At the heart of Polaris Dance Theater’s mission is the creation of works that are “visually innovative, athletic, intelligent, emotional, and thought provoking”. The works that will be premiered at this June’s X-Posed Show couldn’t be described more accurately. Original works will be set on the company by Artistic Director Robert Guitron as well as nationally and internationally renowned choreographers Lauren Edson of Trey McIntyre Project, Les Watanabe, and Kemba Shannon.
Don’t miss out on your chance to see all the exciting works being premiered at X-Posed June 6-16th. Follow this link to get your tickets to the show!
Polaris is a huge umbrella sheltering a lot of amazing dance projects underneath. We perform, we teach, we run a unique All Access Program. From time to time we like to catch up with the individuals that dance under our umbrella. Meet Twylo. He is six and loves modern dance and improvisation. Twylo’s name was inspired by Twyla Tharp. Twylo’s moms Nina and Jody have always loved dance and watched the Central Park scene in “Hair” repeatedly for Twyla Tharp’s choreography. “We were looking for a name that we would love to say a million times,” comments Nina. “We just loved the sounds in ‘Twylo’ We had no idea how appropriate it would turn out to be for our dance lover!”
Polaris: Have you always liked dancing?
Polaris: What made you want to take dance classes?
Polaris: What are some of the things you have learned in your dance classes so far at Polaris?
Polaris: Does the idea of performing make you nervous or excited?
Polaris: Do you want to perform one day on the big stage?
Polaris: Who is your favorite dancer?
Polaris: Besides dancing, what else do you like to do?
Polaris: What subjects do you like best in school?
Polaris: How did you discover Polaris?
Polaris: How have you seen Twlyo grow while taking dance classes?
Polaris: Has taking dance classes affected his sense of expression, creativity, and self esteem?
Don’t miss Twylo in the Polaris Student and Junior Company Concert on June 3rd at 4PM and AGAIN at 6PM. BUY TICKETS HERE!
There was an electric feeling in the studio when choreographer Kemba Shannon began rehearsal last Wednesday. This was the fourth meeting she had with Polaris dancers to set her latest piece “No Way Out” – which will be premiered by the company at the X-Posed concert June 6-16th. Kemba was intent on setting everything right. “This is so different from anything I’ve done in the past,” she said while reviewing the work on video with the dancers.
Kemba’s choreography is fast and that is not surprising. In her manner there is a quality of constant motion. She paces the studio guiding the dancers, marking, humming and demonstrating. Yet this boundless energy is carefully directed and controlled as magically more and more dance phrases are added.
“No Way Out” is set to music by Portland jazz sensation Esperanza Spalding. The piece – “Chacarera” from the Chamber Music Society album – has a hypnotic undertone that serves to connect Ms. Spalding’s frenetic scatting. It is at once adagio and allegro in its rhythm. In the same way Kemba’s choreography layers multiple patterns of energetic movement and then converges on one or two dancers. These moments are like a breath of freedom before the individual dancer is swallowed up by the chaos of the group.
The company clearly enjoys the work. They are pushed to their limit in terms of speed and control in a way that is challenging yet not defeatist. They quickly grasp Kemba’s intentions as they focus to catch every word.
Things change on the fly. A single line forms with one dancer following another in a coordinated flurry of movements to successive counts. Kemba watches and says, “No. Now let’s try that with the front and last person starting on the ’1′ and meet in the middle.” Without hesitation the dancers follow through. “Better,” she says. Then Kemba breaks up the line by instructing the last dancer to crash her way through the others to the front. She enjoys a beat of quiet away from the group before being swallowed up again. There is no way out!
“No Way Out” will be premier at the X-Posed Concert June 6-16. Tickets are on sale now. click HERE to purchase
At Polaris we believe everyone should enrich their lives through dance. Our studio is open to professional dancers and novices alike. Our Open Adult classes in ballet, modern and aerial are geared for a broad level of experience and the students in these classes come from all walks of life. One of our students – Neha Mittal – was born in India and is an IT consultant. She loves taking dance lessons because, in her words: “office-to-home and home-to-office is NOT a life!” Her enthusiasm is inspiring and we thought we’d share some of her thoughts on how dancing has fulfilled her life. Perhaps you too will be inspired to dance too.
Q: Where are you from/where did you grow up?
Q: Was dance ever a part of your life growing up (or something you were interested in?)
Q: What drew you to take classes at Polaris?
Q: What is your current job and how does dance fit into your life?
Q: What has been your experience taking classes at Polaris?
Q: At Polaris we believe that dance is for everyone, and it’s not out of anyone’s realm to learn how to dance and enjoy it. How has this belief affected your experience at Polaris?
Q: How has dancing at Polaris affected your sense of passion, your mood, your well-being?
Thank you Niha for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. We hope your words inspire others to bring dance into their lives!!