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Oregon Ballet Theatre's company premiere of Nicolo Fonte's Beautiful Decay. Photo by Jingzi Zhao

Oregon Ballet Theatre


Peter Franc and Xuan Cheng in Oregon Ballet Theatre’s production of James Canfield’s Romeo & Juliet, Photo by Yi Yin.

Oregon Ballet Theatre
stands at the epicenter of Portland’s dance world, with a 27-member professional company that performs both traditional and contemporary ballet, plus a multilevel ballet school that trains dancers in pure classical technique. They’re considered a gold standard for dance in our region, known for articulate, dynamic, and expressive work.

Since their founding in 1989, OBT has had three artistic directors: James Canfield, Christopher Stowell, and now Kevin Irving. Canfield founded the company with a unique, groundbreaking vision, and Stowell expanded its repertoire with notable works by George Balanchine and other ballet greats. Now Irving upholds OBT’s classical legacy while introducing programming that reflects the vigor of the art form, with Portland premieres from internationally acclaimed contemporary choreographers such as resident choreographer Nicolo Fonte, William Forsythe, Nacho Duato, and Darrell Grand Moultrie.

The company’s 2016–2017 “Season of Giants” will trace the evolution of dance from Czarist Russia to right here and right now, through iconic works by the “giants” of ballet: Petipa’s Swan Lake, Balanchine’s Serenade, Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, Duato’s Jardi Tancat. And world premieres by current luminaries Nicolo Fonte and Helen Pickett will explore the future of the art form. Who better than “your local, world-class dancers” to lead the way?

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ARTSLANDIA APPLAUDS: the deft balance OBT strikes by programming both time-honored classical works and boundary-breaking contemporary premieres.