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Art in the Dark showcases aerial artists, original music. West Linn High School alumna Alicia Doerrie is among the 17 dancers in the show.

COURTESY PHOTO  - A-WOL Dance Collective will present Snow Leopard showcasing aerial artists under the stars, suspended from old growth trees in Mary S. Young Park. One of the dancers is Alicia Doerrie, a West Linn High alumna, pictured here in action in a Portland building.

Portland-based A-WOL (Aerial Without Limits) Dance Collective will once again return to the trees of Mary S. Young Park for Art in the Dark. Snow Leopard, this year's performance, showcases aerial artists under the stars suspended from old growth trees, and features original music composed and performed by musician Chet Lyster.

Performances are scheduled for Friday, July 26 through Sunday, July 28 and Thursday, Aug. 1 through Sunday, Aug. 4. Seating opens at 7:30 p.m. for concessions and the shows begin at 8:45 p.m.

Tickets range in price from $17 to $37 online at awoldance.org/events or by calling 503-351-5182 for questions or for handicap seating reservations.

The solidary snow leopard is known as the ghost of the mountain, elusively living on the edge of existence. Other inhabitants of the mountain seek and search, questing for the beautiful and mysterious creature that could be hiding, hunting or swirling in the shadows of the forest. The snow leopard lurks, waiting, watching without being seen.

Musician Chet Lyster brings his original soundtrack to life on the stage, blending the mysterious sounds of traditional and electronic instruments, presented in tandem with an original full-length performance by A-WOL Dance Collective.

Among the 17 dancers of the show is West Linn High alumna Alicia Doerrie. An accomplished ballet and jazz dancer in high school, while earning degrees in psychology and speech and hearing science at University of Oregon she was a member of the competitive dance team.

"I worked in the field for some time (after graduating UO) but I couldn't leave dance alone," Doerrie said.

She enjoyed the athletic nature of dance and joined A-WOL in 2006. Aerial dance requires doing pull-ups using just your arms.

"Once you have achieved that, doors open up," she said. Mastering that one move leads to learning how much you still don't know how to do, how much more strength you must acquire. She says she trains about 12 hours each week and rehearses on top of that.

She says the A-WOL dancers are excited to perform in Mary S. Young Park.

"It's really a visually exciting show," she said. "The costumes and apparatus are all white and gold so they really stand out in the dark."

A-WOL's Art in the Dark annual performance is an interactive, family-friendly, illuminated production with intimate, in-the-round theater-style seating. The transformation of the forested park into a performance venue represents the relationship between art and nature best witnessed in the Pacific Northwest.

"There is something sweet about walking into the forest (as a venue) for the first time," Doerrie said. "This is full-out production. Be prepared to be surprised."

Doerrie also says there are no bad seats as the venue has four stages and much of the movement takes place in the trees.

"There are 17 dancers in this production," she said. "And in the park we have four stages that takes a lot of bodies."

For more information about the show and to purchase tickets visit awoldance.org or call 503-351-5182.


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