June 2nd, 3rd and 4th at N.E.W. Expressive Works, 810 SE Belmont, Portland, OR
One day. One lifetime. An Eternity.
These are the explorations undertaken by three choreographers in the final show of PDX Contemporary Ballet’s 2016-2017 season.
All three works will premier during “Iterum Echoes” on June 2nd, 3rd, and 4th at N.E.W. Expressive Works, 810 SE Belmont, Portland, Oregon.
The company is especially delighted with the return of Boston native Margaret Wiss, who has recently been accepted into the Choreography and Performance graduate program at NYU. Her premier work “Circular Wave of Circumstance” takes inspiration from the spacetime we inhabit, yet in no way grasp. Physics instructs that spacetime is constantly expanding, and yet is somehow curved by the presence of matter and energy. For Wiss, this serves as metaphor for the circular waves of circumstance in our existence – where we can literally observe how our echoes and waves affect others. An original soundscape composed by local artist Colin Minigan sets the tone and informs the movement throughout the piece.
Equally exciting for the company is their first collaboration with Portland choreographer Kiera Brinkley. Known for her performances with -- and works set on -- Polaris Dance Theatre, Brinkley astonishes despite being a quadruple amputee since age two. Her “real world” profession as a nurse became the impetus for “The Times” – a journey in dance that spans the entirety of a life, from the earliest days to the end. This is another premier work by Brinkley, and its movements are set to three pieces by Olafur Arnalds: Film Credit, Doria, and Tomorrow’s Song.
Start. Stop. Repeat. Exploring the process of day-to-day living is the road Artistic Director Briley Neugebauer decides to take. Daring to delve into territory that some might consider mundane or even maudlin, Artistic Director Briley Neugebauer considers that we are forever beginning again. “It turns out I had to title this piece “Continually Beginning”, because that concept kept coming to the surface. We keep going and going, even though we fail and have to start over all the time.” Using excerpts from “Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone”, Neugebauer experiments with repeating select musical phrases, juxtaposing similar tracks, and even playing the music in reverse. She states “this is meant to mirror the ordinary, repetitive steps of everyday life, the subtle differences that sometimes occur, as well as the feeling of moving backward instead of forward.”
Determined to continue their signature mission of creating accessible and affordable experiences for audience members, the company returns to N.E.W. Expressive Works for their final show of the season. Choreographer Wiss says “I’m thrilled to see these works brought to life in such an intimate space, where the formal distance between dancer and audience in traditional ballet performance is erased.”
With “Iterum Echoes,” PDX Contemporary Ballet concludes its first full season. The company will return to N.E.W. Expressive Works in early November 2017 to open its second season.
Choreographer and musician biographies for “Iterum Echoes” are included below.
WHERE: N.E.W. Expressive Works, 810 SE Belmont, Portland, OR
WHEN: Friday, June 2nd at 7:30pm – Opening Night
Saturday, June 3rd at 7:30pm
Sunday matinee, June 4th at 2:30pm
COST: $15 - $25 online at www.pdxcb.com
$20 - $30 at the door
Kiera Brinkley has been dancing since she left the hospital at the age of 2, after receiving quadruple amputations due to a bacterial infection. Kiera believed hip hop would be the only type of dance that she would be able to do, but she discovered jazz after beginning at da'Vinci Arts Middle School. Once she graduated high school, she discovered a new possibility. She continued to grow as a dancer and jazz transformed into contemporary/modern. Entering high school, she decided to stop dancing to focus more on a medical career; but realized that there was space for both medical and dance in her life. Kiera now works for Oregon Reproductive Medicine, while choreographing for different companies around Oregon. At 23, she is giving all her attention to the medical field. Although technically retired from performing, she still hopes to continue her love of choreographing. She remains very hopeful for the future.
Margaret Wiss is interested in the interaction between dance and science. As a choreographer and artist she wishes to reveal the invisible motion of physical forces in our world. Attracted to dynamic movement, which investigates the perception of dance as a scientific sport, she explores the interactions of dance and the environment – inside and outside the body. She has performed at multiple venues, notably The Kennedy Center and Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art, and has worked with Pilobolous Dance Theater as well as choreographers Jennifer Hart, Kinsun Chan, and Adele Myers. In 2016, she was selected to perform her choreography, Nothing happens until something moves., at the Biomorphic Dance Festival in NYC. She has choreographed for The Harvard Ballet Company and the DanceBARN Festival. Recently she participated in NACHMO Boston (National Choreography Month). Currently she is an artist in residence at Green Street Studio’s Seed Program in Cambridge, MA and is collaborating with visual artist, Noël Hennelly for Norte Maar's Production, CounterPointe5. She is a company member of Tony William's Dance. In the fall she will be a Visiting Artist at Mount Holyoke College and choreographing for the Five College Dance Department. She is a member of the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science. A graduate of Mount Holyoke College, magna cum laude, she received a Bachelor in Arts in Dance Kinesiology with high honors from the dance department.
Briley Neugebauer, originally from Seattle, grew up studying many styles of dance and was a graduate of the pre-professional program at International Ballet Theatre. Upon high school graduation, she received talent and academic based scholarships to study dance at the University Of Arizona. In 2011 she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.F.A. from the School Of Dance where she performed roles such as Choleric in Balanchine’s Four Temperaments, Lead Female Daemon in Carmina Burana and was a part of commissioned works such as Bella Lewitzky’s Recuardo, and Martha Graham’s Panorama. During the summer of 2011 she joined ART-IF-ACT Dance Project for a five week tour in China performing numerous roles that showcased the history of dance in America. Upon returning to the states, she was accepted as an apprentice at Spectrum Dance Theater_Donald Byrd where she also had the opportunity to perform in the musical Oklahoma! at the 5th Avenue Theater. She then moved to Portland and was a company dancer at Polaris Dance Theatre for two years where she also created original works such as "Derailed", "Choice", and "One of Everything". She afterwards became a Principle Dancer and Rehearsal Director for Moxie Contemporary Ballet.
In August of 2015, Briley was one of the founding members of PDX Contemporary Ballet and now serves as their Artistic Director. While at PDX Contemporary Ballet her choreographic credits include "Colours of Black", "Through This Existence" and "Formless." She also created a full length work entitled "Incipio", which was preformed in the round, providing the audience with a new perspective on how they view dance.
Colin Minigan is a Composer born in Massachusetts, currently based in Portland, OR. He obtained his B.A. in music composition from Skidmore College in 2016. His music is concerned with issues of space, time, and the dichotomy between human society and the natural world. He is fascinated with the musics of Steve Reich, John Luther Adams, and Meredith monk, as well as, among others, the traditional musics of Bali, Tuva, and Uganda. He uses these varied interests to inform his own compositions.
Colin is very excited and honored to be working with PDX and Margaret Wiss for this piece.