From Lydia: A Reminder, an Invitation, and a Wee Announcement

From Lydia: A Reminder, an Invitation, and a Wee Announcement

Frame | Work News & Updates

Framers,

Last week I got sick, like stay in bed all weekend sick. PILES of Kleenex on the nightstand sick.  I had to cancel class for about thirty families. I usually prefer to just push through, because it seems silly for one person’s illness to inconvenience 30+. But with Frame Baby #2 baking (yes! Did you hear? She’s due in March), I was thinking of both of us and what we needed to heal.

That got me thinking. Why can it be so hard for us to have boundaries when it comes to our own health? It was easier for me to think of protecting the baby than protecting myself. I relished the feel better, stay in bed responses to my emails. Somehow, other people validating my choice to prioritize my health made it easier.

Before I knew how sick I was, I was outside running on the grass with Micah. We were playing “chase” as he calls it, you may know it as “tag.” At one point he stopped, pointed to his stomach, and said My tummy hurts! He body slammed into the grass and pushed up into the most beautiful upward dog I’ve ever seen. And I thought wow! How did he know to open up is abdomen like that when he got a cramp? He didn’t. His body did.

Our bodies know more than we realize.

The stressful “madness” of the holidays – shopping, planning, social obligations, eating rich food, and thick sweaters in overly heated Houston houses – can have the effect of a sickness creeping in on us. For this reason, I wanted to plan a series of workshops to give time and space for our bodies to lead us into reflection. Whatever the past year held for you, gratitude is a practice, and mindfully celebrating all we have to be thankful for has a deep, cellular impact on our bodies, our long-term health, and our fulfillment.

I truly hope that you join us for these workshops, because they were specifically designed for movers of all bodies and experience levels. Nervous? Bring a friend!

For a welcoming, instructional, and creative class:

I will be teaching two Intro to Modern Dance classes.

For reflection, peacefulness, and opportunities for expression:

Jhon Stronks and I will each lead a Candlelight Dancing class.

For a fun celebration and something tropical:

Jamie Williams will lead a Winter in Hawaii Hula class.

All of these classes are safe for beginners, and Frame Dance always gives dancers choices to make adaptations for any immobility or recovering injuries. Our instructors want to meet you and talk with you before class about any concerns you have.

Like I’ve realized, it’s hard to have boundaries for our own heath—physical, mental and spiritual. But, here I am saying to you feel better, come dance.

Hand to heart,

Lydia

Lydia’s Big Professional Announcement: Composer Competition Winners, 2019

Lydia’s Big Professional Announcement: Composer Competition Winners, 2019

Frame | Work News & Updates

 

Dear Framers,

Lydia here. Drum roll, please! 

 

I am thrilled to announce the winners of the 2019 Frame Dance Composer Competition, and eagerly anticipate the work that the company and I will do with them in the coming performance year. 

 

Frame Dance is dedicated to working with 100% new music in all of its productions and has held to this commitment since its inception. As a means to access outstanding new music, Frame Dance has held an annual competition for the past nine years to select music for its upcoming season. The winning composers’ music becomes the basis of a new original work at Frame Dance in film and/or live performance. This has given us opportunities to work with over 24 contemporary composers. Our commitment to new music benefits Houstonians by exposing the work of new composers to local audiences. This successful competition has attracted exciting composers from across the world to collaborate with Frame Dance. A list of past winners can be found here.

 

Let me give you a quick taste of what you’re in for this year. First, the panel consisted of Charles Peck (2017 winner), Daniel Harrison (2018 winner), and Patrick Moore (Axiom Quartet cellist and frequent collaborator with Frame Dance), and me. We reviewed about 200 pieces of music and chose four. That’s stiff competition, people. On the call for music we indicated that we were looking for at least one piece of music for cello (because of our upcoming collaboration with Patrick), and we selected:

 

-a surprising and engulfing electronic piece by Jake Sandridge,  

-a meticulously crafted dynamic trio for cello, violin, and piano by Jack Frerer, 

-a highly restrained and delicately suspenseful piano piece by Paul Kerekes, and 

-a heavenly and shadowy piece for cello and playback by Hannah Selin.

 

Learn more about them below. I look forward to creating new dances with their music this season. Frame Dance our performances are really like multiple concerts woven into one—dance, music, theater, visual art… are you on our email list and in the loop on our performance announcements? 

