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 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.
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.
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.
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.
After several years of suffering through classes filled with tweens, or missing sessions because of rigid scheduling, Evie Graham started her own dance studio. At Vega Dance Lab, everyone from people who have never strapped on groove shoes to seasoned students aged 16 and older can school their left feet or untalented dancing bears in nine dances on a drop-in basis. Shuffle-savvy instructors school pupils in proper ballet technique, burlesque-inspired choreography, and hip-hop cabaret, where dancers perform hip-hop moves with a cabaret-inspired flair.
Teachers also integrate dance into intensive workouts such as Cardio Funk, an exercise regimen set to hip-hop music, or Tease & Tone, a session divided between 30 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of dance. Lessons kick off six days a week in Vega Dance Lab?s spacious, graffiti-decorated warehouse where students can test their latest moves by dancing out of the way of oncoming forklifts.