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Bob Keyes

Bob Keyes has written about the arts in Maine since 2002. He’s never been much an artist himself, other than singing in junior high school chorus and acting in a few musicals. But he’s attended museums, theaters, clubs and concert halls all his life, and cites Bob Dylan as most influential artist of any kind since Picasso. He lives in Berwick.

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Posted: February 24, 2017

Portland Ballet’s ‘Gallery’ features three contemporary dance pieces in one program

Written by: Bob Keyes
Dancers from Portland Ballet rehearse one of the dances from "Gallery," which will be presented this weekend and next. Photos by Justin Day, Courtesy of Portland Ballet

Dancers from Portland Ballet rehearse one of the dances from “Gallery,” which will be presented this weekend and next.
Photos by Justin Day, Courtesy of Portland Ballet

Dancers from Portland Ballet will perform the work of three choreographers in a program of contemporary dance this weekend and next at the Portland Ballet Studio Theater on Forest Avenue.

“Gallery: The Choreographers’ Work” includes three pieces, each of which was tailored in part around the Portland Ballet dancers.

“In part, all of these pieces have been created before,” said Portland Ballet artistic director Nell Shipman. “It’s not brand new or never-before-seen work, but each piece has elements that were created for the dancers at Portland Ballet to expand the work.”

The choreographers are Fernanado Ramos-Cintron, who is from Puerto Rico; Annie Kloppenberg, who teaches dance at Colby College in Waterville, and Savannah Lee, a member of the Portland Ballet Company of professional dancers.

Dancer from Portland Ballet rehearse one of the dances from "Gallery."

Dancer from Portland Ballet rehearse one of the dances from “Gallery.”

The dances are not related, and there’s no over-arching theme, Shipman said. “But they’re all powerful pieces, and all, interestingly enough, are set to original music. It’s very exciting and a great opportunity for our audience and dancers.”

Ramos-Cintron was in Portland in January to work with the dancers on his piece, which he calls, “From the Cracks.” It’s about renewing, redeeming and recreating oneself after being caught in the cracks of life and society, he said, in a video interview posted on the Portland Ballet website. “There’s a lot bent legs and a lot of broken arms,” he said. “From the broken imagery, how do you find form?”

Portland Ballet presented a similar program last year, and Shipman said it may become an annual offering. It will last about an hour, with a brief intermission.

‘GALLERY: THE CHOREOGRAPHERS’ WORK’

WHERE: Portland Ballet Studio Theater, 517 Forest Ave., Portland
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday, 7:30 p.m. March 10 and 2 p.m. March 11
TICKETS & INFO: $10 to $30; portlandballet.org/tickets

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