Each year since 1931, Portland Ovations has brought a dynamic season of exceptional performing artists to Portland, Maine, including classical music, jazz, opera, dance, theater, and Broadway. In addition to our live performances, we bring the exhilaration of the performing arts out into our community with season-long educational and outreach programs called Ovations Offstage.
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In September 2017, Portland Ovations moved beyond the proscenium and opened our season with the presentation of BANDALOOP, in a community-based residency that aimed to be immersive, experiential and driven by a sense of discovery. The vertical dance company – based out of Oakland, CA – capped off a week of open rehearsals on the sides of two iconic Portland downtown buildings (The Westin Harborview Hotel and One City Center, pictured) with four free, public performances timed at various times of day in order to reach a variety of crowds.
This was a truly community event, encompassing numerous partners -- including the City of Portland, Friends of Congress Square Park, and of course Once City Center and the Westin -- and impacting over 7,000 people. The open nature of BANDALOOP’s rehearsal process, combined with placing them in very central locations in downtown Portland, allowed for thousands of people to witness their work even before their official performances. For at least a week, a DANCE company was all the city was buzzing about. By the end, there was ownership of the event by many in the community and an injection of new energy, excitement and pride.
Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane CompanyFebruary 2016
Portland Ovations presented the revered Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company in a residency that provided not only numerous points of engagement with our community, but that culminated in an exquisite and inspiring performance featuring the company alongside an octet of Maine musicians, and 13 dancers drawn from the ranks of local studios and colleges. Over 1,000 patrons came to see the program, “Play and Play: An Evening of Movement and Music." Not only was it an evening of incomparable contemporary dance, it also inspired lots of local pride. Local arts writer Christopher Hyde noted: “They had rehearsed for only a week, according to the program, but they might have been dancing this program for years. It made me wonder why other traveling companies do not also take advantage of the tremendous pool of talent available in Maine.”
The Metropolis EnsembleOctober 2014
Inhabiting Portland's historic Victoria Mansion with its innovative program "Brownstone," the chamber musicians of the Metropolis Ensemble performed in the various rooms creating a musical score that could be enjoyed in parts in each room or as a whole from a central foyer. Two out of three of the interactive concerts were free, all during a First Friday Art Walk. Additionally, the artists gave a concert at a senior living community as well as a composers’ seminar at the USM School of Music. Our presentation of Metropolis Ensemble was the musical group’s FIRST tour. We were able to craft a regional tour and successfully leverage funding through the Expeditions program. We worked closely with the ensemble to arrive at an appropriate artist fee, devise a project concept and otherwise assist with logistics. This had a positive impact on the ensemble, which now has some “tour readiness” under its belt; our regional colleagues; and music lovers in New England who otherwise would not have experienced this innovative ensemble outside of New York City.
- NEFA Grantee
- Cultural Nonprofit