Summer Framer Hangout!

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Come hang out with us July 31st for some Framer fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ll be in Market Square Park from 5-7PM on Friday.  We’ll be hanging out with you, talking  about the new season, new classes, new  board members, and  new dancers! Bring your friends, food & drink, blankets and some games. We also  have all of our new Framer shirts in, which  are yours with a $25 contribution to Frame  Dance. We can’t wait to hang out with you and hear about your summer!

Dance in Pop Culture, friend or foe?

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Remember the movie Black Swan starring Natalie Portman? It gave a somewhat negative connotation to the things that happen in the dance world, and even earned this meme.

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Also giving negative vibes to dance were certain shows such as Dance Moms, showing a heavily competitive and abusive dance world. But are all the portrayals of dance in the mainstream bad? TV shows like Bunheads from ABC Family or Breaking Pointe on the CW are often seen as a positive display by people in the dance world, often showing the true hard work needed to succeed and become an exceptional dancer.

 

Tell us what you think! Is dance in the mainstream helping or hindering the spread of a healthy dance culture?

Dance Business Bootcamps

Blog

2015-Logo-HomepageWhile at the Dance/USA Conference, we attended a session called Business Bootcamp run by some of the great people at Fractured Atlas.  Here are my notes:

 

Mission Statements:

When writing your mission statement, you show answer the following questions.

What are you doing?

Who is going to benefit?

Why should I care?

Ours is:  Frame Dance empowers Houstonians to communicate, inspire, and connect to the world and others through movement, community and artistic collaboration, and technology. 

One sentence is almost always better.

(Name of company) –> active verb.

 

Making strategic decisions

What is our plan for success?

Intentional + Consistent = Strategy

LSD

1.  List everything your organization does; everything your organization is.  Start to group those, and start to find patterns and themes.

2. Strategic anchors.  Does it serve our mission?  Does it serve our members?

3. Decide

 

Crowdfunding Perks

Campaigns that offer giving perks receive 194% more funding.

How much to ask for and how many to have:

think about the size of your roster

The average donation amount is $75-80

Most common: $20-25

Assume 33% should be from your nearest and dearest–> is your goal attainable?  Can your close network reasonably give 33% of your goal?

How many perks to include?

7-10; try introducing perks a little at a time

Types of Perks:

1. Access; backstage pass, rehearsal videos, dinner with the artists

2. Products: tickets to shows, adding something onto what they are getting in exchange

3. Experience: something that is relevant to the work you are doing

4. Something Personal: personal video, product etc.

5. Thank You: how many free ways can you think to say thank-you

Tie your giving levels to your perks.

 

Team Assembly

Being thoughtful about how to attract and select great people to help you achieve your goals.

Typical Process

1. Be specific.  What do you need them to accomplish?

2. Bespoke Posting

3. Breadcrumbs, what are the benchmarks you are looking for in your candidates?

4. Structured Interview Process; this should look the same for all candidates

-how can I create a question that gets at what we really want in a hire

-ask them what our company does

-when has your set of skills saved the day?

-what everyday skill are you better at than anyone else?

 

Dance/USA Conference

Blog

Wednesday was the kick-off for the 2015 Dance USA Conference in Miami, Florida. Each year, dancers and dance leaders gather for this event. Our own Lydia Hance was in Miami, attending the conference.

Major themes that came up this conference included:

What is the social responsibility of dance?

How do we keep up with the constant evolution of society?

How do we finance dance?

Here are some of the notes from the opening plenary.

Screenshot (34)Screenshot (35)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stay tuned for more notes from the breakout sessions.

Who deserves an award?

SYTYCD

One of the most loved choreographers on So You Think You Can Dance, Sonya Tayeh, contributes much to giving contemporary dance a voice in popular culture. She has even been nominated for an Emmy in 2013 for some of her choreography seen here.

If you want to catch some modern dance in pop culture, you can tune into Fox 8/7c on Monday nights.  Who would you nominate for an Emmy who hasn’t been on SYTYCD?

Modern Dance in the Mainstream

Tuesday Tunes

Many of us have heard the song “Chandelier” by Sia, or have seen the infamous music video.

It’s not often that we see much contemporary dance in pop culture, but this was an exception. “It’s contemporary and haunting and strange and people couldn’t get enough.” Choreographer Ryan Heffington said in an interview with NPR writer Eric Ducker. His talent of bringing modern dance to the mainstream got him nominations at the MTV Video Music Awards for Video of the Year and Best Choreography, and in the end, won for Best Choreography. Though this wasn’t the first time that Heffington was acknowledged for his work. He was also heavily acclaimed for  his choreography in the music video “We Exist”, a song from Arcade Fire. Also, he has worked with stars such as Aloe Blacc and Florence and the Machine.

Ready…Set…WAIT!

MFA Mondays

 

 

You have paid your money.

You have waited in line questioning, and re-questioning the decision you have just made.

You step out onto the platform until they call your number.

Sitting, waist bar pulled tight, pressing into your guts until you hear the click.

Your inner self screams, “WAIT! I’m not ready!”

No one is listening because the cart begins to glide forward and then up, and up, and… click, click, click! There is no escape. You only have two options. The first, close your eyes and scream or open them wide and take in the view on the way down.

I absolutely dislike roller coasters, but the adrenaline and anticipation has a way of reminding me that I am alive. A re-launch can feel similar. You have taken the time to re-flect and re-evaluate. Now you have two options:

photo by Lynn Lane
photo by Lynn Lane

1) blindly continue on into the next hoping you hit the bulls eye or

2) take all the information gathered and propel yourself into the unknown and unexpected with an opportunity to do better than you did before.

