Popular dance program to return May 18 to Milwaukie Center
People of all ages will get to see a "truly unique, up-close and intimate event" when Oregon Ballet Theatre 2 brings a group of young dancers to the Milwaukie Center at 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 18, said Tina Johnson, the center's recreation coordinator.
"People of all ages will get a taste of ballet and really appreciate the gracefulness, the choreography and the music" without having to drive to downtown Portland, she said, adding that the $3 suggested donation makes the event affordable.
OBT2 performed last year at the Milwaukie Center, and people were impressed with the quality of the dancing, choreography and costumes, Johnson said.
She said Lisa Sundstrom, OBT program director, interviews some of the dancers between acts, which gives the audience a connection to the performers.
Exposure to dance
This year, the dancers will perform to "Faust," by Charles-François Gounod, "Clair de Lune," by Claude Debussy, and pieces by Marius Petipa, Sundstrom said.
Dancers also may perform a new contemporary work choreographed by a dancer in the company that features a fusion of modern dance and neo-ballet.
It is important to bring dancers to venues like the Milwaukie Center to expose more people to dance, Sundstrom said.
"We like to reach out to different groups, like schools and senior facilities, because it may inspire them to come see more."
The dancers in Oregon Ballet Theatre 2 range in age from 18 to 22 and come to Portland from all over the United States, Sundstrom said.
"This is a rigorous program for dancers who want to become professionals. They work alongside the professionals in the main company, and they get personal attention and training," she said.
The young dancers perform 20 to 25 shows a year like the upcoming one at the Milwaukie Center, in addition to performing with the professional dancers in the main company.
Why should people should attend the event?
"They will see a professional-level performance of both classical and contemporary dance in a more intimate setting," Sundstrom said.
What: Young preprofessional dancers from Oregon Ballet Theatre 2 present a mix of classical and contemporary work
When: 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 18
Where: The Milwaukie Center, 5440 S.E. Kellogg Creek Drive
More: Meet the performers and have photos taken after the show.
Cost: A $3 donation is suggested. All proceeds benefit OBT2 and scholarships for classes at the Milwaukie Center.