Frame Dance Productions’ Beginner Adult Workshop According to a Non-Dancing Framer

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Still not sure about attending the Beginner Adult Workshop?

 

I understand how intimidating it can be to go to a dance class and feel completely overwhelmed. You feel awkward and even slow at times, but this isn’t your typical dance class-it’s better. We weren’t just learning simplified dance moves. This class allows us to forget the mundane calculating world and just lets us enjoy being creative for a day. One of the best things about this workshop is the fact we are not only getting in shape through dance and yoga but we also get the opportunity to expand our creative minds. That’s not something most dance classes teach. That’s why I say this workshop is better. It offers a variety of things that people normally don’t find in typical dance classes.

I’m not a professional dancer so I was very thankful our first session wasn’t dancing at all. We simply walked about the room to loosen up. I could do that! We then learned about the various parts of our feet and I honestly had no idea how complex the human foot was! I found out we have outer, middle and inner parts to our heels, arches, pads and even toes. It felt great stretching each part of my foot. I felt each individual toe move as we walked and it really relieved stress in our backs as well. I enjoyed the first session. It was a great break ice breaker to get me ready for Jackie’s intro to modern dance class.

It was nice having one of the Framers teaching us about basic modern dance steps and exercises instead of having a third party teaching it. It made me feel more connected to the Frame Dance team by seeing how they dance/train and use simple body movements to create beautiful dance routines for different shows. I especially liked the fact we spent so much time lying on the floor doing stretching exercises. Who wouldn’t love that if they went to a dance class?

I loved learning new easy ways to stay in shape that didn’t involve spending a lot of money on equipment. That’s one of the other great things about this workshop! We can learn new skills that require no experience and no special gear. Jackie taught us very basic, what felt like ballet moves. Now don’t worry you’re not expected to perform Swan Lake by the end of the class. They were very simple and we did them several times. It wasn’t like other classes where they show a move and they see if you can get it by the second example. Jackie would put on fun music and we would travel across the room. The moves were kind of a mixer of ballet and basic waltzing moves. I know it sounds intimidating when putting them together but they were very easy to pick up.

After Jackie’s intro to modern dance session, it was time to move onto yoga! Yoga mats out and ready to go! The yoga portion of the workshop was very rewarding physically and mentally. As much as I enjoy doing yoga at home, I wasn’t the most coordinated person in the class, but I had fun. I felt skinnier the more we did it! Definitely worth it! I liked the idea of having a session that everyone was used to. I looked forward to that particular session because it was something I already knew and felt comfortable doing. Plus, everyone got to take a short “nap” in the dark dance studio as a part of yoga. Now that should definitely make you want to go to the workshop. Great idea Frame Dance!

After a great lunch at the Vietnamese restaurant across street, we teamed up with another Framer-Alex, who taught us fun creative exercises that expanded our imaginations during the creative writing portion of the workshop. As I stated before, these workshops aren’t typical. I thought we would just sit around, write in our journals and that was it. Nope! Alex had us walk around the room in any direction we desired and would play word association games. We were still being physically active while being mentally tested.

But my favorite part about the creative writing tutorial was plastering colorful sticky notes all over the dance studio with words or phrases of inspiration. But he took it a step further and made us add onto each others’ work and in the end producing a very original short stanza or poem. That was just amazing to see different people with different levels of written creativity come together and create this beautiful and coherent piece of art. It was amazing to see!

The final part was just fun. I don’t know how to describe it in any other way. Lydia Hance, one of the co-founders of Frame Dance, taught us how to take the words/ phrases we produced from the creative writing class and portray them through dance moves. We basically just built on what we learned from Alex but instead of writing, we used our bodies to convey a story.

We had four people in the final session and we each came up with a different dance move. It was incredible how many stories we could tell just by using four dance moves. Sometimes the story would be about controlling one another like puppets on strings or opening someone’s eyes to the beauty of life. All from four dance moves. Amazing. The best part was it was all from our own creativity. No one was telling us how our part should be or how our part fits into the story. We simply told stories.