 

In Art,

Lydia

 

 

As a composer, sound artist, and performer of contemporary music, Jake Sandridge creates sound as a method of expressing themes of memory, transformation, nature, and comfort. He understands and experiences art as a unique space that allows for the suspension of disbelief where audience and performers can experiment with the juxtaposition of ideas that might originate from dissimilar places. Mr. Sandridge is a doctoral student in the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. 

 

Winning piece: Garden of our Own

 

Composer, violist and vocalist Hannah Selin juxtaposes acoustic instruments with electronic sounds, field recordings and recorded interviews to imagine new and unlikely sound-spaces. Her compositions range from solo instrumental and chamber music with and without electronics, to songs, music for dance, orchestral music and sound installations.

 

Winning piece: Hirondelle

 

 

Paul Kerekes is a composer/pianist based in New York City who often confronts and blurs the space between composition and performance. Omnivorous, he can often be found premiering pieces with his piano sextet Grand Band or his quasi-rock-band composer-performer-collective, Invisible Anatomy. As consummate collaborator, he plays well with others and feeds off the exchange of creative energy. 

 

Winning piece: Vantages

 

 

 

The “exuberant” and “delicious” (Boston Musical Intelligencer) music of Jack Frerer (b. 1995) has been performed across the US, Australia, Europe and Asia, and will performed this season by ensembles including the Nashville Symphony, the Arapahoe Philharmonic, the Albany Symphony’s “Dogs of Desire” ensemble, and the UT Austin Wind Ensemble, among others. Jack is the recipient of a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Morton Gould Composers Award from ASCAP, the Suzanne and Lee Ettelson Composers Award, and the Brian Israel Prize from the Society for New Music.  He is a Tanglewood composition fellow for 2019, a composer for the New York City Ballet’s 2019 Choreographic Institute, and is currently Composer-in-Residence with the Arapahoe Philharmonic. Jack studied with John Corigliano and Robert Beaser at The Juilliard School, and was awarded a Benzaquen Career Advancement Grant upon graduation. 

 

Winning piece: Stutter Step

Getting to Know Dance on Film: Recommendations for #FramerNation

Getting to Know Dance on Film: Recommendations for #FramerNation

Frame | Work Links We Like

Houston is a dance town; readers of Frame Work know that. But do you know about the massive territory being explored at the intersection of dance and film? And are you aware that now, with the opening of the second annual Frame x Frame Film Fest on October 4-6, Houston is becoming a locus for the particular art of dance on film (also known as dance for film, dance film, and dance for camera)? #FramerNation, this is a new and exciting way to be involved with dance, and we encourage you to jump in as artists and audiences. To provide a head start on your education in this field, and/or to satisfy your deeper dive after viewing the films on offer, we have assembled recommendations from our FxFFF jurors and dance on film luminaries, Rosie Trump, Laura Gutierrez, and Lydia Hance. 

 

Frame Work: Film-making and film-viewing friends, can you tell me some of the dance films – outside of the ones in our festival – that you find really exciting?

 

Rosie Trump: My favorite feature length dance on film is Blush by Wim Vandekeybus.  I saw it screen at Dance Camera West in 2006 and it blew my mind.  I also love Rosas danst Rosas choreographed by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and directed by Thierry de Mey.

 

Laura Gutierrez: Dance Documentaries really excite me. Most recent ones are Restless Creature by Wendy Whelan, and Bobbi Jene and a non documentary is Girl (2018) by Lukas Dhont

 

Lydia Hance: Right now I am really excited about ANIMA, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and can be found on Netflix! I’ve always loved Pina. Feelings are Facts is a fantastic documentary about Yvonne Rainer, co-founder of the Judson Dance Theater who is a dancer and choreographer turned filmmaker.

 

FW: Can you recommend any books about dance or dance on film to help our readers explore the genre?

 

RT: I read a lot of books about dance history. Brenda Dixon Gottschild and Susan Foster are two dance theorists that completely changed how I think about dance. Misty Copeland’s biography is on the top of my reading list.

 

LG: Deborah Hay, My Body, The Buddhist is my favorite book about dance.

