Portland Opera has always set its collective eyes on the horizon. Since filling the gaps left by touring troupes and sporadically performing local companies in 1964, it has endeavored to expand the art form on the stage and beyond. Twenty years after its inception, it became just the second company in the US to project English translations of foreign lyrics above the stage, enabling audiences to leave their Italian dictionaries at home. The company also pushes the boundaries of the shows themselves, staging world premiers of classic stories such as Wuthering Heights, commissioning the work Lucy's Lapses, and producing the West Coast premiere of Philip Glass's Orphée. Not to be contained within one performance space, it also established Portland Opera To Go, a touring division that performs works such as Cinderella and La Bohème at schools and community centers.
Ballet North West Academy employs an experienced staff versed in the graceful traditions of the Vaganova ballet method, as well as a variety of other dance styles. Today’s Groupon lets you choose one weekly class for a month from options that include traditional ballet classes, as well as Creative Dance, which teaches ballet, tap, and tumbling to physically dynamic 3- and 4-year-olds. Music and Dance (ages 4–5) focuses on fundamental ballet techniques as well as basic rhythmic patterns, while Pre-Ballet teaches dancers ages 5–7 barre exercises and feet positioning. Hip Hop (ages 6–8) gives kids the choreographed keys to a musical genre that that may cause them to spontaneously burst into rhymes. Small class sizes and a warm, friendly atmosphere make Ballet North West Academy an ideal spot for children to learn the Macarena moves that have made ballet so popular for centuries. Dancers are also entitled to 20% off dance wear.
Tiese Morgan took over Hosanna Dance Studio in 1995, infusing the school with her lifetime of experience and vision of dance as a worshipful act. She started annual performances of Adventures in Narnia and founded the Hosanna Youth Performers company, giving her young dancers a chance to shine on stage rather than just in the classroom. She supplemented these news performance opportunities by increasing the variety of dance classes and the age range of students. Now, she and her staff teach everything from ballet and tap to modern and hip hop to kids, adults, and everyone in between.
At first blush, Joy Cinema and Pub bears a striking resemblance to classic movie theaters with its intimate lobby, marquee surrounded by neon lights, and 1950s-style cartoon mural behind its concessions stand. However, this cinema differentiates itself from its forebears with a schedule of newly released Hollywood hits, generous pours of frothy microbrews, and occasional 3D features. Evening shows are "minor with parent" unless otherwise specified.
Arthur Murray Dance Studio has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and the Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, the Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired up with other classmates as the instructors assess their current skill level and make recommendations on the most appropriate program. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
The inspiration behind Rise Dance+Lab, a dance school for children aged 3–14, isn't what you might expect. Evie Graham originally established Vega Dance Lab, a studio exclusively for adult students, when she noticed a glut of kids' dance studios in her search for classes she could take herself. Of course, Evie is a parent herself, and though she found plenty of dance studios her kids could attend, most were far away from downtown Portland. So with one successful dance studio under her belt, Evie and her husband Joe founded Rise Dance+Lab, a studio in the center of the city where kids could discover and hone skills in diverse styles of dance. There, younger dancers begin with classes such as Tutu Cute or Turn! Jump! Leap!, which explore movement and teach the basics of dance and class etiquette. As kids get older, they begin developing more polished moves in styles such as hip-hop, jazz, and contemporary, even working toward injecting the choreography with their own experiences and feelings to give their moves more emotional depth and find a method of expression that can't be stolen and read by a nosy sibling.