white bird
Image: Tom Oliver

Skinner/Kirk and Bielemeier dance their drawers off.

WITH HOLIDAY PAGEANTS, Messiah concerts, and entire regiments of Nutcrackers saturating the scenery this month, it’s a relief to find a cultural alternative to all the red and green. Portland dance promoter White Bird will turn its spotlight on three of our top local talents with a performance by Skinner/Kirk and Bielemeier. A fairly abstract and modern presentation, it features the dancing of Eric Skinner and Daniel Kirk, both members of the BodyVox ensemble, as well as Gregg Bielemeier, a freelance choreographer and teacher at Conduit Dance. Though it’s extremely physical, the showcase—which features a group of nine dancers in two 30-minute segments—is also played for laughs, a trademark of Bielemeier in particular. “These pieces are purely movement-driven,” he explains. “We’re dancing for dance’s sake, without following any particular theme or literal meaning.” In an effort to keep viewers fully engaged, the audience at the Portland Opera Studio Theater will be seated in a circle surrounding the stage. This way, eyes will be able to catch the action from all angles—which isn’t an option at any of the Nutcracker programs.