Following the Path of Water
If SubRosa were an element, they would most certainly be water. Water is known as a cleansing, healing and loving element, which pretty much sums up SubRosa’s approach artistically as well as their collective perspective on life. The dance company formed out of a group of women who were craving a nurturing environment and the opportunity to simply explore their own visions. “Artistically what we are channeling is just ourselves.” says Jess Evans, one of the Co-Directors. “We all want permission to change as we change, and we support that sentiment in other artists as well.” SubRosa doesn’t have a specific aesthetic their trying to portray, but rather, project to project, different choreographers emerge and the dancers just flow along with it. When making company decisions Jess says “Usually everyone feels about the same but sometimes one or two people feel the exact opposite. Working with the different ideas and perspectives is a constant reminder that there is never ‘right’ just different.”
The opposite of a trickling stream, their fluidity is often what amplifies their power. “We have found that our perceived limitations have actually been a service to us, sometimes it’s where our best creativity comes from.” A perfect example is their production Living the Room. Living the Room was a show that originally came about because as a small company with minimal funds and limited rehearsal space, they were making up choreography in their living rooms. Soon their limitation turned to inspiration and Living the Room became a evening length stage production before evolving further into a dance for film. The film was a huge collaboration between multiple artists and was shot in three days in a hundred year old house. The scenes range from touching to quirky to delightfully carefree and in true SubRosa fashion, the film is artistic but relatable. “We don’t really ask our audience to be any more intelligent than they are, we’re not trying to be high brow. Everyone wants to make art that’s valid. But what makes something valid? For SubRosa, it’s valid because it’s a process.” The initial screening for Living the Room was in March and the film is now being prepared to be sent out to film festivals.
In addition to producing their own shows, SubRosa has performed in numerous Portland events such as Fertile Ground Festival, The Galaxy Festival, the ONE Festival, the Someday Lounge Incubator, and Green Valley Music Festival.