Win Tickets ($60): PDX Contemporary Ballet Presents “Undone” @ N.E.W. Expressive Works | An Examination of the Question of Choice in our Lives

We are giving away a pair of front row tickets to PDX Contemporary Ballet Presents “Undone” @ N.E.W. Expressive Works on May 18 & 19. To win, comment on this post why you’d like to attend (and include which day you’d prefer to attend). Winner will be drawn and emailed Monday, May 13.


From our sponsors:
May 17-19, 2019
Friday & Saturday 7:30 p.m. | Sunday 2:30 p.m.
All Ages | $15-$25 Online, $20-$30 at the door
More info:

N.E.W. Expressive Works
810 SE Belmont, Portland, OR

What happens when we – particularly women – compromise ourselves behind a veneer of conformity and acquiescence? This is the central question behind “Undone” – the final installment of PDX Contemporary Ballet’s 2018-2019 season.

The imagery of the White Dress returns for its final appearance, representing the traditional choices often made in our lives. And we pay for our choices with the lives we ultimately lead.

In “Undone”, Artistic Director Briley Neugebauer examines this topic from an exclusively female perspective. She asks this question: “How do we find ourselves choosing the White Dress? Is it truly a personal choice, or is it essentially the influence of society?”

Journalist Memory Banda says “Despite all the advocacy for gender equality, women and girls still do not have much choice when it comes to taking controls of their own lives.” And a quick google search will turn up hundreds of hits about the “illusion of choice” for women, even in this age of empowerment.

Neugebauer – transfixed by this state of affairs – uses “Undone” as a platform to examine all its implications. Even today, there is an expectancy that females will, in general, get married and produce a family. Regardless of the path a woman desires to take, this expectancy lingers to one degree or another, and “Undone” showcases this dialectic. It is, ultimately, a show about struggle.

The show opens with a dancer already on stage wearing the White Dress. She slowly begins to see what the Dress really means for her and her life. Throughout the performance the dancers go back and forth between athletic fast paced movement and slow gestural phrases, showcasing the want for escape and the reality of being stuck. At times the White Dress almost takes on a life of its own as it moves around stage, “dancing” and causing the audience and performers to live within its world.

Staging performances in-the-round has become something of a tradition for PDX Contemporary Ballet, and “Undone” is no exception. Neugebauer says “I suppose in-the-round has come to feel the most natural for me, and certainly for the questions explored in this particular show. It would feel somehow wrong to present this type of real-life work in a proscenium setting. Experiencing dance in-the-round – allowing the audience to surround the dancers – brings a sense of realness into the work.”

Large swaths of “Undone” are set to selections from Ludovico Einaudi’s “Nightbook,” particularly those arrangements for piano and chamber ensemble, which are occasionally augmented by subtle atmospherics and light percussion. When it was released in 2009, one reviewer remarked, “The wistful minor keys of the ambient influenced pieces slow the heart before breaking it, while the complex pleasures of the unabashedly gorgeous songs harbor a doleful undertone.”

Interspersed into this soundscape are pieces from “Without Sinking” (interestingly, also released in 2009) by Icelandic cellist Hildur Gudnadottir. Neugebauer has carefully curated from this moody work, about which reviewers wrote “In the delicate hands of Gudnadottir, the cello whispers and moans. Perhaps it’s grieving for an uncertain future, perhaps accepting a buried past.” The same could be exactly said for “Undone” itself.

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29 Responses to Win Tickets ($60): PDX Contemporary Ballet Presents “Undone” @ N.E.W. Expressive Works | An Examination of the Question of Choice in our Lives

  1. April MacKay May 2, 2019 at 2:29 pm #

    I’d love to attend on Saturday night — I’m a huge fan of the company :-)

  2. Michelle pelletier May 2, 2019 at 2:29 pm #

    I would love to win tix and take my teenage daughter!:)

  3. Diana Andresen May 2, 2019 at 2:42 pm #

    I think we are all dancers in our hearts but we can’t for whatever the reason it is this type of opportunity that allows the imagination to sore. I would love to win these tickets

  4. kathleen h cacouris May 2, 2019 at 2:59 pm #

    I crave dance and this would be stellar to attend!

  5. Ju May 2, 2019 at 4:11 pm #

    I love how expression and movement can evoke so much of that we all struggle with: fear, love, self-realization, the need for connection. I’d love to see the performance on the night of the full moon, May 18.

    Thank you!

  6. Susank May 2, 2019 at 4:31 pm #

    I’ve never had a white dress

  7. Jackie Nelson May 2, 2019 at 7:18 pm #

    This would be so wonderful to see and hear. I would love to escape into this beautiful performance.

  8. Sara May 2, 2019 at 7:40 pm #

    I live ballet!!!!!

    • Bowe May 2, 2019 at 9:00 pm #

      I would love to attend, either day would be great!

  9. Christie May 2, 2019 at 9:47 pm #

    After dancing for 15 years but off for 6 years feel like it’s time to renew my love for dance. If you grant me the chance for tickets I would bring my mom who took me to all my dance classes as a kid and always supported my dance.

  10. cath May 3, 2019 at 10:37 am #

    this would be awesome!

  11. Lisa Kendall May 3, 2019 at 6:48 pm #

    I’m a huge ballet fan. I’ve been going to local performances for decades. It’s about time I saw this troupe.

    • poppy May 7, 2019 at 9:55 pm #

      Flowing Beauty!

  12. Heather Mash May 3, 2019 at 9:02 pm #

    I’ve never attended a ballet performance, but I’ve heard that ballet in Portland is exceptional.

  13. Robin May 6, 2019 at 2:49 pm #

    I love the ballet. Would really like to go.

  14. Antonio May 7, 2019 at 5:10 am #

    Me and my wife would love to attend. We love the ballet, and go as often as possible.

  15. Chris Webb May 7, 2019 at 8:59 am #

    This sounds amazing, would really love to go!

  16. Andrea May 7, 2019 at 1:16 pm #

    I’ve been a dancer for 10 years but am new to the area and would love to see this company! I’d love to win tickets for the 17th or 18th.

  17. Jennifer May 7, 2019 at 1:50 pm #

    This looks super cool! Thanks.

  18. Theresa May 7, 2019 at 2:13 pm #

    I would love to attend, either night works for me

  19. Sharon May 9, 2019 at 2:58 pm #

    Would be such a fun pre-graduation gift for my daughter

  20. Josette May 9, 2019 at 3:38 pm #

    I would love to win and take my friend Mel. I grew up dancing classical ballet and miss it dearly. We both love the arts and we’d love to celebrate them by attending!
    I’d prefer May 18th.

  21. Tara Keitz May 11, 2019 at 3:42 pm #

    I have never seen a ballet and would love the opportunity too see this! Please pick me!!!

  22. anna May 14, 2019 at 12:31 pm #

    It would be such an incredible opportunity to bring my dance loving 4-yesr old and expose her to dance!

  23. Susank May 14, 2019 at 12:41 pm #

    I made choices

  24. Kristen May 14, 2019 at 12:48 pm #

    This sounds fantastic!

  25. Shannon Milliman May 14, 2019 at 1:14 pm #

    I love dancing

  26. W May 14, 2019 at 1:32 pm #


  27. Amy J Bowman May 15, 2019 at 8:19 am #

    I was the cutest cubbies little 5 year old ballerina you have ever seen! This would help me relive the fantasy only in a trimmer, trained, professional version danced by someone other than myself

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