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.
Proper technique may be at the center of each dance class at In Motion Dance & Movement Studio, but there's still room for fun. Owner and head instructor Karissa Dean, a lifelong dancer, knows the importance of both. The classes she took to obtain her dance degree emphasized the importance of anatomy and physiology, but her experience on various dance teams taught the importance of teamwork and enjoyment. So regardless of the class subject?including tap, hip-hop, ballet, and Zumba?she and fellow teacher Samantha will balance both.
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.
Since 1998, the instructors at Hula Halau ‘Ohana Holo‘oko‘a—Hawaiian for “School Of Hula Where Everyone Is Family”—have carried on the traditions of their native language, song, and dance by teaching the hula to generations young and old. Hula illustrates a story through dance and music, often accompanied by a ukulele, guitar, or drum. Newcomers start out with the basic hula steps and movements, learning Hawaiian vocabulary and songs to prepare them for advancement to more complicated movements and a steady diet of only poi smoothies. Other classes teach students how to strum the ukulele and dance the tahitian brand of hula.
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.
Four Horsemen Haunted Attractions spooks its guests twice over with two connected haunted houses spanning more than 18,000 square feet. The gut-wrenching walkthroughs kick off with Primus, where scientists have uncovered strange organisms that showcase advances in science and medicine. But what they uncovered is not at benign as it seemed, causing horrific mutations of the most ancient kind. Four Horsemen's actors elicit screams through dialogue and shocking reveals, elevating the genre beyond cheap-and-dirty scare tactics that usually include dressing up like each guest’s high-school gym teacher. In the connected Hellhouse, guests follow in the footsteps of a film crew hoping to find the mysterious place where a band of serial killers kept their victims. Scripted live-action sequences and seamlessly integrated video back up roving monsters, creating a uniquely immersive haunted experience.