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.
At DEFY Aerial Fitness Studio, exercisers dangle from cascading strips of silk and pull off airborne feats of acrobatic prowess on low trapeze bars during exhilarating workouts. Small groups hover above the ground, stretching limbs into graceful motions that strengthen cores. Instructors also lead workshops that impart martial arts and Parkour techniques, such as vaulting, balancing, and quadrupedal movements that dramatically increase the chances of escaping an orangutan pursuit, unless that orangutan also studied Parkour. In addition to their regular class schedule, instructors host an open gym session that gives students time to practice their skills and further stick it to gravity.
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.
Sherwood Dance develops a love of dance in all their students, from who have mastered the pirouette to those who just discovered which is their left foot. Lessons focus equally on technique and expression, giving dancers a chance to advance into performing various styles, like tap, ballet, hip-hop, and bellydance. Dancers also perform their newfound moves for family and friends at the school's annual festivals and recitals that occur throughout the year.
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.