Eugene Weekly : Arts Shorts : 11.15.07

Which Way is Up?


Leave it to a couple of grad students to ask why performers have to face front. If the space could be redefined, well, think of the possibilities: Lines between “performer” and “audience” dissolve, the theater is stripped of some of its trappings and dance-making can happen in 360 degrees. The resulting anti-gravity, upside-down tap dance would make Fred Astaire proud.

In “(mis)adventures in Gormandizing,” UO graduate students Gina Bolles and Carrie Goodnight feature 21 student and community dancers as well as collaborations with composers Christian Cherry, John Polese and Mei-Ling Lee and visual artists Ian Coronado and Melinda Yale. The evening-length work is comprised of distinct pieces, meant to hang fluidly together as a whole.

In “Perspective” and “Perspective Shift,” Bolles and Goodnight look at the public face of performance: stage front, where performer engages audience and the division between doer and watcher is clear, and compare it to the more private, pedestrian life of the wings, the sidelines, where another backstage dance unfolds, usually off-limits to audiences.

Pushing boundaries a little farther, “Schizmogenesis” pits performers against “digital dancers” using video-technology, sometimes distorting and obscuring the three-dimensionality of the human body.

See these, and other orientation-defying works, performed in the Dougherty Dance Theatre on the third floor of Gerlinger Annex on the UO campus on Friday, Nov. 16, and Saturday, Nov. 17, at 8 pm. Tix available at the door; for more information, call 346-3386. — Rachael Carnes


Choral Madness! Lust! Love! Nature!

Brian Asawa, tenor

That’s right, the Eugene Symphony takes on Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. The perhaps most-performed choral music in the country (it’s in a dead heat with Beethoven’s Ninth, according to choral expert Judith Clurman) shows off little kids, college youth and community folk with good voices (the Eugene Symphony Chorus and the Youth Chorus) singing alongside the orchestra. Soloists for Carmina are Elizabeth Norman, Brian Asawa and Robert Orth.

The show begins with Beethoven-obsessed Giancarlo Guerrero conducting Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony, the Pastoral (familiar from the first Fantasia). Then the parents will stream in the doors at intermission for Carmina, a wonderful mix of earthy, lusty movements and the trauma of our fortune-tossed lives. Tix are few and far between though the symphony opened up the pit and has begged subscribers to turn in any unused tix. Head for the Hult when the box office opens at 7 pm Thursday, Nov. 15, to see if you can pick some up for the 8 pm show. $15-$69. — Suzi Steffen