Let’s Dance!

Join us to Raise the Barre for Contemporary Dance in Portland

In the past decade, Ovations has 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 Sara Juli’s quirky and singular take on contemporary dance, blending witty text with gestural movement. Next, one of the most exciting dance companies on the global contemporary dance scene, Malpaso Dance Company shares modern movement through a Cuban lens. While first and foremost an animator, director, and designer — Miwa Matreyek offers an embodied experience, working from and in her body to create magical moments. Both MOMIX, with its pioneering spectacle athleticism, and the timelessness of classical Russian National Ballet offer wonderful opportunities to introduce new comers or young people to dance.


“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


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.


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. Aspiring dance students are not the only ones getting the chance to move. This season we offer an adult workshop in Cuban social dancing with Malpaso. Whether you feel like you have two left feet or you are an accomplished ballroom dancer, let’s dance! Do you stumble with how to even talk about dance? If so, join us for the MOMIX pretalk during which an area dance expert shares their knowledge to help you up your dance vocabulary. It doesn’t end with RAISE THE BARRE. From Portland Dance Month to area dance schools and college dance departments to the Bates Dance Festival, there is much to more to discover.

Further Learning & Enjoyment

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 incuding 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