Pacific Dance Ensemble
(PDE) is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization devoted to showcasing young dancers interested in pursuing a career in dance. PDE dancers work closely with professional dancers, choreographers, visual, performing and literary artists to create performances. Younger PDE dancers provide inspiration and act as role models while sharing in the company’s high standards of polished performances for both student and mature audiences.
Founded in 1987, PDE was chosen to perform at the 1989 Governor’s Arts Awards in Portland, OR. In 1990 PDE performed in Pulse-Impulse: A Showcase of Northwest Modern Choreographers’. In 1992 PDE performed for the opening of the Oregon Coast Aquarium and in 1994 was invited to perform at Swine Dive another choreographer’s showcase at the Hult Center in Eugene, OR.
In 1990 PDE began a cultural exchange program with the Toshitsuna Ensemble from Japan where PDE members went to Japan periodically to spend one month studying and performing with the Toshitsuna Ensemble in Tokyo, Japan. PDE correspondingly hosted and performed with the Toshitsuna Ensemble in the US. This exchange continued until 2002. PDE is presently working on an exchange program to Africa, where members will study Senegalese dance and drumming.
In 2007 PDE received an Award of Recognition from the Oregon Arts Council for 20 years of educational programming and quality performances. PDE stages major productions regularly at the Newport Performing Arts Center as well as assembly programs, and lecture/ demonstrations in public schools.
PDE performs 2-4 programs a year which always include, Family Classics, a yearly spring performance, focusing on dance interpretations of literary classics and a showcase of original choreography in their Valentine’s benefit performance and auction, Dances from the Heart. PDE strives to educate, by taking members to see nationally and internationally acclaimed dance companies and regularly bringing guest dancers, choreographers and designers to Newport to work with PDE members and give workshops open to the public.