top of page

Attend the Ballet this Spring

[Posted April 11, 2023]

The Portland Ballet, located in the heart of Hillsdale, presents two world premieres in Current/Classic on May 12-13, its annual family-friendly spring show of contemporary and classical pieces. Tom Gold’s "Carnival of the Animals" and Nick Le-Jurica’s "Innominate" will share the bill with "Paquita," a traditional ballet with a long history and bravura performances. New this year for the spring show, younger dancers will also perform in "Carnival of the Animals."

Dates: May 12-13, 2023

Times: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Lincoln Performance Hall at Portland State University, 1620 SW Park at Market, Portland, OR

Tickets: $10-$38

Information: or 503-452-8448 ext. 106

“We are so delighted to have Tom Gold back to create another new work for The Portland Ballet,” said artistic director Nancy Davis. “His ballets are always so delightful and such a wonderful challenge for our dancers. And Nick Le-Jurica’s new work, 'Innominate,' and Elizabeth Guerins’ staging of the tour de force 'Paquita' round out the program beautifully.”

"The Carnival of the Animals" (world premiere)

Tom Gold/music by Camille Saint-Saëns

Tom Gold applies his signature touch to "The Carnival of the Animals," making the city of Portland a centerpiece. A grandma and her grandson watch the crowd in Pioneer Courthouse Square and imagine people as different kinds of animals. Perfume-spritzers at Nordstrom are hens, buskers are penguins, and lawyers are donkeys. Even Umbrella Man, the iconic statue in the square, takes a star turn.

“It’s really important to me that my pieces are set in the cities where they are created,” Gold said. “It gives the show that personal touch and connection.”

Gold is founder and director of Tom Gold Dance and performed for 21 years with the New York City Ballet, where he rose to the rank of soloist. Active internationally as a guest artist, choreographer, and instructor, he has created more than a dozen original works for Tom Gold Dance, Vassar College, the Bermuda Arts Festival, Oregon Ballet Theatre, the New York City Ballet Choreographic Institute, and many other dance academies, companies, festivals, television shows, and special events.

Original costumes are designed by Michelle Shipton-Cook.

"Innominate" (world premiere)

Nick Le-Jurica/Music by J.S. Bach, Jóhann Johansson, Lukas Foss, and Philip Glass

"Innominate" tackles themes of identity. Are we a collective or a group of individuals, and what is sacrificed to be either one? This piece is created in the tradition of ballet through Nick Le-Jurica's distinctive lens.

Le-Jurica, a former student at The Portland Ballet, graduated from Juilliard in New York City and danced professionally with Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company in Salt Lake City. He is now the company’s director of community engagement. His ballet "Q" was performed in Current/Classic last spring.


Originally by Joseph Mazilier/Music by Édouard Deldevez and Ludwig Minkus/Set by Elizabeth Guerin

A classic ballet with a long and storied history, "Paquita" dates back to 1846 when it was originally presented at the Paris Opera House. Legendary ballet figures have shaped the dazzling choreography over the years, including Marius Petipa, Anna Pavlova, and Rudolf Nureyev.

Elizabeth Guerin, a founding member of The Portland Ballet faculty, is a former principal dancer with Oregon Ballet Theatre, Washington Ballet in Washington, D.C., and Princeton Ballet (now American Repertory Ballet).


Do you have a favorite spring arts event? Let us know.


bottom of page