All in all, this adult workshop is a wonderful idea for anyone looking to get into shape but not wanting to spend the money on a gym. It’s educational, productive and yet relaxing. This class offers the chance to expand creative minds and stay in shape in fun ways. Tap into your artistic side for a day before heading back to the black, white and gray world of responsibility and math. The Framers did a great job in coordinating a friendly and unique workshop. And it’s only $60 for the whole day! Cheap and easy! What more could you ask for? I hope to see all of you on October 25th at the MET Dance Studio. Until then, keep dancing.

 

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Frame Dance - Multi-Gen Class - Discovery Green Water Promo -  Photographer Lynn Lane-65.jpg

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Music Strengthens our Social Bonds

Tuesday Tunes

Tuesday Tunes “In 2009, archaeologists unearthed a flute carved from bone and ivory that  was over 35,000 years old. This proved that even during the hunting/gathering  stage of human evolution, music was present and important to society.” An  article published in a psychology, sociology, and neuroscience web branch of the University  of California: Berkeley, The Greater Good Science Center, clearly shows that music has  been a large part of human culture for thousands of years. But, has it brought people closer together in this long period of time?  Have our isolating ipods and earbuds separated us? This question was answered by psychologist Jill  Suttie. Her writings gave us four ways that music helps to strengthen bonds:

  • Music increases contact, coordination, and cooperation with others,  
  • gives us  an oxytocin boost,
  • strengthens our ability to understand and empathize with others, and finally,
  • increases our cultural cohesion. 

Read the full article here, and fulfill your primal urge to make music today.

Women In Classical Music

Tuesday Tunes

Hey, Framers! Since it’s March, Women’s History Month, we’ve been thinking about women in music.

You may think of women as being very prevalent in music  today, but that is not the case, as shown in an article written by Dr. Christina Scharff. Her report, “Equality and Diversity in the Classical Music Profession,” shows some surprising statistics.

    • Women and people of color are underrepresented in classical music jobs and leadership roles.
    • Composers are overwhelmingly white men.
    • Women are over-represented in teaching professions.
    • Women make 83.7% of the average male classical musician’s salary.
    • Orchestra instrument assignments split along gender lines. (Harp players are mostly women. Tuba & percussion players, men.)

Dr. Scharff’s report also includes information about other inequalities within the music profession that are separating men and women.

This year, Frame Dance welcomes our first female winner of the Frame Dance Music Competition, Leah Reid.

Read the full report here.

I hate the term accompanist

Tuesday Tunes

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I hate the term accompanist,” continues Burnside. “You can’t deny there are connotations that it’s a secondary entity. But unfortunately I can’t think of a better one. If you insist on being called a pianist then people think that you’re comparing yourself to Sviatoslav Richter. That’s not what it’s about: you’re just asking to be taken seriously in your own right.'”

Who are Roger Vignoles and Anna Tillbrook? I didn’t know either.  They are musical accompanists– unsung heroes.  Read the stories of famous accompanists in this article here.  

Tilbrook says there are times when she has saved singers from embarrassment. “The real art is to have that sixth sense, knowing when they are going to have a memory lapse, when they’re going to come in a bar early or even skip a whole verse. You have to be able to cover all that in your playing, so smoothly that no one notices.”

 

 

 

Frame Composers: What are they up to now?

Frame Dance and Composers
METRODances
METRODances

Charles Halka, Winner of the Frame Dance Music Composition Competition 2012

“After the birth of my beautiful daughter at the end of the summer, I started a new job teaching composition and music theory at Stephen F. Austin State University.  Around that same time I was chosen as Musiqa‘s first “Composer+Intern”, a kind of composer-in-residence position through which I was commissioned to write three new works for their current season (the next one is at the CAMH on February 26!).  It was a joy to finally be able to bring to life Imaginary Spaces, which debuted as METRODances, with Frame Dance Productions.  The project had been in the works for quite some time, so it was really great to have it come alive and to get support from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music.  Most recently, my orchestra work Impact got its U.S. premiere by the Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra, and my opera collaboration with composer-librettist (and Houston native!) Impact got its world premiere by the Mexican National Symphony in the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City in May 2014. John Grimmett and I were selected by Fort Worth Opera for its prestigious Frontiers program and showcase.  Our opera, And Jill Came Tumbling After, will be workshopped and performed in Fort Worth in May.”

