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By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 10 May 2006

The Jefferson Dancers will fill the Newmark Theatre with energy and talent this month in the group's annual concert.

Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. May 11 and 12; and at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. May 13 in the Newmark, 1111 S.W. Broadway.

The 20-member troupe of Portland high school students will premiere choreographer Sarah Slipper's "Beautiful Madness," danced to the music of Mozart. Slipper has choreographed pieces for the Nashville Ballet, Louisville Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Cornish Dance Theater, Cincinnati Ballet and Oregon Ballet Theatre.

Her work, "A Fine Balance," was nominated for the prestigious Benois de la Danse choreographic award and recently was performed at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow.

Jefferson Dancers artistic director Steve Gonzales' technically challenging choreography can be seen in two works the dancers will perform, including "Impact," dedicated to the memory of dancer and former Jefferson High School teacher Elena Carter.

Former Jefferson Dancer Thomas Yale brings his hip-hop, tap and African dance talents to the company in two works: "Dapper" and "Roxie's." The troupe also will perform the work of another Jefferson Dancer graduate, Durante Lambert: "Hear My Drum," a colorful and high-energy West African piece.

Dancer and choreographer Davis Robertson worked with the troupe on the piece "Uncovered Garden." Robertson began his career as a breakdancer in Florida and went on to dance with the Joffrey Ballet, choreograph for dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov and appear in the Robert Altman film The Company.

Tickets are $11.50, $16 and $20 and can be purchased from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday at the Portland Center for the Performing Arts box office, 503-248-4335, or through Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com, 503-224-4400 or G.I. Joe's, Fred Meyer and other independent locations.

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