Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Oregon Ballet Theatre at Director Park, downtown Portland


After work recently, I sat mesmerized for over an hour, watching the strength, grace and determination as these two rehearsed "Swan Lake." Once I had downloaded the photos, I knew I had to find out the names of these two dancers. Thank goodness for the Internet.

The lady: YUKA IINO / PRINCIPAL DANCER, joined OBT in 2003

A native of Japan, Yuka Iino joined OBT from Reiko Yamamoto Ballet Company where she became a principal dancer in 1996. She is a graduate of the Reiko Yamamoto Ballet School and a recipient of both the 1998 Varna International Ballet Competition Gold Medal (Junior Division) and the 1995 Asian Pacific Ballet Competition Bronze Medal. Ms. Iino has had ballets created on her at OBT by Christopher Stowell, Kent Stowell and Yuri Possokhov. In August 2008, she performed the pas de deux from George Balanchine's Rubies at the Chicago Dancing Festival.

The gentleman: BRIAN SIMCOE / SOLOIST, joined OBT in 2005

Brian Simcoe began his training in Southern Oregon under the direction of Sylvia Bolton, and also studied with the School of Oregon Ballet Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet School and Long Beach Ballet Arts Center. At OBT, he has appeared in Christopher Stowell's Swan Lake, Lar Lubovitch's Concerto Six Twenty Two, as the Cavalier in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker and Who Cares?, and the leading role in Jerome Robbins' Afternoon of a Faun. 

Also from the OBT Web site:


August 20th through the 24th, OBT will move their dance studios outdoors to Director Park in downtown Portland, offering visitors of all ages the opportunity to sneak a peek inside the choreographic process. Thanks to a collaboration with White Bird Dance, this year’s OBT Exposed will be a Choreographic Institute featuring international choreographer Pontus Lidberg. Dance lovers of all ages will have the opportunity to watch as Lidberg works with OBT dancers to develop a new contemporary work featuring music by Portland-born, Julliard-trained classical composer Ryan Francis that will premiere in April as part of OBT’s American Music Festival program (April 18-28, 2013). 

This project represents the first official collaboration between Oregon Ballet Theatre, Oregon’s leading resident ballet company, and White Bird, the sole dance-only presenter west of the Rockies. OBT Artistic Director Christopher Stowell and White Bird Co-Founders Walter Jaffe and Paul King agreed on the selection of Pontus Lidberg for the Choreographic Institute in light of his growing reputation as a gifted young choreographer who uses classical ballet as a springboard for inventive new work that he often combines with film.

Dancers will also be rehearsing selections from Swan Lake in preparation for their upcoming performance at the Oregon Symphony's Waterfront Concert August 30th.

Bring your lunch, relax with friends or treat your loved ones to the beauty and grace of OBT's dancers and a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what it takes to stage a ballet. A unique and energizing way to spend a summer afternoon, not to mention it's absolutely FREE!


Jim Klenke said...

I love how you changed the picture, it looks like an oil painting and the subjects are prefect.

Paul in Powell River said...

Lucky you! I've not had the pleasure of OBT, though I have done Portland Opera 3 times (if not recently).

Warren said...

wow! great picture & effects, you knocked that one out of the park!


Ballet is so beautiful, what a treat to see these dancers rehearsing and to learn more about them. Lovely photo.

Randy said...

Awesome shot Lynette. Like the effect too.

Hannah-Riley Blessing said...

Good job, Lynette! You are such an artist. Between that, and the research you do for your blogs, I can see how you were awarded 'Best Portland Blogger'. Congratulations!!!