At some point, you just have to enjoy the ride or you may end up like me questioning why you started in the first place. Starting to sound a little cliché, right? Then why can such a concept seem so unacceptable? Does ‘enjoying the ride’ mean less work? Does it mean you have all the answers? Again, I profess that receiving my M.F.A did not leave me with a secret portal to all the answers, but it did provide a few profound AHA moments of wisdom that encourage me to continue to learn and grow not only as an artist, but as a member of a much larger community of creatives.

A creative process does not seem to be a linear path, but rather a circular one. Constantly in motion moving from one idea to the next, the RE-process may be what links them all together causing the path to appear linear. I find the one thing that AHA moments and the RE-process have in common is the risk involved. The duh! stick strikes, you have a choice to make and with each choice comes a risk of being right or wrong, good or bad, the best or not the best. No matter how scary a choice may be, I choose to walk into it with my eyes wide open and my hands trembling because the beginning is the best part.

When was the last time you took a personal or professional risk? Was it worth it?

 


 

Amy Elizabeth, named one of Houston’s 100 Creatives and Top 10 Choreographer in 2013, is currently an adjunct dance professor and artistic director for Aimed Dance since MFA rightreceiving her M.F.A from Sam Houston State University. Her work has been presented at DanceHouston, Dance Gallery Festival Texas, Houston Fringe Fest and venues throughout Texas, Louisiana, and Arizona. Additionally, she has had the privilege of setting works at Lone Star College, Rice University, Lamar High School and will be working with San Jacinto College Dance Ensemble this fall. Stay in touch at www.amyelizabethdance.com.

 

 

 

Why you should go see the Barn Storm Dance Fest

Links We Like Performances/Screenings

Houston!  I am really pumped– lemme tell you why.

barn storm2

I just watched the second weekend of Barn Storm Dance Fest, and last weekend I was able to see Program 1.  Barn Storm Dance Fest is a three-weekend dance festival produced by Dance Source Houston– Houston’s dance service organization.  Dance Source Houston has exploded in the last couple of years.  They have taken over The Barn (formerly Barnevelder Performing Arts Complex), and worked to raise the funding to subsidize rentals for artists and arts organizations; They have started an Artist in Residency Program (AIR) for three artists each year to use the space to develop new work; They now offer Micro Grants for production costs (Frame Dance is eternally thankful!); and they produce the Barn Storm Dance Festival to showcase dance from Houston and other Texas cities.

What strikes me (as someone who is not participating as an artist in this festival) is the importance for dancers and choreographers to convene.   It has been special to watch pieces from veteran and emerging choreographers on the same show.  This is very valuable for the health of dance in our city.  The shows have been running flawlessly, and lit beautifully.  I imagine you’ll have your favorites, some that don’t touch you as poignantly, and others that will push you a little as a viewer.  That’s the beauty of the festival format– you get to see so much.  I walk away from the first two programs proud of our city and all of the dance in it!  Thank you, Dance Source Houston, for bringing these artists together and producing such an extensive festival, and thank you to the artists for making dance.  You have two more chances to see it this weekend and a full weekend for Program 3.  Tickets and info here.

Are you ready to start a creative practice? (it’s not as scary as it sounds)

Frame Dance Classes

Does your mind feel jumbled?  Are you having a hard time identifying your emotions? Do you feel on edge or like your body has unspent energy?  Do you desire internal organization? Do you have something to say but not sure what it is?  I know exactly how that feels– not great.  We created a workshop that can help you find your realignment and leave you with tools for your own creative and physical practice.  Through dance, writing, and movement techniques, we want to help you find your voice, your stillness, and your power.

When I started the MultiGen Framers class, it was fairly new territory for me.  The very essence of this class is that it welcomes beginners to advanced dancers of any age.  So that’s pretty open!  Teaching the class this Spring was an incredibly exciting balancing act of allowing adult beginner bodies to venture into new territory, keep the energy and flow high enough for children to stay engaged in modern dance technique that is true to the form, minus the extraneous physicality to keep the students working safely.  I am compelled to engage the brain as much as the body, and with different developmental capacities, there was a new challenge to find out how to do this.  Teaching MultiGen Framers was like a dream– challenging in all of the best ways, and rewarding in all of the best ways.

image_34cc80edac69df4de48658ebf057535cSomething that did come up as I was teaching, was that due to the need to keep things moving along at a certain pace to keep the children connected to the work, I found myself wanting to spend more time than I could with the adults to help them journey into their bodies in a new way.  So… the Sunday Adult Workshops were born.  As someone who has always had an alternative somatic practice alongside my dance training, and desire to grow my spiritual self and investigate mindfulness, I wanted to offer this as a complete artistic experience for adults.  I believe in cultivating a creative practice alongside your dance classes because dance is more than exercise.  It is a means of connection between body, mind, and soul.  We must develop all three to be the artists that we are.

So these four workshops (take one, two, three or all four) involve a gentle, deep, and slow pace to experience two different somatic practices, modern dance technique, creative writing that will connect mind with body, and a beginning choreography class.    I hope you’ll join us!  This is also a great entry point into joining the MultiGen Framers in the Fall.

Register Here.  Sunday Adult Workshops are funded in part by the Houston Arts Alliance, capacity building initiatives.

multigen postcard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Working with Choreographers: A Composer’s Viewpoint

Tuesday Tunes

Tuesday Tunes“I discovered that working with choreographers and dancers was challenging not only from a technical standpoint, but also that the various limitations forced me into artistic directions that I would have never explored otherwise.”  Rob Deemer describes his experience and personal gain from working with choreographers.  His work with University of Texas helped to create the American Repertory Ensemble, a collaboration of dancers and musicians.

Read the article about him HERE.