Friday, March 18, 2011

The Weekend Ahead: 'Jack Goes Boating,' Linda Austin at Disjecta, Northwest Dance Project

Todd Van Voris/Photo credit: Owen Carey
By Barry Johnson

Some of my plans for this weekend -- and then the subsequent Monday Review -- are set. Artists Repertory Theatre is opening Bob Glaudini's Jack Goes Boating, on Friday, for example, and I'm interested to see how Todd Van Voris, right, mutates from a crusty comic Irish widower with one crazy son, which he was in "The Lieutenant of Inishmore," into a comic limo driver with a need for some romance. That should be fun.

And then on Saturday, I'm going for some dance, first, up to Disjecta to see a Linda Austin curated improvisation to illuminate Karl Burkheimer's large-scale installation in the gallery, and then to see the Northwest Dance Project's performance Saturday night.

That leaves Sunday, and I'm torn several different ways -- I think I'll just see which way the wind blow.

Info on the shows, after the jump...

JACK GOES BOATING, ART: Allen Nause is directing this little four-hander, which has soft-focus romantic comedy written all over it, but stubbornly refuses to stay all that gauze-y, as Marty Hughley pointed out in The Oregonian.  Van Voris is joined by Emily Sahler Beleele, Jon San Nicholas and Tai Sammons, so I'm expecting good performances, a tight production and some wisdom on the thing called love. Continues through April 15.

LINDA AUSTIN, Disjecta: The press release simply says that Linda Austin is curating a performance in the installation, In Site, that Karl Burheimer has constructed at Disjecta. I'm hoping that means she herself is dancing, though, because her quirky improvisations somehow open new creative pathways in my own tangled brainpan -- light, casual, suggestive. Not to put any pressure on her or anything. John Motley's take on the installation and the first of the three dance improvisations scheduled to animate gives an excellent idea about some of the things at stake here.

UPDATE: It's official! Ms. Austin will indeed be performing on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Disjecta.

SARAH SLIPPER, ET AL., Northwest Dance Project: I'm more than a little behind the curve on the Northwest Dance Project, and I thought I'd better try to catch up a little. My impression from the last concert I attended, which has been a while, was that the choreography was a little more emotionally "over-heated" than I usually like.  The company, which has some excellent dancers, danced a James Canfield piece, for example, and Canfield inhabits the tropical part of the emotional spectrum. This is a taste thing, though, because Canfield was wildly popular in some circles when he was the artistic director of Oregon Ballet Theatre. This program taps into artistic director Sarah Slippers connections with the Nederland Dans Theater, featuring work by two choreographers associated with that company, Lucas Crandall and Patrick Delcroix, as well as Slipper herself. Nederland Dans Theater is a great credential, of course, so I'm really curious about this show.


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