Behind the Scenes: Let’s Stay Home and Fight

Behind the Scenes: Let’s Stay Home and Fight

Frame | Work News & Updates Performances/Screenings

Frame Dance Productions presents Let’s Stay Home and Fight, the latest from dancer, choreographer, and Artistic Director Lydia Hance. Lydia both generously and provocatively describes her inspiration and intention for this performance, and I believe that these insights will enrich the experience for you, our beloved participants and audience.

Letter from Lydia:

Dear Framers,

Settle in, I’m going to take you behind the scenes of my creative process for this next show, Let’s Stay Home and Fight on January 26 and 27. I like to make work to confront myself: my fears, my doubts, my questions. I love how art is my vehicle for personal growth. That’s how I know it is a lifelong endeavor. Making art will never be something I retire from. It’s the way I make sense of things, and it’s the way I deal with my world. As a person averse to conflict (any of you out there like me?), I have been trying to figure out why my natural instinct is to avoid it. I mean, there are ACTUAL HUMANS out there who dive right in with zest and a pair of curled up fists. After a little research I discovered that there are people who believe conflict is the best way to reach an agreement, and is even a good way to connect. This was mind blowing to me. I’ll take my one way ticket back to Mars, because I must be an ET on this Earth.

At the recommendation of a friend (and artist in this show), I began to study the Enneagram. The Enneagram is a model of the human psyche which is principally understood and taught as a typology of nine interconnected personality types. I have found this system far more accurate and helpful than any of the other personality typing models out there. I’ve been digging into it for almost a year; I am no expert, but it has truly helped me understand my own strengths, vices, and challenges. It has been both freeing and challenging.

I take quite a bit of time by myself crafting creative concepts, movement ideas, and music selections. I schedule rehearsals where I have time to be by myself and internally sift through what is developing. I make dance by feeling. I often cannot put words to my ideas in the creation process. I make by instinct. It’s like I have millions of feelers all over my body and I have to sense every choice. That can take time.

People have told me that I’m thoughtful. I’ve always kind of liked that. As a 4 personality type (you’ll have to do a little of your own research to understand what that means), I have an ability to understand how others around me feel. 4s are highly empathetic. So in rehearsals, I sense others. I respond to them. What would happen if I embraced conflict? Easier said than done, I know. Could I create an environment where I give myself license to be a little bit more obstinate? Could I make work that might be a little bit less thoughtful, and maybe a little more gutsy? I’m trying it.

Here’s how I’m making this show:

I am assigning each of the six dancers (including me) a number on the Enneagram. We are researching these numbers deeply. Each artist makes each creative choice from the perspective of the personality type they are assigned to. I am giving each person a primary duet partner, and we are researching our partners’ numbers. The show will be based on three pairs of people negotiating with each other’s differences. We are making the show during extended rehearsal times, all crammed in one week, in the performance space. There’s an intentional pressure-cooker format to the creation and performance. In a word: intense. In another? Exhilarating.

Here’s your homework:

  • Research the Enneagram. There are a lot of great podcasts out there. Find out your number before this show, do a little emotional work. It would even be fun to see if you can guess the personality numbers of the dancers by watching the performance.
  • Come see the performance. This is going to be risky, vulnerable, and revealing.

Put ‘em up,

Lydia

Forward Focus: Fave Events for the Fairly Near Future

Forward Focus: Fave Events for the Fairly Near Future

Frame | Work Houston Hot Spots News & Updates

I know it’s cliche, but I’m working on a couple of “don’t call them resolutions” self-improvement ideas in this new year. Are you? I deliberately set mine to advance me toward self-perfection or whatever at a microscopic, this-won’t-hurt-at-all rate of change. And, by gum, it has worked beautifully for a whole week and a half! Baby steps, my friends, baby steps. Or giant leaps. Whatever works for you. We’d love to hear your goals, plans, successes, and challenges in the comments section because, you know, we go farther when we go together.

If your New Year, New You goals happen to involve working more art into your life and/or showing up in support of your community, the Frame Dance team has recommendations that will keep your resolutions (or whatever you call them) rolling through mid-February. You’re welcome!

Grown Up Storytime happens on the third Tuesday of the month (bonus events for GUST fans, writer’s workshops are scheduled for January 20 and 27. See Facebook page for details).

Where: Rudyard’s, 2010 Waugh, 77006

When: Tuesday, January 15, 8:00 PM

For Italy lovers, the Contemporary Italian Film Series happens most months on the third Wednesday of the month. See Texas film premiers shown in Italian with English subtitles. (Bonus ICCC family event: Festa della Befana this Sunday at 3:30 PM).

