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Semester in Sequins #7: Captain Glitterbang

Facing down body anxieties in burlesque class.


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


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.

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

Live Review: Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet


Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, an ever-popular company out of New York, is no stranger to popular culture: Emily Blunt was cast as a company dancer in The Adjustment Bureau. But its repertoire is at least high-minded in intent, as seen in a one-night performance Wednesday night, presented by White Bird</...   More
Thursday, February 27, 2014 by AARON SPENCER

Semester in Sequins #6: Red Wedding Dress

A former opera singer strips down.


Baby LeStrange stands before the Rose City School of Burlesque class in hamburger-print leggings and boots with gold, spiked toes. She’s teaching facial expression, a skill she’s exhibited onstage before while    More
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 by AARON SPENCER

Live Review: Oregon Ballet Theatre, Reveal


Alison Roper begins Bolero with steely energy, surrounded as she was in 2008, when the piece premiered, by metal panels that gradually rise as Ravel’s snare drum-driven score increases in intensity. Within moments, Artur Sultanov bursts gallantly from stage right and rushes to her, completing the time warp to six years ago when the pair first danced the piece by Nicolo Fonte.
  S...   More
Sunday, February 23, 2014 by AARON SPENCER

Semester in Sequins #5: The Burlesque Name

The burlesque neophytes christen themselves.


Forbidden names for new burlesque performers include Kitten, Kitty, Vixen and Honey, or anything with “Von” or “de Ville” or “Lux” or “Deluxe.” And, of course, Lolita. They’re overused, says Fannie Fuller, instructor at the Rose City School of Burlesque. “And when you start you want to be like, ‘This is me.’...   More
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 by AARON SPENCER

Luciana Proaño

From Peru to Portland, with poetry and hammocks.

In 20 years of performing in Portland, Luciana Proaño has never gotten significant media attention. She acknowledges she could do more to promote herself, but by her nature—she improvises all   More
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 AARON SPENCER

Live Review: RuPaul's Drag Race: Battle of the Seasons


The crowd might not have been the biggest the Crystal Ballroom has ever had, but it certainly was the most vicious.
After waiting in freezing temperatures Wednesday night in a line that wrapped around the block, not a soul at the RuPaul’s Drag Race: Battle of the Seasons show would accommodate the girl with two vodka crans trying to squeeze her way to the stage. When my friend Nathalie...   More
Thursday, February 6, 2014 by AARON SPENCER

Semester in Sequins #4: Mod Squad

One and one and one is three.


At the end of the 10-week course at the Rose City School of Burlesque, the 16 students will perform a group number. That’s in addition to the non-mandatory solos that instructor Fannie Fuller says she’s “assuming” everyone will do.
But the group number for this class—made up of students of an assortment of sizes, ages ...   More
Tuesday, February 4, 2014 by AARON SPENCER
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