s Hall

For Classes:

Casco Bay Movers | Drouin Dance Center | Mayo Street Arts

In addition, we invite you to follow the work of some local artists that Ovations has had the pleasure of presenting:

Little House Dance | Sarah Juli | Bates Dance Festival

“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