 

 

 

 

Winners Announced

Frame Dance and Composers

We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2015 Frame Dance Music Composition Competition!  Their work will be presented by Frame Dance throughout 2015.  Many thanks to all who submitted and our incredible panel.

First Place: Alex Freeman

Blueshift

for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and percussionAlex Freeman

Alex Freeman (b. 28 April 1972) is a recipient of the 2014 McKnight Composer Fellowship. His music has garnered acclaim and commissions from the Jerome Foundation, ASCAP, The American Scandinavian Foundation, the Sibelius Academy, American Composers Forum and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Born in Raleigh, NC, He holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music, Boston University’s School of Fine Arts, and the Juilliard School, where he completed his doctoral studies in 2004. His doctoral research led him to Finland, via Fulbright Fellowship, where he lived for six years, studying at The Sibelius Academy and freelancing, before he assumed his current position of Assistant Professor of Music in Composition at Carleton College in Northfield, MN. His chamber works and choral music are performed regularly in the US and abroad.

Recordings of his music have been released by Albany Records, Innova Recordings, and Navona Records, including, most recently, a CD of complete his piano works by Albany Records, Inner Voice, a recording of his chamber work, Blueshift, by Parma Recordings, and internationally acclaimed recordings of his choral works by The HOL Choir and Tapiola Children’s Choir. His degrees are from The Juilliard School, Boston University, and The Eastman School of Music.

 

Second Place: Gabriel José Bolaños Chamorro

Miniatures

For Steel String Guitar Duet

Gabriel José Bolaños Chamorro (b.1984 Bogotá, Colombia) is a Nicaraguan-American composer and guitarist. He is pursuing his PhD at UC bolanosDavis, and is currently studying with Mika Pelo.

He received a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University in 2007 where he studied composition with Fabien Lévy and Sebastian Currier, and orchestration with Tristan Murail. He has also worked as a freelance musician in New Haven, CT, and was a professor of theory, analysis and guitar at the Casa de los 3mundos music academy in Granada, Nicaragua. His work draws upon a variety of interests including linguistics, spectralism and the physical properties of sound, psychoacoustics and geology.

 

Third Place: Joel Love

Lightscape

for string quartet

Joel-Love_webThe music of Joel Love explores an eclectic mix of genres, from short video pieces to works for chamber and large ensembles. It creates colorful landscapes of sound through the use of image, melody, and extended tonality, and seeks to reveal the connection between music and spirituality.

Joel was recently commissioned to compose a new work, Lightscape, for the opening of light artist James Turrell’s The Color Inside, which was unveiled in October of 2013.  Molly Glentzer from the Houston Chronicle wrote that the music evocatively captures the emotion of The Color Inside.” PARMA Recordings selected Lux and Synchronicity in Purple Minor for publication in their 2013 and 2012 Anthology, respectively.  In May of 2013, Aurora Borealis was selected as a finalist in the 3rd International Franck Ticheli Composition Contest.  In 2010, Real Fiction received a Compositional Excellence Citation by the New York Youth Symphony. In 2009, Da Camera of Houston presented Joel with an Aspiring Artist Award and the commission of Just One Person.

Joel’s works have been performed by The Aura Contemporary Music Ensemble, The California State University Los Angeles Wind Ensemble, Da Camera of Houston’s Young ArtistsThe Boston New Music Initiative, the Ohio State University Wind Symphony, the Texas A&M University Symphonic Winds , the Lamar University A Capella Choir and Wind Ensemble, the University of Texas Wind Symphony, and exhibited at many art galleries throughout the United States.  Joel’s first work for wind ensemble, Aurora Borealis, was recently selected for performance at the 2013 SCI National Conference.  In a recent review of 2013 SXSW events, Capital Public Radio’s Nick Brunner commented that “The Peace of Wild Things” was a “gorgeous piece of music, wafting along into the ether.”

His film scores include the documentary film Stitched, official selection at the 2011 Carmel Art and Film Festival, as well as a short film Kidfellas, “Best Musical Score” at Houston’s 2011 48-Hour Film Project. Other notable collaborations with artists from other disciplines feature a city-wide public art exhibit with artist Karyn Olivier, Inboud: Houstonand a 3-month installation by Prince V. Thomas, On Joy, On Sorrow at the Houston Center for Photography, praised by the Houston Chronicle as ”a beautiful piece that feels cleansing to watch.”  

