INTREPID INVENTORS OF NEW MANEUVERS
NW Dance Project’s distinct approach to contemporary dance is crystalized, in a way, by their contemporaries: While other dance companies are named after and guided by a single founding choreographer, NW Dance Project’s Artistic Director, Sarah Slipper, invites many choreographers and gives them free rein to create for the company of classically trained, yet daring and highly physical dancers. Where other companies license and present previously proven dance pieces, NW Dance Project insists on commissioning, crafting, and premiering only original new works—about 190 since their founding in 2004. “We will not license existing works, ever,” Slipper declares.
“Newness” is a guiding light for NW Dance Project, which always makes quality creative choices with fresh eyes—whether choosing choreographers, dancers, or teachers. “We don’t come into anything with preconceived ideas. We don’t have an ideal body type for dancers or sought after content from choreographers,” Slipper explains. “We try to just help artists be better artists.”
Their other inspiration? The world stage. NW Dance Project has toured the U.S., Canada, Europe, and even Mongolia to broad acclaim. Four dancers have earned prestigious Princess Grace Awards while with the company. Though all their works are created and premiered in Portland, certainly their happy home, NW Dance Project is unabashedly world-class.