When it comes to Central/Eastern European events here in Portland, Oregon, April’s looking a bit slow. I will update the list as I discover new events.
Czech/Slovak Republics: Hospoda, 4/2
- Tuesday, April 2, 6:00 p.m.–close
- McTarnahans Taproom, 2730 NW 31st, Portland
The monthly gathering of Portland’s Czech and Slovak community. Guests welcome.
The Balkans: Kafana Klub, 4/2
- Tuesday, April 2, 7:00 p.m. dance lesson, 8:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m. live music
- Al Forno Ferruzza, 2738 NE Alberta St., Portland, Oregon
- $3-$5 cover
Join us for the unbeatable combination of live Balkan music and great Italian food. See you there!
Hungary: Tamas Dezso’s Here, Anywhere, 4/4-4/30
- Thursday, April 4 to Tuesday, April 30
- Blue Sky Gallery, 122 NW 8th Avenue, Portland
- Free, donations to Blue Sky Gallery encouraged
- Event webpage
Tamas Dezso’s series Here, Anywhere offers a desolate yet poetic look at the people and places left behind during the post-communist transition in Hungary. Begun in 2009, the series explores the unique atmosphere of the country’s now 20-year-long transition, as well as changing notions of Eastern European identity. Dezso’s layered images present unsettling moments of stillness that quietly allude to this gritty reality.
A native of Hungary, Dezso notes how during this political change, his country essentially “forgot about certain places: streets, blocks of flats, vacant sites and whole districts became self-defined enclosures, where today a certain out-dated, awkward, longed-to-be-forgotten Eastern Europeanness still lingers…I decided to record the hidden realities which are essential in order to understand the country as it hovers on the borderline between the Eastern and Western worlds.”
Bulgaria: Dancing with the Bulgarians, 4/5 & 4/19
- Friday, April 5 and 19, 7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.
- Podkrepa Hall, 2116 North Killingsworth St, Portland
- $5 suggested donation and potluck
Come and join us for a fun night of dancing and learning.
Romany, Southeast Europe: Reyhan, 4/7
- Sunday, April 7, 3:00 p.m.–7:30 pm
- Tango Berretin, 6305 SE Foster Road, Portland, Oregon
- Dance workshop $15 presale, $20 at the door; Rhythm and Music Workshops, Performance and Party recommended donation of $8 to $20 at the door; kids under 15 free
- Event website
All the way from Istanbul, Turkey, dancer Reyhan Tuzsuz and her husband, violinist Husnu Tuzsuz, bring to Portland a rare glimpse into the world of Turkish Romany culture. Workshops will be given on Romany street and wedding dance and music by Reyhan and Husnu. They will be accompanied by clarinetist and ethnomusicologist Sonia Seeman with percussionist David Reihs. After the workshops enjoy performances, open dancing, Turkish appetizers, tea and socializing!
- 3–4:15 – Turkish Roman Dance Workshop: Basic Steps and Gestures with Reyhan and live music.
- 4:30–5:30 – Turkish Roman Music and Rhythms: Interactive demonstration and conversation with Husnu, Sonia and David featuring the special Roman 9/8 rhythms and general dance steps with audience participation.
- 5:30–7:30 – Performances and Dance Party, including open dancing to live Turkish Roman Music with Turkish appetizers and tea.
The Balkans: Kyklos Spring Folk Dance Festival, 4/12-4/16
- Friday, April 12, 7:30 p.m.–10:30 p.m. – Party, mini-workshop; Saturday 9:30 a.m.–noon – Registration, workshop, 2:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. – Workshop, 7:00 p.m.–10:30 p.m. – Party with Kef; Sunday 10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. – Review, cultural talk
- Polish Hall, 3832 N Interstate Avenue, Portland, Oregon
- Register by 4/7 for a $5 discount. Come to the whole festival for $45.
- Event page and schedule
Join us at the Kyklos Spring Festival for Billy Burke teaching classic line and partner dances from Croatia, Macedonia, and Slovenia. A rare chance to learn from this longtime dancer, teacher and performer. Kef from Eugene will play for our Saturday night party.
Eclectic Southeast Europe: Cafe Istanbul, 4/16
- Tuesday, April 16, 8:00 p.m.
- The White Eagle, 836 N Russell St, Portland
- Event page | Cafe Istanbul website
Join hosts Rachel Brice, Danielle Elizabeth, and Jason Ramirez for an evening of deliriously opulent live Middle Eastern, Greek, and Balkan music and belly dance.
Hungary Meets Pacific Northwest: Meester & Meester, 4/27
- Saturday, April 27, 9:00 p.m.
- The Press Club, SE Clinton St., Portland
Join the Meesters (Courtney Von Drehle and Béla Balogh) with guest bassist Jesse Emerson and legendary pedal steel player Paul Brainard. This is show #4 in an exciting series celebrating our [3 Leg Torso’s] collaboration with great Pacific NW musicians. We embark on this journey exploring music from each other’s repertoire—completely outfitted with magnetic compass, binoculars, a snakebite kit, and only one rehearsal. Any guests wearing a pith helmet to this performance will have a special song dedicated to them. Be sure to arrive early, the Press Club is a charming and intimate venue.
Poland: Crown the Eagle Festival: A Polish Heritage Celebration, 4/27
- Saturday, April 27, 11 a.m. ’til late
- White Eagle Saloon, 836 N Russell St, Portland
- Free until 8 p.m.; $10 for Chervona concert at 8:30 p.m.
- 21 & over after 8 p.m., all ages welcome until 8 p.m.
- Event website
Taking its name from the symbol on the Polish national flag, the White Eagle was established in 1905 by Polish immigrants primarily as a formal meeting place and aid station for Polish immigrants in Portland. To celebrate its rich and historically significant past, the White Eagle hosts a full-day of Polish and Polish-inspired fare, featuring members of Portland’s Polish community, a lively history presentation, live music, sing-alongs and traditional food and drink specials.
- 1:00–4:00 p.m.: Polish arts & crafts booths, Kids’ activities
- 2:00–3:00 p.m.: Agnieszka Laska Dancers & Polish School student dancers/singers
- 3:00–4:00 p.m.: Kids’ music & storytelling by Lenka & Lizzie
- 4:00–5:00 p.m.: History presentation, featuring Agnes Zielony
- 5:00–7:00 p.m.: Vodka tasting (Pravda Vodka, Ultimat Vodka, Chopin Rye Vodka, Chopin Potato Vodka, Belvedere Intense Vodka)
- 6:30–7:30 p.m.: Wandering accordion music, Anton Van Oosbree
- 8:30–9:30 p.m.: Live music by Bucharest Drinking Team
- 9:45–11:30 p.m.: Live music by Chervona
Plus: vodka tasting, Polish-inspired special beer, Polish food specials, Polish arts and crafts booths and history talks, featuring a discussion of the White Eagle’s Polish roots as well as the experiences of elders of the Portland Polish community.