Rainbow Dance Theatre Company
“deeply satisfying…..combines artful stagecraft with physical prowess…in intricate, balance-shifting acrobatic maneuvers.” Seattle Times
Rainbow Dance Theatre’s (RDT) ensemble of eight virtuoso dancers transforms the concert stage into a world of mystery, pathos and humor. Delighting audiences of all ages with its athletic “pullout-the-stops celebration of … dancing that pays homage to world-dance and –music influences” (Sheryl Dare, Honolulu Advertiser), RDT’s repertory features modern works with roots in the traditions of many world cultures. Combined with innovative aerial choreography, visually stunning interactive sets, and the latest innovations in fiber optic and electro-luminescent technology, the distinctive choreography of artistic directors Darryl Thomas and Valerie Bergman creates “an exotic feast for the senses”. (Isamu Jordan, Spokane Spokesman Review) Rainbow Dance Theatre is directed by internationally renowned dancer-choreographers Valerie Bergman and Darryl Thomas. Its name highlights its roots in Hawaii, the “land of rainbows”, as well as the ethnic diversity of its company members and the diverse cultural influences in the choreography performed by the Company. The Company celebrates this diversity as well with its virtuosic style that fuses West African Dance, Haitian Dance, Hip Hop, Martial Arts with American Modern Dance. This high-impact, rapid-fire performance style features a rugged athleticism and gravity-defying partnering. 3-D backdrops, inter-active full-stage sets and lavish costuming add a unique visual element that transforms the dance performance into an entertaining and provocative theatrical event.
Founded in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1991, Rainbow Dance Theatre (RDT) has been based in Monmouth, Oregon since 2000. The Company has toured throughout the world, performing in Europe, Asia, the United States, Canada, and Mexico to widespread critical and popular acclaim. At the invitation of the United States Pavilion, the Company presented four standing-room-only performances at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, China. Other international festival performances include the Second International Dance Festivals in Taegu and Pusan, South Korea, the 2005 World Expo in Nagoya, Japan, the 5th and 9th Concurso Continental de DanzaContemporanea in Mexico City, D.F., Dance Tanz in Osaka, Japan, IAS Festival in Bangkok, Thailand, Men Dancing and Cultural Slam in Honolulu, Hawaii, the World Expo in Seville, Spain, and the 2006 National ACD Festival and the 2004 International VSAarts Festival both held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. During the 2013-14 season, RDT returned twice to China and toured for the first time in India. Its 2014-15 season includes expanded touring in Canada as well as the East Coast of the US. RDT tours as a member company with the Arts Northwest on Tour program, presenting its unique concerts blending dance, visual arts and theater throughout the United States to both critical and popular acclaim. As a roster company with Young Audiences, RDT performs for over 15,000 Oregon and Washington school children per year. In 2005, RDT began an international residency program that includes past residencies in Singapore, Thailand, Mexico City, DF, the Philippines, Taiwan, El Salvador and Costa Rica.
The Company and its Artistic Directors have received numerous grants and awards including those from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Oregon Arts Commission, the Oregon Community Foundation, the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, Atherton Family Foundation, Fred Meyer Foundation, Persis Corporation, and MJI Broadcasting. Rainbow Dance Theatre was most recently awarded a $125,000 Creative Heights Grant from the Oregon Community Foundation to create an original dance work incorporating motion tracking technology allowing the projected images to respond to the dancers in real-time during the performance, and utilizing smart phone communication to incorporate images and/or text from audience members into the work during the live performance, creating a new vehicle for audience participation in an artistic work.