“Astounding expressiveness, natural charm, and unforced theatricality”
-2011 Bessie Awards
Caleb Teicher, 2011 Bessie Award Winner, is a truly original artist. Utilizing tap dance, jazz, Lindy Hop, and a mix of other dance styles born and bred in America, his works represents a unique style of theatricality, humor, and emotional expressions and aesthetic exploration. Whether moving to Bach’s Goldberg Variations, or swing dancing to Ella Fitzgerald’s famous recordings, Caleb Teicher and his remarkable company are among America’s most innovative dance artists.
FOR ALL AGES | 3 SHOWS
THUR-SAT | Oct 17-19 | 8PM
Lincoln Hall, Portland State University
Take a moment to consider what the barriers are for kids participating in dance; lack of programming in schools, insufficient family funds to afford private lessons and the cost of proper apparel, to name a few. Kathryn Harden, owner of StepsPDX and Founder of Steps for Youth, would add lack of mentorship and a feeling of not belonging in the dance world to a long list of other barriers.
Helmed by Kathryn along with her Director of Education and Community Engagement, Monica Parra, Steps for Youth partners with local schools to provide dance opportunities to kids from all backgrounds with an emphasis on schools that have little funding for art or physical education.
“There is no one size fits all to this program as each of our partners have different needs. For example, at Kairos PDX, a K-5 school, we participate in their Community Action Fridays every week for three hours. We teach three, 45-minute classes based on the styles the students want to learn. In the past two years, we have been teaching the students hip-hop as well as creative movement. The students have power in picking their classes and all grade levels are encouraged to sign-up. The response has been extremely positive, with classes overflowing with kids that are eager to participate.” remarks Kathryn.
However, the road to helping kids unlock their true potential has it’s climbs as Kathryn explains an all-too-often heard scenario here in Portland, “On the other hand at Centennial Park High School, the students are not offered PE and do not have proper space for us to come in. Thanks to some incredibly dedicated teachers who drove kids to Steps PDX, we were able to teach them yoga, meditation as well as contemporary movement in the classroom.”
Classes are only part of the vision mind you. Ideally, there are two tracks, a recreational track and a career track. For the students who discover they have the passion and desire to pursue dance as a career, they would be welcomed into the Steps PDX School with a full scholarship, mentor, transportation, dance attire, and equipment kit to set them up for success. Outside of the classroom Steps PDX directors and artistic staff take students to shows so they can experience professional-level dance firsthand and get a taste of what they are working towards.
For many students in the current partner schools, dance is anywhere from invisible to out-of-reach for them. The vision for the Steps for Youth program goes far beyond helping kids overcome practical barriers to experiencing and even excelling at dance. If offers a safe space to give young creators a sense of belonging coupled with the life experiences needed to help them succeed wherever their path may take them.
Full Circle is an event hosted by Steps PDX created to raise funds specifically for this program with the broader community involved. The event itself consists of a full schedule of classes during the day, followed by an evening of food, drinks, live DJ performance and a silent auction. The event is named Full Circle because Kathryn wants people to understand that their involvement means everything. Donors, sponsors and class participants are all coming together to support dance for youth. “Our first year, we offered the Steps for Youth program to the schools free of charge and subsidized the cost of instructors and administration of the program to show the power dance can have on young lives. We were in our first year as a business, it was not easy, but it is what was right in our hearts. Hopefully, staff and students alike can spread the word and value of the program.” Kathryn says “In an ideal world, dance is not something you have to seek out, but is available to everyone.”
The 3rd Annual Portland Dance Film Fest is excited to share 20 dance film shorts, four mini dance documentaries, and the Oregon Dance Film Commission during three nights of screening. Join us for the post celebration party following the last screening and then begin creating your own dance film at the full day workshop on Sunday!
PDFF Picks 1 > Oct 3rd at 7:00pm
PDFF Picks 2 > Oct 4th at 7:00pm
PDFF Picks 3 > Oct 5th at 7:00pm
At NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium
Closing Night Party > Oct 5th at 8:45pm
At Fields (Sunken) Ballroom / Portland Art Museum
Free event! Cash Bar & Food on us!
A full length Circus Theatre Show using aerial acrobatics as a conduit for storytelling. The artists will unfold the story of two women and their journeys through healthy and unhealthy relationships. It is raw, honest, funny and tender hearted.
Created and performed by Amaya Alvarado by Kate Law and the show is accompanied by live, original cello music by Yoko Silk. Audiences will see beautiful and powerful performances using Chinese pole, Cyr wheel, trapeze, invented apparatus, dance and acrobatics.
We have some pretty impressive dance artists in Oregon, but are they even on the map? With touring becoming more and more expensive, not to mention difficult to break in to, it’s hard for artists to get their work seen by audiences nationwide and worldwide.
Lucky for us, the Founders of Portland Dance Film Fest and Oregon Dance Film Commission are working on that. Co-Founder Jess Evans explains “Dance film is exciting for artists and art patrons right now. Technology is being used in innovative ways, creating a dance film is an inherently collaborative process which opens new doors and ideas, and dance film gives audiences a new way to access dance. Overall, there is just a lot of energy around the art form.” And, it’s much easier to send a film around the world than a full company of dancers.
Portland Dance Film Fest is entering its 3rd year with an exciting new partnership with Northwest Film Center. The event consists of three nights of dance films from all over the world, a Closing Night Party after the screening on October 5th, and a full day of workshops with Rob Uehlin and Faith Morrison called Screenwriting & Kinesthetic Exploration for Screendance on October 6th, hosted at NW Dance Project.
Co-Founder and Festival Director Kailee McMurran describes one of the ways PDFF is unique, even within the film festival circuit. “At the Closing Night Party we have a film that’s being actively created. We have a dancer, filmmaker, and an editor all working on it live, then it premiers at the end of the night.” It’s a great way for patrons to witness a slice of what goes into making a dance film and all the cool opportunities film offers that are different than what live performance can accomplish. This year the Live Dance Film Creation team is filmmaker and editor Steven Cady, dancer Briley Jozwiak of push/FOLD, and dancer Heather Hindes of The Holding Project.
The Oregon Dance Film Commission is something the PDFF Founders created in their second year of the festival as a way to encourage and support more local dance artists and filmmakers in exploring dance film. The first year, 2018, they asked a dancer/choreographer and a filmmaker to create a work to be premiered at the festival. This year they took applications to choose the dancer/choreographer and filmmaker and offered a stipend for production as well as support navigating collaboration and the learning curve of what it is to make a film for a dancer/choreographer and what it is to work with dance as a narrative tool as a filmmaker.
For artists that want to get involved, they are especially interested in working with artists who are established in their craft, but not established in creating a dance film. “We love to pair artists who are strong as a dancer/choreographer or filmmaker, but the collaboration would be a new experience for them.” says Kailee. “Along with the opportunity for broader exposure, it’s also a way to help expand the professional potential of artists.” Once created, the artists have the full rights to the film so they can submit it to film festivals or use it any way they like. The hope is that having “commissioned by Oregon Dance Film Commission” on their film will give them additional credibility around the world as Oregon becomes more recognized for having a thriving Screendance culture. Perhaps now it’s just big name, but as PDFF continues to help elevate the art form and the talented artist here who are making relevant dance films or will be in the future, the bigness of it is inevitable.