 

LH: I love books about community creativity and finding ways to engage people with dance in authentic and meaningful ways that validate all humans as artists. I love Liz Lerman’s book Hiking the Horizontal. Right now I’m reading Anna Halprin’s book Making Dances that Matter with the MultiGen Framers.

 

FW: Any other recommendations? Inspirations?

 

RT: The OA and Russian Doll.  These are not films, but the best small screen cinema I have seen in a while. I am currently reading Lucia Berlin‘s Evening in Paradise.  My last dance film was inspired by an essay in Kim Gordon’s Is it My Body? Selected Texts.

 

LG: seeing is forgetting the name of the thing one sees, a book by Robert Irwin.

 

LH: I’ve recently (finally) seen Junebug directed by Phil Morrison and i thought it was fantastic. I would recommend The Goldfinch (not a short read) for something fun and captivating, and I have been a fan of Virginia Woolf for many years. 

 

FW: Thank you, dance-on-film gurus, and we’ll see you in the theater!

 

Rosie Trump is a dance choreographer, filmmaker, and educator.  Her work is nostalgic in style, feminist, and deliberately understated.  Trump’s dance films have recently screened at ADFs Movies for Movers, San Souci Dance Film Festival, Extremely Short Shorts at the Aurora Picture Show, the Utah Dance Film Festival, the Philadelphia Dance Film Festival, RADfest, andDance Film Association’s Long Legs Short Films.  She is the founder and chief curator of the Third Coast Dance Film Festival. Trump is an Associate Professor of Dance at the University of Nevada, Reno. Rosie finds inspiration in pop culture, politics, and visual art.

Laura Gutierrez is a performing artist and choreographer and has been named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch”. Her most recent work “Center Aisle Blues” was named Best Placemaking of 2018 by Dance Magazine. She is a graduate of UNCSA and was on adjunct faculty at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts from 2011-2019 where she is also an Alum. Since 2014, she has toured with Jonah Bokaer Choreography. Laura’s inspiration comes from her family, politics, history, nature, traveling, architecture and art. 


Lydia Hance is the Founder Artistic Director of Frame Dance. She has been named an Emerging Leader by Dance/USA and has led Frame Dance in performances from the Galveston pier onto the METRO light rail, in the backs of U Haul trucks, downtown tunnels, and into museums, stages, and warehouses for the past ten years. A champion of new music composers, her work deepens interdisciplinary and multigenerational collaborations, and investigates the placement of dance in our lives. She is a choreographer, curator, filmmaker, educator, and dance writer. Her. She holds degrees in Dance Performance and English Literature from SMU and trained at the Taylor School, Graham School, Tisch School of the Arts, Limon Institute and SMU. Lydia is inspired by people’s stories, vulnerability, textures, the dessert, behavioral science, and new music.

 

Making Dance Makers

Making Dance Makers

Education Frame | Work

Good Dance Makes Good People: Frame Dance Production’s Youth Ensemble

Mini Framers (ages 3.5-5), Little Framers (ages 5-7), and Junior Framers (ages 8-13) comprise the Frame Dance Youth Ensemble, a training and performing group for developing dance makers. 

Dance makers are artists who learn to communicate through dance. They learn to use dance as a way to understand themselves and the world around them. They learn to use that understanding to develop an idea, and they learn to use movement, space, lighting, costume, and music to present that idea to an audience. They learn to communicate through dance, and to do so with integrity and intention.

Dance makers learn skills in the studio that profoundly improve other areas of their lives. Youth Ensemble dancers develop body knowledge, both in the sense of knowing what their body can do and in their understanding of themselves and their world through the immediacy of physical action and reaction. Dancers develop an innate sense of physics through movement. Dance making builds students’ planning and decision-making skills in deep, considered ways as they create and learn choreography, and on the fly as they learn to dance improvisationally. For all ages (but with implications that change over time), physical communication helps dancers understand body boundaries. The communication skills of negotiation, connection, and articulation of ideas are routinely practiced in ensemble dance and move smoothly from the studio setting to any arena where your child works as part of a team. For all of these reasons and more, good dance makes good people, and both are found in abundance in the Frame Dance Youth Ensemble.  

Registration is (still) open! Mini Framers starts Wednesday, September 4 at 3:30 PM. Little Framers starts Thursday, September 5 at 4:15. Junior Framers have options that begin tomorrow, Tuesday, September 3 at 4:15. All classes meet at our studios on Shepherd at Westheimer. Please use the links above to register and for more class details.

