PUSH FOLDArtistic Director | Samuel Hobbs | Portland, Oregon USA
Union PDX - Festival:21 artist Evelyn Tejeda performs her work 'Impossible to Explain'. Photo depicts her seated in the center of a light circle with a contorted face | Photography: Jonathan Hsu

Established in 2019, the Union PDX - Festival of Contemporary Dance was born with the mission of creating a platform for artists to achieve greater work, to increase visibility and access for artists and audiences, and to expand the creative influences and voices here in Portland. Providing a much-needed platform for supportive cross-pollination in the Pacific Northwest dance community, the Union PDX festival breaks down barriers for boundary-pushing dance artists, offering important artistic and administrative resources and opportunities to address major needs for professional artists.

Learn More:

“push/FOLD's festival drew national and international contemporary-dance ideas from Brooklyn to New Jersey to Portland to L.A. to the Dominican Republic and Taiwan… If there’s one thing Festival:21 wasn’t short on, it’s talent… In all, the festival performance was a success... As push/FOLD and the festival collaborators continue to make a name for themselves, Union PDX is beginning to fit into the annual autumnal patchwork of the city.”

Elizabeth Whelan - Oregon ArtsWatch


Festival:23 | LEARN MORE

Hampton Opera Center & Livestream
November 16-19, 2023

Performances (In-Person & Livestream)

Student Outreach (November 16)
Public Performances (November 17 - 19)

* November 17 & 18 | Facilitated post-show artist-talks and Q&A. *

Festival Soirée (In-Person)

November 19 | Post-performance

Join us as we close the festival with a swagger and a Soirée to celebrate the vibrancy of dance in Portland and mingle with the artists.

** This event is open to the public and does not require the purchase of a ticket. **

Festival Artists

  • Compagnia Bellanda (Gorizia, Italy)
  • Evelyn Tejeda (Dominican Republic & Peterson, NJ)
  • Open Space Dance (Portland, OR)
  • Outrun the Bear (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Sridharini Sridharan (Portland, OR)
  • push/FOLD (Portland, OR)


  • Contemporary Jazz | Franco Nieto Contemporary Jazz
  • Jedatam Method | Evelyn Tejeda Contemporary, Street
  • Sync Up | Outrun the Bear Contemporary Partnering
  • Natya Katha | Srdiharini Sridharan Bharatanatyam, Natya Katha
  • Floor Flirting| Copagnia Bellanda Contemporary Break


  • Deciphering Grants - Part 1 & 2 Instructors: Eleanor Sandys & Samuel Hobbs

Past Festivals

Festival:23 | Visit Page

Hampton Opera Center & Livestream

Festival:22 | Visit Page

Hampton Opera Center & Livestream

Festival:21 | Visit Page

Hampton Opera Center & Livestream

Festival:20 | Visit Page

Polaris Dance Center & Livestream

Festival:19 | Visit Page

Hampton Opera Center

The Festival Vision

Opportunity, Education, Resources

The Union PDX festival is a major pillar of push/FOLD’s programming. It is a platform devoted to the upward mobility of dance artists geared towards addressing three main challenges for developing artists:


Curated by a panel of our peers to mitigate the systems which reduce access for artists (proximity to opportunity, networking, and gatekeeping), festival commissions and performances help enhance artists' resumés required to for future opportunities.

As a curated festival, we also address the significant financial and time barriers artists face trying to navigate their representation at booking conferences. By creating a one-stop-shop for presenters and collaborators via our festival performances, we bring those often hard-to-reach, and sometimes inaccessible, circles to the artists.


Through education packaged with performance and art, we:

  • Familiarize audiences with what themes, concepts, and processes look like in other forms of movement and address concert dance biases.
  • Expand on the available dance technique classes within Portland and promote cross-pollination of ideas and movement.
  • Enhance student engagement through free events and forge opportunities for students to interface with professional artists.
  • Provide free career advancement training for artists through our workshops led by professionals with real-world experience as artists.


Offloading the burden of production and marketing from artists and providing tangible resources required for career advancement in the forms of:

  • Artist compensation (e.g. stipends, room and board).
  • Curated performances and commissions presented in prominent concert venues.
  • High-quality professional photo and video documentation of artists' masterclasses and performances.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who produces Union PDX?

We do! The Union PDX festival is one of push/FOLD's pillars to help us fulfill our mission of fostering community power through education and performances.

What does the Union PDX logo symbolize?

Community, Direct Vision, Clarity with Simplicity, and Growth. It is a start and an open-ended mark symbolizing that our paths are undetermined and yet still chosen.

We chose the Union PDX logo to center the community.

Why a festival?

The Union PDX festival is a forum for dance, an opportunity to share ideas with our community, and an avenue to provide much needed resources to artists seeking greater foundational support.

By presenting developing professional artists worldwide in an accessible festival format, we expand the voices represented in our community, maintain an influx of fresh ideas, and offer more opportunities for students, dancers, presenters, educators, and audience members to develop relationships with local, regional, national, and international talent.

By providing curated performances and training platforms for professional dance artists inside of Portland, we can strengthen our city as a national hub for dance.

How does push/FOLD define 'Contemporary Dance'?

Simply put, we don't; and that is the beauty of the Union PDX festival!

We seek to expand our understanding of the possibilities and beauty of human movement expression. The word "contemporary" holds many different interpretations across the vast multitudes of movement traditions in the world. It is not for us to define. It is to inspire us to inquire more about what it means for each festival artist.

Is the festival only open to Portland Artists?

We welcome companies and artists from all over the world who are focused on creating contemporary work in ANY dance style, genre, or tradition.

Like all life, Portland needs variety. As a community, we must seek variety in Art to keep us healthy.

How is the festival curated?

A panel of professional artists who represent various backgrounds, identities, dance styles, and traditions curate the Union PDX festival through a free and open application and comprehensive review process.

Workshops & Masterclasses?

Education is a core tenet of push/FOLD's culture and the Union PDX festival: for audiences, donors, foundations, students, and professional artists.

Masterclasses help enhance the skills of Portland's dancers while providing opportunities to build relationships between dancers, companies, and choreographers. Through professional development workshops, we can assist artists in developing the skills required for the next steps in their professional careers (grant writing, project development, budgets, leadership, narrative writing, public speaking, etc).

Jonathan Hsu | 2021 Union PDX Festival Artist: Evelyn Tejeda
{{ content }}