OREGON BALLET THEATRE

 

Photo: Michael Linsmeier.
Photo by Joni Kabana.

 

ARTICLES & FEATURES


About Face Magazine Interview with Kevin Irving
Photo by Joni Kabana

Kevin Irving: Taking the Leap

"In June 2013, Kevin Irving became the new Artistic Director of Oregon Ballet Theatre. He draws from a career that spans the globe, and multiple dance disciplines. But the experience of feeling like an outsider at certain points in his journey has led to his greatest strength: helping people to maximize their potential." - Read the entire About Face Magazine interview


Dennis Buehler
Photo by Scott Paulus/Milwaukee Business Journal

Dennis Buehler named OBT's Executive Director and Kevin Irving signs on for three-year term after leaping over the FY14 finish line.

"After wrapping up a 2013/14 season marked by stellar critical reviews, increased audience engagement, record single ticket sales, and a strong finish to the fiscal year, Oregon Ballet Theatre makes two big announcements this week. Artistic Director Kevin Irving has signed a three-year contract with the Ballet affirming his continued and uninterrupted artistic leadership through the 2016/17 season. Additionally, Oregon Ballet Theatre has announced the appointment of Dennis Buehler as Executive Director. Buehler and his family will move from Milwaukee, where he most recently worked as Executive Director to the Milwaukee Ballet." - Read the entire story


Dennis Buehler
Photo by Scott Paulus/Milwaukee Business Journal

Oregon Ballet Theatre hires executive director from Milwaukee Ballet

"After almost two years, Oregon Ballet Theatre has hired an executive director from Milwaukee, Wis.. Dennis Buehler comes to Portland from Milwaukee Ballet, a company similar in budget size to OBT. He begins work the first week of September. At the same time, OBT's artistic director Kevin Irving has signed an extension to his contract through the 2016/17 season. He has been on the job for one year." - Read the full Oregonian Article 7/28/14


OPB Think Out Loud

Think Out Loud: Ballerina Alison Roper Prepares For Her Last Dance

"Alison Roper has danced through two pregnancies and a bone infection. She’s had roles from the Sugar Plum Fairy to the Girl from Ipanema. After 18 years and over a hundred different productions with Oregon Ballet Theatre (OBT), Roper has decided it’s time to retire. " - LISTEN HERE


OPB Video: Ballerina Dances Around Portland

OPB VIDEO: Ballerina Dances Off Stage And Around Portland

Alison Roper, the principal dancer at Oregon Ballet Theatre, is retiring. In honor of her storied career, we asked her to step off stage and dance around Portland. - WATCH HERE


Andy Batt Photo Essay: Alison Roper

OBT BLOG: Photo Essay – Andy Batt on Alison Roper

"Andy Batt was the photographic genius behind the OBT Season Brochure from 2003-2012, and has shot our dancers from the wings as well. The relationship between a photographer and a dancer is truly a collaboration, and working with the same subject for an extended period of time can bring out the best in both artists. Alison Roper and Andy Batt have shared time in the studio for all these years, and were recently reunited by Portland Monthly Magazine for the April 2014 issue. We asked Andy to tell us about his experiences with Alison as we all prepare to “Celebrate” her in her farewell performances. " - READ THE BLOG POST HERE


Portland Monthly Slide Show: Alison Roper

Portland Monthly Slide Show: Alison Roper, Dancing Queen

"Fairy queens, black swans, steely modern sirens, and goofball maids—dance chameleon Alison Roper has transformed herself into all of them during her nearly two decades at Oregon Ballet Theatre. The ballerina looks back at her career and some of her favorite roles." - VIEW SLIDE SHOW HERE


KXL feature on Alison Roper's Retirement. Photo by Andy Batt.
KXL Radio: "Ballerina Says Goodbye to Dance"
"After 18 years at Oregon Ballet Theatre, Principal Dancer Alison Roper is hanging up her toe shoes. She has dazzled audiences for nearly two decades, but she’s 40 now, and for a dancer, that’s old... 'A lot of emotions are going through me for sure,' she said. 'It’s a lot of trepidation and excitement to step into a new role here.' As sad as she is to stop dancing professionally, Alison says she’s looking forward to her last show." - Read the full KXL Radio Article


Oregon Arts Watch
Oregon Arts Watch: "Up-to-date: What’s kickin’ at OBT --
New ballet boss Kevin Irving talks about money, a second company, Alison Roper, real estate, and the 25th season"

"George Balanchine’s Agon. Three pas de deux by Trey McIntyre, Christopher Stowell and James Canfield. Ben Stevenson’s Cinderella. Additional performances of Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. Dennis Spaight’s Crayola, to be performed by a newly formed youth company, OBT 2. You could have knocked me over with a firebird’s feather when Kevin Irving, Oregon Ballet Theatre’s artistic director, announced next year’s season, the company’s twenty-fifth." - Read the full Oregon Arts Watch Article 3/18/14


Alison Roper. Photo Courtesy of The Oregonian
The Oregonian: "Alison Roper, the face of Oregon Ballet Theatre, confronts retirement -- and herself"
"When Alison Roper extends her leg, it's like watching the wing of an eagle unfold. Her back straightens, her foot arches and her leg rises. And rises. And rises.... Luciano Pavarotti said singing is controlled screaming. Ballet is controlled falling. From a distance it appears graceful, frictionless, light as air. Up close, it is violent, vein-swelling, lung-heaving. And now, after 18 years and thousands of performances in 116 different productions, Roper is ready to leave. But leaving is complicated." - Read the full Oregonian Article 2/12/14