See you amazing students in the studio!

 

Frame Dance Soirée: Our Hosts

Frame Dance Soirée: Our Hosts

Frame | Work

Frame Dance Company is made up of brilliant and passionate dancers, and our collaborating artists are pretty amazing, too. The following Framers and Friends have generously offered to serve as hosts at our annual FUNdraising Soirée. Meet them in their Framer statements and bios below and be impressed. Meet them in person at the Soirée and be inspired.

Jacquelyne Boe – Dance

Houston Press 100 Creatives; Dance Source Houston’s Artist in Residence Program; 2019-2020 Lawndale Studio Artist Program.

“A Framer is any human who associates with Frame Dance and wants to be a part of it. I’m a Framer because I believe in Frame Dance’s mission to empower Houstonians to communicate, inspire, and connect to the world and others through movement, community and artistic collaboration, and technology.”

See more of Jacquelyne dancing with Frame Dance and Hopestone Dance, and performing her own choreography. Jacquelyne teaches dance with Frame Dance, the Hope Project, and Houston Ballet. Find her here online: http://jjboe.com/

Braden Hunt – Theater  

Actor: Ensemble Theater, Main Street Theater, AD Players, Stages, Masquerade Theatre. Teaching Artist: AD Players

“I met Lydia Hance while doing a production with the late Horse Head Theatre Company in a production called The Sonic Life of a Giant Sea Tortoise by Toshiki Okada. The director, Philip Hays, wanted movement to inform the dialogue throughout and Lydia was hired as our movement coach. I was really inspired by the exercises Lydia guided us through and I continue to use them in my own training and in my teaching. I told Lydia that I wanted to work with her and continue to learn from her again.

“The next season Lydia was planning a piece that involved more narrative than she was accustomed to and invited me along to be in the show and help form the narrative. This show was called My Beloved and followed the lives of some high school students from the day of their senior prom to middle age. It was a brilliant blend of interactive theatre, narrative, and abstract exploration of the human struggle for connection. It’s been truly one of my favorite works to be a part of thus far in my career.

“Since then I’ve been lucky enough to dance with Frame Dance Company in Water Day Dances, Metro Dances, and Let’s Stay Home and Fight. I love to join the Multigen Dancers when I can and share in the community of valued authentic expression that Lydia has created.”

See Braden in Frame Dance Productions, and on stages across Houston. Find him teaching at AD Players Performing Arts Academy (https://www.adplayers.org/performing-arts-academy). Read more about Braden’s work here: https://www.broadwayworld.com/people/Braden-Hunt/

Laura Gutierrez – Dance

Dancer: Jonah Bokaer Choreography; William R. Kenan, Jr., Performing Arts Fellowship at Lincoln Center Education; Dance Magazine “25 to Watch.”

“This year I had the pleasure of working the the Junior Framers and though it was an intimate gathering on Mondays the impact they had on me was a refreshing one.

“Choreographically, I focused on spacial design and how their bodies would move through where they would be performing in addition to what they would be performing. It’s a combination of the two that makes dance so powerful and I wanted to share that with them.

“One thing that struck me was how there was a visible shift in their attitudes before and after class, every check in I’d ask how they were and since they were coming from school they were often sharing something from their day and their spirit and energies were low but by the end of class they were rejuvenated and it would always such a surprise to me to witness that outside of myself.

“I was reminded with this class how dance supports an individuals way of being in the world and also teaches students and teachers alike to be empathetic and communicative with others.”

Laura dances her own choreography on stages and art spaces nationwide. She taught Frame Dance Production’s Junior Framers Ensemble 2018-2019. Find Laura online at http://www.lauraegutierrez.com/

Ashley Horn – Dance

Ashley is a dancer, choreographer, filmmaker, costume designer, and artist from the Houston area. She is Frame Dance’s costume designer, set collaborator, and a founding dancer. She is also a teacher in the early childhood dance classes at Frame Dance. Find Ashley online at http://ashleyhorndance.com/

Jamie Williams

Jamie Williams – Dance

Jamie is a founding member of Aimed Dance, formerly Rednerrus Feil Dance Company.  She has performed with Psophonia Dance Company, and with local independent artists Laura Gutierrez, Brittany Thetford-Deveau, and Rebekah Chappell. Jamie currently serves as a dance professor and the dance program coordinator for San Jacinto College.

