An entry by Soloist Candace Bouchard….

Out of the ashes, there comes new growth. The silver lining to last season’s financial crisis is that it gives us an opportunity to openly reevaluate our methods and blaze new trails. For me, personally, it exposed some secret vault in my brain that I didn’t even know existed.
I remember having a conversation with Brian Simcoe last spring about life after being a dancer. I told him I thought that if I couldn’t be a dancer, I couldn’t work in the dance world. I didn’t have much love for teaching, I had no desire to choreograph, and I couldn’t imagine what a difficult path it would be to become a ballet master or director, being constantly reminded of how much I miss pushing my limits and feeling the music overtake me. I’d always be an enthusiastic supporter and audience member, but whatever work I chose to do after dancing, it wouldn’t be in ballet.
Except I’ve had an idea rolling around in a nebulous, unrecognizable form for a couple of years now that completely goes against what I told Brian. Too focused on becoming a better dancer (and bartender, and person in general…), I always pushed the idea away, knowing that since I had no interest in being involved in the dance world as anything other than a dancer, it would never come to fruition.

A couple of weeks later, though, I found myself telling our director, Christopher, about it. As my mouth formed the words, my brain shouted, “Stop! This will mean doing all the things you say you don’t want to do!” Fortunately, that part of myself (heart, soul, spleen, or just the other half of my brain) that makes me an artist remained louder and just kept talking. I explained that I wanted to create works to perform in alternative venues around town where people outside our normal community feel more comfortable. Where the audience doesn’t feel like they’re being forced to sit down and over-intellectualize the ballet, but can instead wander around with a drink in their hand just getting what they feel from dance. If the level of intimacy between performers and artists changes so drastically for us between the Keller and the Newmark, how much deeper will it be at a music venue where half the audience could wander up and touch the edge of the stage?
As soon as the performance space in my mind changed, once I took out the proscenium and added audience members with beer, I discovered that I was full of good ideas for choreography. Portlanders love good art, and I want to give it to them any way I can.
And so, I started an Uprising. The first installments will be at Mississippi Studios November 3rd – 5th with the fantastic local band Horse Feathers. You can:
  • Find out more about the performances here.
  • Listen to Horse Feathers’ music here.
  • And buy tickets to see myself (for aforementioned reasons of not being able to stand the pain of watching other people dance if I can’t participate), Leta Biasucci, Ansa Deguchi, Olga Krochik, Steven Houser and Lucas Threefoot perform onstage with Horse Feathers at Mississippi Studios. It will be like nothing you’ve ever seen before. That I can promise.

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