Joel recently completed a DMA in Composition from the University of Texas at Austin and holds degrees from The University of Houston’s Moores School of Music (M.Music) and Lamar University’s Mary Morgan Department of Music (B.Music).

 

Film Score Winner: Leah Reid

Ring, Resonate, Resound

7 channel acousmatic compositionReid

Leah Reid (b. 1985, New Hampshire) writes vibrant compositions that examine the innermost nature of sounds. Reid’s work is noted for its exploration of time, timbre and texture. Reid holds a D.M.A. and M.A. in composition from Stanford University and a B.Mus in composition from McGill University. She was awarded the Pauline Oliveros Prize for her piece “Pressure” for viola and electroacoustic media. Reid has had works performed in the United States, Canada and Europe with premieres by Livia Sohn, Geoff Nuttall, the Jack Quartet, Sound Gear, Talea, Seth Josel, the Pheonix String Quartet and McGill’s Contemporary Music Ensemble. Reid’s principal teachers include Mark Applebaum, Jonathan Berger, Brian Ferneyhough, and Sean Ferguson.

Reid currently teaches at the University of the Pacific and continues her research on the compositional applications of multidimensional timbre representations.

 

 

 

The Panel included Robert Honstein, Robert McClure, Charles Halka, Micah Clark and Frame Dance Artistic Director Lydia Hance.

Want to write for Frame Dance?

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Are you a Frame Dance blog reader?  Have you ever wanted to write something to be published and shared with the Frame Dance audience?  Are you an MFA who would like to contribute to the MFA Monday column, or a health and wellness person who would like to share some tips on Wellness Wednesday?  Or maybe a music professional who can share on Tuesday Tunes?  Or maybe you have a wild idea that doesn’t already fit?  We’d love to hear it!

 

We are accepting Frame Dance blog submissions now.  All of these beautiful people are blog writers past and present! Be a part of the Frame Dance Blog community.

Tuesday Tunes

Tuesday Tunes

blanton_musicians

 

The 2015 Frame Dance Music Composition Competition submissions are closed. We are actively reviewing and thrilled about the submissions this year!   Here’s a look at some of our previous winners, and remember that it could be you for 2015!  Next week, we will tell you what the past winners are up to now…

Previous Winners

 

2014

First Placemusic3

Robert Honstein an index of possibility, for percussion trio

Second Place

Matthew Peterson

Rain Dances, for quadrophonic mixed media

Third Place

Jonathan Russell

Five Two Tango, for two violins

Film Score Winnermusicc

D. Edward Davis

cliff nesting, for alto saxophone with the sounds of Black-legged Kittiwakes near Seward, Alaska

2013 Winner

Robert McClure

2012 Winner

Charles Halka

2011 Winner

Micah Clark

 

 

 

 

MFA Monday: Surprises of Grad School

MFA Mondays

MFA rightBiggest Surprises of Grad School

 by Amanda Diorio

 

I would make friends

I thought when I went back to school to get my MFA that I would be entering an uptight academic environment.  I was so preoccupied with the idea of school and relocating my life that I forgot I would be entering a community of like-minded peers. In undergrad, even among dance majors, I was considered the “dance nerd,”   In grad school I was surrounded by not only dancers but specifically  “dance nerds,” people who wanted to explore, dissect and reveal as much about the art as I did.  This community turned out to be a vital support group throughout the process of completing my degree.  Having others to bitch to, socialize, laugh, and share my fledgling art with became essential for my survival during this stressful time.  These bonds were not only a lifeline during the process but created many long lasting friendships and an excellent network that stands strong long after graduation.

 

The teacher/student relationship has evolved

When you enter a graduate program you have already passed a test in the eyes of the faculty.  You have already completed one major academic step and have decided to continue onto another. There are fewer grad students for them to keep track of and you yourself are probably a much better student.  For me this reduced a lot of the intimidationI felt with my undergraduate professors.  Continue reading