STUDENT PERFORMANCE SERIES ARCHIVE: Study Guides & Supplemental Materials


FALL SPS "OBT 25: Everything Live!"
October 16, 2014, 12:00 PM - 1:00PM
Keller Auditorium

A spectacular opportunity to treat your students to a beginning-of-the-year “WOW!” See a world premiere dance performance with live music by beloved international ensemble PINK MARTINI celebrating OBT’s 25th anniversary.

SPRING SPS "Impact: Rassemblement"
April 22, 2015* & April 23, 2015*
12:00 PM - 1:00PM

Newmark Theatre

Rassemblement (French, meaning “gathering”) is a dance work set to slave songs of Haiti and is described “as an impressive, thrilling, and audience-affecting human rights appeal.”


SPS Study Guide Fall 2013
Download the SPS
Study Guide HERE

Past and Present -
Por Vos Muero
October 17, 2013
noon - 1pm
Keller Auditorium

The Fall program looks at Past and Present. The audience will see the company premiere of Por Vos Muero, a work by Spanish choreographer Nacho Duato. In this piece, dancers take contemporary ballet movements back in time, transported by ancient Spanish music and poetry of the XV and XVI centuries. Spanish speaking students will have a treat to hear poetry spoken in Spanish within the piece — translation, dance words, and more key ideas will be explored in the downloadable Study Guide for this performance.

Register Online Here Download Registration Form

The Lost Dance

Photo: Alison Roper, Kate Oderkirk and Makino Hayashi in Matjash Mroweski's The Lost Dance. Photo by James McGrew.

SPS Study Guide Winter 2014
Download the SPS
Study Guide HERE

Silence to Big Sound!
Almost Mozart + Bolero
February 27, 2014 / noon - 1pm
Keller Auditorium

The Winter program will explore how dance (and the audience’s experience) is impacted by dynamic variations of music—Silence to Big Sound! Students will see an excerpt of Almost Mozart—a work that was recently performed in Washington DC at the John F. Kennedy Center or the Performing Arts.

Photo: Alison Roper, Damian Drake and Paul DeStrooper in James Kudelka's Almost Mozart. Photo by Blaine Truitt Covert.

Register Online Here Download Registration Form

Almost Mozart

SPS Study Guide Winter 2014
Download the SPS
Study Guide HERE

Effects of Light and Color - Petal
April 23* & 24, 2014 / noon - 1pm
Newmark Theatre

*Wednesday, April 23 is SOLD OUT – seats are still available for Thursday, April 24!

How does lighting impact our experience of dance? What emotions or ideas come to mind when we add different colors? This show will explore these questions and more as we see Petal, choreographed by Helen Pickett, and other excerpts from our spring show.

Photo: Smuin Ballet's Jane Rehm and Jonathan Dummar in Helen Pickett's Petal. Photo: Keith Sutter, Smuin Ballet

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Through Dance and Art

The inspiration for this performance derives from ancient Greek art and mythology offering the audience a chance to see ballet as expressive moving sculpture. OBT is also collaborating with Portland Art Museum’s Body Beautiful
exhibit, providing cross-linked educational resources. Visit OBT and PAM for a rich arts experience.


Portland Art Museum The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece Exhibition HERE

To hear the music for Apollo HERE

To see pictures and learn more about Apollo and the Muses go HERE

To learn about the original production of Apollo visit the George Balanchine Foundation’s website HERE

To see pictures and learn what instructions Balanchine gave to the men who danced Apollo, go HERE

To see an interactive timeline of George Balanchine’s career, including that he stopped ballet for a time due to the Russian Revolution and later in Paris changed his name from Balanchivadze to Balanchine, go HERE

To read more about Francia Russell’s experience learning Apollo go HERE

To see a video clip that shows “the spokes,” a canon, intricate weaving and an example of varied levels in space, go HERE

To hear a selection of the music from Ekho go HERE

To see a chronicle of how the trees for Ekho were built, go HERE

SWAN LAKE: Folktale of Action
and Consequence

Every student should experience great art. Swan Lake is a quintessenial ballet, based on a heartwrenching fable of true love heroically won and tragically squandered.

Oregon Ballet Theatre will perform Act III from Christopher Stowell’s Swan Lake where Odile's evil double tricks the Prince into breaking his vow of love for the Swan Queen.



What was going on in the 1940’s when Swan Lake was first performed in full by Americans? Check out the “Bound For Glory” online photo exhibition of images of America in the 1940’s HERE

View and compare two youtube videos of the Russian dance: one a solo HERE, the other a pas de deux HERE

View American Ballet Theatre’s Czardas (Hungarian) folk dance HERE and compare to Polish folk dance by students in San Diego HERE

Folk dances keep evolving. Check out the amazing skills in Romafest Gypsy Dance Theater’s, Rhythm Game HERE

Check out this link to OBT’s blog and look at videos about Swan Lake HERE

links to two approaches to folk dances, one for early elementary HEREand the other for Grades 5-8 HERE

Bourée – Whether done sur les demi-pointes or sur les pointes, it is a traveling step done with legs crossed and ankles close together HERE. Click on “Pas de bourrée couru” (pah duh boo-RAY koo-Rew) for a short video demonstration.

