With choreographers Linda K. Johnson, Cydney Wilkes, Linda Austin, and Tere Mathern and writer Randy Gragg.

In 1971, Portland christened a new urban park that The New York Times architectural critic Ada Louise Huxtable heralded as “the most important urban space since the Renaissance.” Called Forecourt Fountain (later renamed Ira Keller Fountain), it was part of a sequence of Portland plazas that combined water, sculptural form, and public space in ways never before attempted in a city. Yet the plazas were merely one outgrowth of the daring experiments in movement, sound, and space being conducted by landscape architect Lawrence Halprin; his wife, the legendary choreographer Anna Halprin; and radical musical composers such as Terry Riley, Pauline Oliveros, Lamont Young, and Morton Subotnick.

Third Angle New Music Ensemble, the Northwest’s premier presenter of contemporary music, along with some of Portland’s most accomplished choreographers, will celebrate the plazas and the artistic milieu from which they emerged. Third Angle will play some of the Minimalist music pioneered by the composers in the Halprins’ circle as the choreographers explore Anna Halprin’s philosophy and her intense blend of movement with social and personal consciousness often cited as the beginning of postmodernism in dance.

“We were trying to invent new languages of dance, music, and architecture,” Lawrence Halprin recalls of the time. So, too, will City Dance attempt a new kind of celebration of architectural and creative heritage.

City Dance is Oregon’s 2008 American Masterpieces project funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Oregon Arts Commission, along with the Portland Development Commission, Regional Arts & Culture Council, TVA Architects and other partners.