Emily Roy Sayre – Dance

Emily’s career has included being featured in 225 Magazine, The Advocate newspaper, and VoyageHouston’s Most Inspiring Stories. The choreographers and companies Emily has had the honor to work with include Uptown Dance Company, The Pilot Dance Project, Frame Dance Productions, Houston Grand Opera, Sean Curran, Julio Monge, Eric Sean Fogel, Christine Crest, Mina Estrada, and Jennifer Mabus. Emily also dapples in dance for camera work. You can find Emily online at https://emilyroysayre.com/

 

Callina Anderson – Theater

Callina is an actor with extensive theater experience in Houston, having performed with Ensemble Theater, Main Street Theater, Horse Head Theater, The MATCH, Mildred’s Umbrella, Boiling Point Players, Cone Man Running Productions, Alley Theater’s Houston Young Playwright Exchange, and as a regular actor with Interactive Theater. Callina collaborated with Frame Dance most recently in METRODances.

Alli Villines – Music, Theater

Alli is a Houston-based performer and voice teacher whom you may have seen in Horsehead Theatre Company’s 2018 production of We’re Gonna Die, or on The Christina and Alli Show, her weekly YouTube music show co-hosted with Christina Wells. Alli is a professional singer, ukulele player, voice teacher, and actor who has credits with the Alley Theatre, Houston Grand Opera, and Catastrophic Theatre Company. Alli performed with Frame Dance in METRODances. You can find Alli online at https://ukulalli.wordpress.com/

Patrick Moore – Music

Patrick Moore is Principal cellist with the Cypress Symphony and the Houston Latin American Philharmonic and is assistant principal cellist with the Opera in the Heights. An avid chamber music player, he is the cellist of the Axiom Quartet, and performs contemporary chamber music with the Aperio New Music Ensemble and the Foundation For Modern Music. Patrick maintains a private studio as adjunct faculty at the University of St.Thomas, and teaches with the University of St.Thomas’ Music Preparatory School where The Axiom Quartet is the string quartet in residence. In addition, Patrick teaches at Axiom Quartet’s annual String Quartet Camp and is on faculty at the American Festival for the Arts during the summer. Patrick and Axiom Quartet are long-time collaborators with Frame Dance Productions, including METRODances performances and premiering works by winners of the Frame Dance Composer Competition. Find Patrick online at http://www.moorecello.com/home

David Rivera – Film

David is Houston Ballet Audio/Video Content Manager. David’s films were screened in the Cozy and Silken portions of Frame x Frame, Frame Dance Production’s inaugural dance on film festival. 

Photo Credits: Jacquelyne Boe by Lynn Lane; Laura Gutierrez by Lynn Lane; Emily Roy Sayre by Toriel Borst; Callina Anderson by Pin Lim/Forrest Photography; Alli Villines by Tasha Gorel

Frame Dance Soirée: Our Organization

Frame Dance Soirée: Our Organization

Frame | Work Interviews News & Updates Uncategorized

The Soirée is Coming! Are you ready?

I’ve checked in with the Frame Dance Board and Manager to see how their Soirée plans are progressing. Let’s peek behind the curtain and check on our team: 

Jonathon Hance

Lydia Hance – Artistic and Executive Director

Jonathon Hance – Technology Director, Chairman of the Board

Supercouple

Hey, Framers! Will we see you at the Soirée?

Yes, you’ll see me (I hope) at the Soiree.

Yeah, that was pretty rhetorical, wasn’t it? In addition to hosting the whole shebang, are you hosting a table?

Jonathon and I are hosting a table.

What kind of hosts are you?

We are pretty big Frame Dance fans, so I’d have to saw we will be very enthusiastic. Sometimes people call us the Happy Hances.

I foresee sore-from-smiling cheeks on Friday. But that’s perfect. I hope that I suffer likewise. After all of the preparation and anticipation, what are you looking forward to at the Soiree?

I am looking forward to being in a room with so many people who are also passionate about art and Houston, and seeing how the audience reacts to some of the surprise elements in the dance two company members are performing…

Oooh! Way to tease the performance! I can’t wait to see these “surprise elements.” It’s so Frame.

