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Come As You Are 2024

April 27 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm


Heidi Duckler Dance Northwest (HDD/NW) presents “Come As You Are,” a multidisciplinary salon featuring dance, visuals, live music and storytelling, taking place on Sunday, April 27th at PLACE Studio from 7:30pm-9pm.

“Come As You Are” showcases a curated selection of original works by esteemed artists Heidi Duckler, Nicole Cardona, Kenneth Frechette, Carla Bengtson, Dao Strom, and Joni Whitworth. “Come As You Are”, will immerse guests into the realm of multimedia magic, where music, performance, and visuals converge. Enjoy the interactive environment of sight, sound, and scent shedding inhibitions and embracing authenticity. “Come As You Are” extends a warm welcome to each individual without reservation. Post-performance discussion and refreshments will follow the show.

“Come As You Are” was made possible with support from PLACE Studio, the Heidi Duckler Dance/Northwest Board of Directors, and the Oregon Arts Commission.


Featured Artists

Heidi Duckler

Heidi Duckler is the founder and artistic director of Heidi Duckler Dance in Los Angeles, California and Heidi Duckler Dance/Northwest in Portland, Oregon. Titled the “reigning queen of site-specific performance” by the LA Times, Duckler is a pioneer of place-based contemporary practice. Her methodology emphasizes how dance, born from individual experience, can be a tool for awareness.

Duckler will debut a new site-specific piece titled, “The Princess & the Pea”, featuring Nicole Flores with music by Dao Strom.

Carla Bengtson

Interested in creating situations on the verge of the impossible, Carla Bengtson’s speculative projects ask what might be seen and what might be said between species.

Recent projects include creating a perfume based on the scent blends male orchid bees craft to attract a mate, learning the embodied language of Western fence lizards, and partnering with crows to give other species a voice in climate-crisis politics. Bengtson has received awards from the Ford Family Foundation, the Oregon Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Institute of Art and Olfaction, and has had residencies at Djerassi, Ucross, Mass MoCA, 18th St Arts Center, Tiputini Biodiversity Station in the Amazon, and a Signal Fire Outpost Residency at the Arizona/Mexico border. 

Tony Carnell (They/them)

Tony, originally from Boise Idaho began their dance training in 2009 at a local community center in boise. After just 2 years of training Tony was scouted by Ballet Idaho’s Academy directors while participating in a dance outreach program. After nearly 12 years of training and performing with the ballet, taking advantage of apprenticeships and training programs around the country, Tony was offered their very first official company position with Project Flux Dance Company under the direction of Lydia Sakolsky-Basquill.

In the years that followed Tony took on a number of professional opportunities in Idaho and abroad. Working as a principal performing artist with Idaho Dance Theater under the direction of Marla Hanson, Ballet Idaho under the direction of Garrett Anderson, LED under the direction of Lauren Edson, W’HIM W’HIM Dance Company under the direction of Oliver Weavers and OPEN SPACE under the direction and guidance of Franco Neito, were they spent two seasons working as a company soloist and choreographer as well as Heidi Duckler Dance Company, under the leadership of PDX/LA based founder and choreographer Heidi Duckler.

Nicole Cardona (they/them)

Nicole is a movement artist originally from Chicago, IL. They hold a B.F.A from Columbia College Chicago, as well as secondary dance training from AMDA LA. As they approached their senior year of college, they had the opportunity of being a founding member of Alluvion Dance Chicago and serving as Rehearsal Director in their inaugural season. Since then, they have had the opportunity of performing with companies such as LA Contemporary Dance Company, Psychopomp Dance, and Heidi Duckler Dance. Life has gracefully planted them in the beautiful city of Seattle since 2021. 

Kenny Frechette (they/he)

Kenneth is an independent dance & performing artist based in Portland, Oregon. Over the past decade they have spent my time training and engaging with dance/movement communities in Portland, Seattle, New York City, Florida, and Europe.

Their most recent projects include creation of a solo in residency at New Expressive Works (Portland, OR), dance films, festival performances, and experimental theatre. They hold a Bachelor of Arts in Dance Studies from the University of Florida, with foundational training in both dance and theatre techniques / processes.

Daniel Giron a.k.a Papi Ada (He/They)

“Originally from Veracruz Mex, Daniel Girón is a well-rounded dancer with a background in Latin partner dance styles, House, Waacking, Contemporary and Vogue.

As a Voguer, Daniel has won multiple trophies in the ballroom scene, Holding the title of Porltand’s first ever vogue champion after his victory at the 2014 Black and White Ball.

He is the Father / Founder of House of ADA and is on a mission to help cultivate a strong Vogue community in the North West, teaching the history and fundamentals of this style on a weekly basis at Vitalidad Movement Art Center in Portland OR.”

Joni Renee Whitworth (he/they)

Joni is a poet, experimental filmmaker, and curator from Oregon.

They have performed at The Moth, the Segerstrom Center for the Performing Arts, and the Museum of Contemporary Art alongside Marina Abramovic. ​Whitworth served as the inaugural Artist in Residence at Portland Parks and Recreation, Poet in Residence for Oregon State University’s Trillium Project, and 2020 Queer Hero for the Gay & Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest. They are currently a New Media Fellow at ​​Portland Art Museum’s Center for an Untold Tomorrow. They were a 2021 Fellow at Lambda Literary and a 2019 and 2020 Fellow at Tin House.

They work at the intersection of art, performance, and activism, with a focus on queer and neurodivergent perspectives and themes. Additionally, they have written and performed several plays and participated in a variety of performances and art installations that deal with issues of mental health and neurodivergence, queer culture and the intersection of spirituality, technology and body consciousness.


April 27
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm


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735 NW 18th Avenue
Portland, OR 97209
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