Oregon Native Returns to Direct LE GRAND CONTINENTAL in Portland, 9/30

New York-based dancer and Oregon native, Jamie Benson, has accepted the position of Rehearsal Director for Le Grand Continental, an ambitious, 30-minute contemporary line dance by Montreal-based choreographer Sylvain Emard.

Jamie Benson, the first male ever to receive a dance scholarship from the Dance Drill Coaches Association of Oregon, has since moved on to direct, produce, choreograph and dance for dozens of theatre events, commercials & films in New York, Los Angeles & Seattle.

As Rehearsal Director, Benson is responsible for casting & teaching a very diverse group of 150 Oregonians a wildly creative line dance.

Benson says, “I have the privilege of ushering Oregon into the international community of Le Grand Continental. To share this global, dance glory with my family & home state is a real thrill.”

Benson's mother and twin brother will also be dancing with him. Local dance presenter White Bird is producing this special event as a way to celebrate their 15th anniversary & thank the people of Portland for supporting them for so long. Le Grand Continental is slated for 2pm and 4pm performances on September 30th, 2012, at Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square.

Jamie Benson is a dancer, choreographer and Alumnus of Cornish College of the Arts. Benson first garnered critical attention originating the role of “Eldon” in LATC’s Ovation award winning production of Shag with a Twist in 2005. Benson has also performed in the Film Rent, McDonald's Mario Art commercial, Rei Aoo's Dance Planet, on the television series Dance360 & as a member of the Rudy Perez Performance Ensemble. For more visit jamiebenson.com.

Montreal-based choreographer Sylvain Emard first distinguished himself as a dancer working with renowned choreographers such as Jean-Pierre Perreault, Jo Lechay and Louise Bédard before forming Sylvain Émard Danse, in 1990. A proponent of the commingling of genres, Sylvain Émard navigates with ease from one milieu to another—film, theatre, the visual arts & opera, as seen, for example by his collaboration on Lorin Maazel’s opera1984, directed by Robert Lepage & presented on the celebrated stage of Covent Garden in London in 2005, & again at La Scala in Milan in 2008.

White Bird is committed to bringing the best Portland-based, regional, national, and international dance companies to Portland, Oregon & to fostering the growth of dance in the region. Each year they present 12 companies from around the world & commission new works from Portland-based choreographers.

Photo credit: Carolyn Campbell

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