X-Philes: 10 Years of Polaris

November 2013

X-Philes2_0036The dancers’  heartfelt commitment to Guitron’s ballet and jazz-infused modern aesthetic, coupled with the excellence of their training, meant that there was something interesting to watch in each of the 10 pieces on the retrospective program. Some were excerpts from larger works; others were self-contained; most had been reworked to fit the Polaris studio space at 1501 S.W. Taylor Street.

It’s a given that Guitron knows his craft. He certainly should, having made more than 200 dances for Polaris over the last decade, and quite a few before that. Even the excerpts contained a discernible arc, a beginning, a middle and an end. And there is nothing constrictive about his choreography. He likes dancers to move big, to travel, to fill the space, and they do.

-Martha Ullman West for Oregon Arts Watch

CLICK HERE for the full review

 Hand Picked

June 2013

handpickeddress-nf-154  Polaris Dance Theatre’s latest show, Hand Picked, is a joy. The show, which opened last night, is diverse and spirited, and the lineup features nine works of contemporary performance chosen by the  company’s dancers.. . .

This diversity is the obvious but effective theme of a program like Hand Picked, and it’s one the company carries out well, making the night fun for dance noobs and experts alike.

-Kaitie Todd for Willamette Week

CLICK HERE for the full review.

REPO

December 2010

… Three things stand out about Polaris. First is the company’s sheer energy: these dancers are in terrific shape. Second, the group dynamic is more important than individual prowess: What Polaris does, it does together. Third, Guitron and company have a keen eye for the dazzling visual moment – for those brief tableaux that stick in your mind’s eye long after the moment has passed. It may be a trick of the light (and the fabric), but it’s effective.

- Bob Hicks for the Oregonian
CLICK HERE for full review

 Simple Pleasures

June 2010

May and June are prime fundraiser-party season in Portland, and the scene at Polaris, which sits in that little quiet hollow between Lincoln High School and PGE Park west of downtown, was pretty much the
same as at a hundred other benefit events in a hundred other places across town this time of year. The same, and also very different.

The number of wheelchairs was higher than at most parties. And in what turned out to be an unusual and in certain ways extraordinary evening, walls fell down – walls of disconnection; walls that ordinarily separate the able and athletic from the halt and physically struggling, the performers from the watchers.

Here is what Guitron, and this evening, meant:

Dance is human. Dance is communal. Dance is everyone, moving through space.

- Bob Hicks for the Oregonian
CLICK HERE for full review

 

“There’s a brand-new name to watch in Portland’s panoply of dance. It’s Polaris, a modern dance company [whose work] explores the complexity of human nature and relationships. [Robert Guitron's choreography is] wrought with the fever of grief and sleepless nights, revealing a depth of emotion and theatricality. This is full-out dancing and stagecraft…Polaris has the potential to inspire.”

- Anastasia E. Alexander, Oregonian

“[Guitron's] movement is very supple and sensual, then it explodes into something very physical, sharp movement, bordering violence, then all of a sudden it floats again, feeling the struggle and the balance, with gravity, with momentum, with inertia. [He] is as interested in exposing the uglier aspects of the emotional landscape as he is in the exquisite beauty of the dancing body.”

“Guitron’s style is firmly rooted in the technique of Lester Horton, a modern dance pioneer whose big, whole-body movement and quick-shift spirals and rises inflect nearly every scene in “Blue.” Like Horton, Guitron is a theatrical choreographer, and his musical-theater background is immediately in evidence in the opening scene of “Blue,” which features no dance at all but sets the emotional stage with spotlighted vignettes of dancers caught in intense stop-action tableaux of grief, rapture and brewing trouble.

“Guitron knows how to stretch a moment, and he lets the grace notes linger… “

“ ‘Blue’ knows exactly what it is: an ode to the history of the blues, with no less than 20 songs cutting a wide swath from raw Mississippi swamp to sweaty juke-joint to citified big-band to electric, using the rolling rumble of a train as a narrative thread through time and place.”

- Catherine Thomas, Oregonian


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