Fouetté – A turn on one leg with the other leg whipping in a circle. Odile performs 32 fouettes in Act III—amazing! HERE Click on Fouetté rond de jambe en tournant and see a video clip.

Pride in Being  New

Introduce your students to brand new, cutting-edge dance by contemporary choreographers created just now.


New York City Ballet principle dancer Ashley Bouder speaks about what it means to dance in Serenade HERE

Peter Martins, Artistic Director of New York City Ballet speaks about George Balanchine, including a quick look at Serenade and Who Cares? HERE

Listen to the music for Serenade on youtube HERE

Edward Vilella, former dancer with NYC Ballet and former director of Miami City Ballet, speaking in a short, fun clip about Who Cares? HERE

Information about Who Cares? from The George Balanchine Trust HERE

Here is a link to the music for Who Cares? HERE


Giselle: I’ve got the Wilis!
Thursday, March 1, 2012 / 11:45 am - 12:45 pm 
Since the first version of Giselle performed in 1841, this ballet has deeply moved people of every decade in cultures all over the world.  It is the world’s most beloved Romantic-era story ballet.

Additional Resources: Listed below are links to Giselle features on the OBT Blog and YouTube sites. Short descriptions give you an idea of the content.

Giselle features on OBT's You Tube Channel

Giselle features on OBT's Blog

Meet the Romantics—a 4-part series that offers a snapshot of European arts and culture that existed during the time Giselle debuted.

Hear!  See! Imagine! Dance!   
April 25, 26, 27, 2012 / 11:00 am - 12:00pm
Choreography derived from noticing the way things and animals sound and move.

Additional Resources: Listed below are links to additional resources to help you and your students gain insight into the three works being performed as part of the Hear! See! Imagine! Dance! program. Short descriptions give you an idea of the content.


  • Divertimento No. 15 in B-flat major, K. 287 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is available on iTunes—a recording by Liszt Ferenc Chamber Orchestra and Janos Rolla is only $5.94! HERE
  • Go to New York City Ballet's website for Divertimento No. 15. Click beside the treble clef to hear the music. See if you can hear and clap a steady rhythm that matches the beats of the music. The strong moment, when you feel like clapping, is count "one." If you count to three over and over again, clapping on count "one," you will be on the beat! This music has a rocking beat! HERE
  • See an excerpt danced by San Francisco Ballet HERE
  • Read about choreographer George Balanchine HERE


  • Read more about Lambarena in this study guide from 2009 HERE
  • Read about the choreographer, Val Caniparoli HERE


  • Read about the choreographer, Anne Mueller HERE
  • Learn about the composer, Camille Saint-Saëns HERE
  • Click to listen to a complete recording of all fourteen movements by pianists Neal and Nancy O'Doan HERE and theSeattle Youth Symphony conducted by Vilem Sokol HERE!
  • Click to see a clip of Disney's Fantasia 2000. Disney animators created a dance for flamingos to the Finale from Saint-Saëns's Carnival of the Animals HERE
  • Check out a Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny version of Carnival of the Animals from 1976 complete with poetry by Ogden Nash HERE
  • Check out an excerpt of another version of Carnival of the Animals by choreographer Christopher Wheeldon HERE


GUIDE: Song & Dance - April 27 & 28, 2011
SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIALS: Accompanying handouts or slides

GUIDE: The Stravinsky Project - March 3, 2011
WORD JUMBLE: The Stravinsky Project - March 3, 2011

GUIDE: The Sleeping Beauty - October 14, 2010


GUIDE: Emerald Retrospective - October 15, 2009
GUIDE: Duets - April 27, 28 & 29, 2010


GUIDE: Swan Lake - 10/16/08
Accompanying Overhead Transparencies FOR 10/16/08

GUIDE: Lambarena - 2/26/09
Accompanying Lesson Plan: "Weaving the Elements of Lambarena"

GUIDE: Left Unsaid - 4/23 & 4/24


GUIDE: The Germanic Lands - 10/18/07
GUIDE: France - 2/28/08 / Transparencies
GUIDE: America - 4/24/08 & 4/25/08


GUIDE: Fall 2006
GUIDE: Winter 2007
GUIDE: Spring 2007

Kasandra Gruener, MA
Director of Education & Outreach

Photo Gallery of images from The Student Performance Series
See photos from STUDENT

OBT / National Endowment for the Arts Oregon Arts Commission Regional Arts & Culture Council Work for Art Portland Monthly
Work for Art