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Burk Biggler, Portland Circus and Burlesque Producer, Dies From Asthma Complications

The performer, best known for his little-man strip teases, was 36.

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Burk Biggler, a Portland performer and producer best known for his little-man strip teases and comedy acts, died Monday morning from asthma complications. He was 36. Biggler often performed with massive circus man John Dutch, forming a comedically inconsistant duo—save for their pink tutus. Biggler was also known for his strip tease to Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy,” and he was in   More
 
Tuesday, April 1, 2014 by AARON SPENCER

Live Review: New Expressive Works

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Studio 2’s New Expressive Works residency program, now in its third year, is developing a reputation for audacious moments—last year, drag queen Kaj-Anne Pepper taped back her penis in front of the audience, and in another act, Rosana Ybarra stuffed her mouth full of dried lavender. This year is ...   More
 
Saturday, March 29, 2014 by AARON SPENCER

You Too Are Made of Stars (Wobbly Dance)

Dancing by their own rules to rethink disability.


Dance
Yulia Arakelyan remembers the first day of an improv dance class led by an experimental choreographer from San Francisco. “The elevator was broken that day,” she says. “I was carried up th   More
 
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 AARON SPENCER

Crash Corset

A burlesque skeptic spends 10 sequined weeks learning the art of the tease—and how to make tear-away pants.


Performance
Headmistress Zora Phoenix wears 5-inch pumps and a black leotard. It’s a Saturday afternoon in January, and the drag queen is instructing us to walk to the mirror and “look sexy.” She demo   More
 
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 AARON SPENCER

Semester in Sequins #8: Wigging Out

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Savannah Smackdown, who is hungover from celebrating her 21st birthday the night before, walks with me into Wigland on Northeast Broadway. Smackdown, who acts older than she is but still doesn't have a driver’s license, recalls her dismal shopping trip days earlier. "I went to all the vintage and thrift stores and didn't find anything," she says. "It was the most horrible, desperate shopping tr...   More
 
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 by AARON SPENCER

Strip Club Guide 2014: It’s Not Stripping, It’s Burlesque

Or is it?


Strip Club Guide
Portland, correctly or not, is known for its per-capita plenitude of strip clubs. Its burlesque scene, however, still has a ways to go if it’s to top San Francisco’s or Seattle’s. We’re mo   More
 
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 AARON SPENCER

Live Review: Stephen Petronio Company, Like Lazarus Did

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The performance of Stephen Petronio's Like Lazarus Did is a special one for dance presenter White Bird, not because of the dance company—White Bird's presented Petronio six times, more than any other choreographer—but because of the live accompaniment by the    More
 
Friday, March 7, 2014 by AARON SPENCER

Semester in Sequins #7: Captain Glitterbang

Facing down body anxieties in burlesque class.

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The Rose City School of Burlesque class gathers around instructor Meghan Mayhem, who’s demonstrating how to apply false lashes in the mirror. Mayhem, who earlier in the course whipped her blonde mane into a beehive in less than six minutes, says every performer needs at least three things: liner, lashes and shadow. Jason, one of ...   More
 
Wednesday, March 5, 2014 by AARON SPENCER

Live Review: Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, Songs of the Wanderers

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Abstract, expressive dance commonly seeks some kind of enlightenment. Butoh, for example, is often credited for changing lives with its agonizingly slow movement and grimaces. More difficult-to-categorize performance art has similar goals—if I may use a word as deliberate as “goal.”    More
 
Wednesday, March 5, 2014 by AARON SPENCER

Metal Machine Music (Kogut Butoh)

Lou Reed, with white kimonos and candlelight.


Dance
When Lou Reed’s album Metal Machine Music came out in 1975, critics assailed it as a contemptuous joke, a smack in their faces and an immature scrape with career suicide. Now, the album, a 64-   More
 
Wednesday, March 5, 2014 AARON SPENCER
 

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