Where: Italian Cultural and Community Center, 1101 Milford, 77006

When: Wednesday, January 16, 7:00 PM

Wednesday, February 20, 7:00 PM

Inprint’s Margarett Root Brown Reading Series features author Claudia Rankine. Moderated by Project Row House founder Rick Lowe, the reading will include an excerpt of the author’s play performed by members of the Houston’s historic Ensemble Theater.

Where: Stude Concert Hall, Rice University, 6100 Main, 77005

When: Monday, January 14, 7:30 PM

Inprint’s Reading Series continues in February featuring American Book Award winner Valleria Luiselli and “overnight literary star” Tommy Orange interviewed by UH-Downtown’s Daniel Pena. Tickets go on sale at noon on January 15.

Where: Stude Concert Hall, Rice University, 6100 Main, 77005

When: Tuesday, February 26, 7:30 PM

Frame Dance Productions (hey, that’s us!) presents new work Let’s Stay Home and Fight, an intimate piece that features compositions from our Composer Competition winners Karl Blench and Daniel Harrison (more about these geniuses here) performed by Axiom Quartet.

Where: Studio 101, 1824 Spring St, 77007

When: Saturday, January 26, 7:00 PM

Sunday, January 27, 7:00 PM

Is it art? Is it culture? It’s definitely community, and it’s definitely good for your body and for your fluffy little soul: it is Kitten Yoga at Yogaleena! A portion of the proceeds goes to the Best Friends Animal Society.

Where: Yogaleena, 2126 S Shepherd, Suite 230 (upstairs), 77098

When: Sunday, February 3, 2:00 PM

‘Tis the Seasons: Beginnings and Introductions

‘Tis the Seasons: Beginnings and Introductions

Frame | Work Interviews News & Updates

So far, 2019 in Houston has been wet, but at least the plants are happy. It’s been chilly, but the northern transplants (like me!) who suffer through the summer are happy in their scarves and underused winter wear. It’s been cloudy and gray, but…the…people who worry about skin cancer are happy, I guess? Oh, forget it; it’s bleak out there, folks. I truly love weather that inspires one to sit inside and read, but even I – and definitely my eight year-old – could use a little more sun and little less puddle-making rain here at the end of our holidays.

There has been one big bright spot shining at Frame Dance headquarters, however, and I am excited to share it – or, rather, her – with you all. Yesterday’s post was a misty-eyed goodbye, but today’s is a bright hello. It is my great pleasure to introduce Frame Dance’s brand new Program Manager, Bobbie Hackett! Bobbie is a grad student in Arts Leadership at UH who has worked with ROCO and the Houston Arts Alliance, so she’s already family in terms of the Houston arts and nonprofits community. Look for Bobbie at upcoming Frame Dance classes and events, and here’s a little “Bobbie Hackett 101” to encourage you to say hi.

Intro to Bobbie: Very Important Questions

Bobbie, tell us: salty or sweet?

I like a good combo of both, but if forced to choose, I’d choose salty.

Coffee or tea?

I drink coffee more often, but I prefer tea.

Slide or Swings?

Swings!

If you could turn anything into an Olympic Event, what would you get the Gold medal for?

Laughing so hard that I cry over something completely arbitrary and not being able to explain why it struck me as funny.

What songs have you completely memorized?

I’m so bad with song lyrics it’s unreal, but I most often sing along with Ella Fitzgerald, Dean Martin, or Taylor Swift.

What is your personal arts background?

I’ve always been involved in the arts in some way. My mom is a pianist and she and my dad were church worship leaders for awhile, so I started as a piano and choir geek pretty early on.

I have an associates and a bachelor’s degree in music/voice/opera, but I really just wanted to know how to sing, I never considered being an opera singer professionally. In hindsight, majoring in music was not the most practical decision, but it’s not one that I regret. I love what I’ve learned and I’m certain none of it was a mistake.

Can you tell us about your masters program, and what led you there?

Yes! I’m in my last semester of the Arts Leadership program at the University of Houston. The Arts Leadership degree is essentially an Arts Administration degree, but it differs from other programs in that it was designed to produce good leaders as well as good administrators. While we learn all the hard skills of administration like financial management, strategic planning, etc. we are also encouraged and trained to learn, explore, and develop soft skills and our personal leadership styles.

Because I never intended to make a living as a musician, I was pretty limited in terms of jobs after finishing undergrad. I floundered around a little and worked for a bank, did technical support for a tax prep company, and taught voice lessons on the side. I was really struggling with a combination of poor managers, low pay, and feeling like I wasn’t doing anything meaningful, but I also didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I started to see a pattern in all of my jobs though; I consistently had leadership and management roles thrust upon me, but I was always reluctant to accept them. I was really afraid that I wasn’t cut out to manage or lead. Those fears didn’t really stop me from thinking of ways that my managers could do things better or differently, though. I finally realized that if I kept wanting things done differently then maybe I should just do it myself. I bit the bullet and started looking for Arts Administration programs.