Alison Roper and Artur Sultanov. Photo by Blaine Truitt Covert.
The Oregonian: "5 standout Alison Roper roles"
"After 18 seasons and 116 different productions, Oregon Ballet Theatre principal dancer Alison Roper is retiring at the end of this season. In that time, she's tackled celebrated works by famous choreographers like George Balanchine and Peter Martins, and she's had original dances created for her by some of today's most sought-after dance-makers... Here are five of Roper's standout roles. " - Read the full Oregonian article 2/12/24


The Oregonian

Oregon Ballet Theatre's new school director
brings international training

“Large, elaborate productions are the public face of Oregon Ballet Theatre, but its school, where kindergartners to professionals train, is hugely important to the company, too. And not simply as a source of income, but also as a training ground for future Giselles, Cinderellas and Romeos. ‘That's why the recent hire of Anthony Jones to direct the school is crucial to the company's growth,’ says artistic director Kevin Irving.” - Read OregonLive, 10/24/13


Willamette Week

Punk de Bourrée: How ballet and punk rock keep a Wisconsin farm boy from flying off the rails.
“Growing up, Michael Linsmeier milked cows in rural Wisconsin. His family lived in a town of 1,600 people along the shores of Lake Michigan and grew half the food they ate. Linsmeier spent most of his time tending to calves, driving tractors and throwing bales of hay. Today, Linsmeier spends his days doing saut de basques at Oregon Ballet Theatre and his nights playing drums with Taint Misbehavin’, a punk-rock band whose members are known for lifting their legs during gigs to reveal their perineums.” - Read Willamette Week, 10/09/13


Portland Family

Defying Gravity: Oregon Ballet Theatre’s Alison Roper
“Alison Roper will untie her ballet slippers after her final bow and let them breathe. The Oregon Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer seems to defy gravity and makes graceful feats look effortless. Her moves keep audiences on the tips of their toes — on pointe, just like her.” - Read Portland Family, 10/01/13


Oregon Arts Watch

New guy in town: Kevin Irving takes charge at OBT
The ballet's new season brings austerity, a farewell year for Alison Roper, and a new beginning with a new artistic chief

“Irving was named artistic director of OBT in early June, and he’s been working pretty much nonstop since then. But he’s been in Portland just three weeks, and things are still a whirl: meeting people, going over budgets, setting up appointments, making a few adjustments to the season schedule he inherited. There’s a huge amount to be done before the new season opens in October with the company debut of European superstar Nacho Duato’s ‘Por Vos Muero’ and former OBT artistic director Christopher Stowell’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream.’” - Read Oregon Arts Watch, 8/18/2013


Kevin Irving

New Artistic Director Kevin Irving

Oregon Ballet Theatre chooses Kevin Irving, former head of Goteborg Ballet, as new artistic director - Read the Oregonian article 6/07/13

OBT Announces Its New Artistic Director - Read the Portland Monthly article 06/07/13

Oregon Ballet Theatre's new artistic director Kevin Irving talks about the company's present and future - Read the Oregonian article 06/12/13

Q&A: Meet OBT’s New Artistic Director - Read the Portland Monthly article 06/13/13

Oregon Ballet Theatre Has A New Artistic Director - Read the OPB article 06/17/13

Oregon Ballet's dance of transformation - Read the Portland Tribune article 06/20/13


Anne Choreographs for BodyVox-2

OREGON ARTS WATCH: Anne Mueller works with BodyVox-2 - The new artistic director of OBT puts another company through her paces

"Sometimes events conspire to raise the stakes (and excitement level) of a performance long in the works. That's exactly what happened last Thursday, when BodyVox staged the first of its behind-the-curtain rehearsals for a concert coming in March. That's because it featured Anne Mueller as the choreographer, and Mueller was just named the interim artistic director at Oregon Ballet Theatre, following Christopher Stowell, who resigned late last year." - Read the Oregon Arts Watch Interview

"Because of external events, the signal work among the four new pieces is Anne Mueller's "Tuesday, 3:47 p.m.," a witty, swift and prop-laden ... short dance that blends contemporary pop motifs with a ballet sensibility." - Read the Oregon Arts Watch Review


OBT Announces 2013-2014 Season

Oregon Ballet Theatre announces a 2013-'14 season full of transitions and tributes

"'... [T]he message is that we are retaining our core values,' Mueller says. "That doesn't mean that everything is going to look the same way that it has. We need to continue to grow and evolve.There are three new works on the upcoming season that will help us grow into whatever this next incarnation of the company might be. But I want everyone to be absolutely confident that the values we've held we continue to hold." She says that paying tribute to Stowell, who led OBT for nearly a decade and raised it to greater national prominence , was 'a guiding principle for how the season was constructed.' Some of his earlier works will be revived, and he'll create a new piece for the company's winter program. But there also are slots for new choreography by Mueller and by Stowell's yet-to-be-named successor. Here are the highlights. - Read The Oregonian Article

 

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