I stumbled upon the Arts Leadership program by accident. I had already been accepted to another program in Ohio, but my parents really wanted me to stay in Texas, so I applied to the University of Houston to appease them. Once I got my acceptance letter from UH I was overwhelmed about choosing between Ohio and Texas, but in-state tuition won in the end. I enrolled in classes and I’ve never been happier!

You actually know a lot about Frame Dance, even though you’ve just started! Can you tell the readers about how you learned about Frame Dance (and what you learned?!)

I do know a lot about Frame Dance! I took a Strategic Planning course in the spring of 2018; rather than just having my class learn about strategic planning, my professor put us all into groups and paired us with various arts organizations in Houston and asked us to create a strategic plan for them based on their needs.

My group was paired with Frame Dance, so I actually created the fundraising portion of Frame’s strategic plan. It was a lot of hard work, but it was so rewarding. I remember being grateful to be paired with Frame because everyone in the organization was so gracious and kind. Frame was really open with us about what they wanted and needed; they were also flexible and willing to let us bring in new ideas and plans and shake things up a bit. I was really drawn more to the people than to the organization, but at the end of the day, the people are the organization. 🙂

Anything else you’d like to share?

I’m really looking forward to working for Frame Dance. I don’t have a lot of dance knowledge. I took a few classes in undergrad and really enjoyed it, but I’m a rookie at best.

I think every job is a new learning experience and I’m excited to learn and help!

Isn’t she amazing?! Bobbie, welcome to the team. This is going to be great.

‘Tis the Seasons: Endings and Goodbyes

‘Tis the Seasons: Endings and Goodbyes

Frame | Work News & Updates

A Frame Dance Farewell

We’ve all bid farewell to 2018, and, perhaps, to holiday guests and household symbols of the season. Maybe you were traveling and had to say goodbye to beaches or ski slopes, or to some version of family and home. Endings can be tough; it takes a special fortitude to make a graceful exit from the things that bring us comfort and joy, and no judgement if you need to give in and ugly cry. Here at Frame Dance, we have an extra hard goodbye to say, and that is to our Cori, the exquisite Ms Capetillo, who has relocated to Portland, Oregon, with her beautiful family. Are we separating with graceful eye-dabbing or snotty sobbing? No comment.

Perhaps you know Cori as the “front desk” face at Frame Dance classes, or perhaps you saw her perform in My Beloved…meet me at the prom last spring, mere weeks before giving birth to her son with the equally amazing Alberto Capetillo, who also danced in that performance. Perhaps, like me, you’ve had the fun of dancing with Cori in a Baby-Wearing or Multi-Gen class at Frame, or you’ve performed under her capable and easy-going stage management. Whatever your interaction, you probably appreciated Cori’s unflappable cool and adept problem solving, her smarts, her creativity, and her humor. Cori made us all feel safe in her hands, and lucky to be there.

About Cori, from Lydia:

When I started Frame Dance it was a one-woman leap of faith. As I made work, wonderful people started to emerge as the helpers. Mr. Rogers always told me to look out for them. We’ve had the great privilege and fortune to work with incredible collaborators, artists, teaching artists, donors, students, volunteers, and board members. But, administratively, it was all me for a long seven years. Then, because of all of the helpers along the way, Frame Dance got to a place where I could hire Cori Capetillo to work with me. With her organization, her ability to create structures and policies, to remove some of the administrative duties from my plate, and her belief in Frame Dance’s mission, we grew more last year than we ever have. She did this all with a new baby. I dreamt about the day when I could have a partner-in-good like that. And way too soon (as far as I’m concerned!) she’s off with her beautiful family to begin a new adventure in Portland.

Cori, I wish you the very best. Thank you for your work. Godspeed and best wishes.

xo Lydia

P.S. “You did a great job!”

About Houston, from Cori:

A few things the Capetillo family will miss about living in Houston:

1) We will miss chips and queso without a question.

2) We will miss the hustle and bustle of the city. There’s a vibration to this city that’s unlike any other.

3) We will miss dancing in the MultiGen class. The class served as a stress release for us and served as a way to bond with our new son. We found another family where we were safe to express ourselves freely without judgement. In that hour and fifteen minute class, our troubles were left at the door and only love and gratitude could be felt. Our people is what we will miss the most.

Cori

 An Irish blessing to go with you as you exit our particular stage:

May your days be many and your troubles be few.

May all God’s blessings descend upon you.

May peace be within you. May your heart be strong.

May you find what you’re seeking wherever you roam.

Break a leg, Cori.