So, Lydia, why are you a Framer?

I am a Framer because I have seen how collaboration ignites the creative spirit, and Frame Dance offers that opportunity to all. I am a Framer because I have seen people changed for the better– towards joy and healing– by the work that we do.

Total agreement. A la Soirée!

Bobbie Hackett – Program Manager, Certified Arts Leader!

Bobbie! First Soirée on the Frame Dance team. I know you’ve been busy with preparations for Thursday night. Will we see you there?

Most definitely!

Great! Are you hosting a table?

Nope, I’m doing the behind the scenes work. 😉

So you get to be the conductor/cat wrangler! How would you describe yourself in that role?

I’m an enthusiastic Frame Dance employee and supporter.

Perfect. We will definitely benefit from your enthusiasm and coordination. What are you looking forward to at your first Frame Dance Soirée?

I’m looking forward to the silent auction, honestly. We have a lot of amazing things to offer from so very cool and generous donors. I’m excited to see what people are most interested in.

We do have the best silent auction goodies. They are choice Houstonian cultural goods.

You’ve been with Frame Dance for about six months now and you’ve known us well for much longer. With that experience, why would you say you are you a Framer?

I’m a Framer because Frame Dance lets me do my best work while also challenging me and encouraging me to do the things I’m not so good at. Best job I’ve ever had!

Happy to hear it! I look forward to how effortless you make it all look at the Soirée.

Alina Slavik

Alina Slavik – Board Member, Honorary Italian

Hey, International Framer! Will we see you at the Soiree?

Obviously!  My favorite way to officially kick off summer.

Absolutely. Are you hosting a table?

Yes! Can’t wait to have our friends join us 🙂

So, what’s your goal as a host? What are you hoping for at the Soirée?

As a host, I love helping new Framers find what they love about Frame Dance, whether it’s our film festival, performances in unexpected places, or a class for their child.  As a guest, I always check out the fabulous silent auction offerings and visit the Dip Jar – the most gratifying fundraising invention ever!

Yes and yes! Anything else you’re looking forward to on Thursday night?

Hanging out with my fellow Framers to celebrate another successful year for Frame Dance.

Hasn’t it been an amazing year? And you would know, ‘cause this isn’t your first Soir-odeo! With all of your contributions to and experiences with Frame Dance, why would you say you are a Framer?

Opera singer Beverly Sills said it best: “Art is the signature of civilizations.”  And it should be part of our daily lives.

Truth. See you at the Dip Jar.

Kerri Lyons Neimeyer – Board Member, Blog Writer, Questioner and Answerer/Self

Hey, Kerri! Will we see you at the Soiree?

Well, Kerri, yes you will…in the mirror! (Ba-dum bum).

Are you hosting a table?

I am! I’m excited to have the opportunity to host as I’ve enjoyed myself as a guest at Frame Soirées in the past, and I wasn’t able to attend last year, which would have been my first Soirée as a board member.

What kind of guest/host are you?

Hilarious and grateful. And like a little extra nice-looking in a way that’s fun. That’s how I Soirée. Or, that’s what I’m aiming at, anyway.

What are you looking forward to at the Soirée?

The professional company performance. It just feels like it’s been too long since I’ve seen them do their thing, and they do it the best. Also seeing the whole gang – all of the ensembles and the other folks who love Frame Dance – celebrating our accomplishments together, looking forward to good things together.

Why are you a Framer?

Because Frame Dance recognizes how powerful dance can be in a person and in a community, and it recognizes the dancer/artist in everyone. Those ideas resound with me, profoundly.

Sounds harmonious and intense, Kerri.

It really can be, Kerri. And it’s intensely fulfilling. And I’m learning to find the ease in it, which is just golden. So, you know, win win. Up and up. See you at the Soirée.

Dance Is

Dance Is

Frame | Work News & Updates

“…the hidden language of the soul”  – Martha Graham.

“…meditation in movement, a walking into silence where every movement becomes prayer.” – Bernhard Wosien

“…the only art of which we ourselves are the stuff of which it is made.” – Ted Shawn

“…for everybody. I believe that the dance came from the people and that it should always be delivered back to the people.” – Alvin Ailey

“…the movement of the universe concentrated in an individual.” – Isadora Duncan

“…strong magic.” – Pearl Primus

I believe that dance, like all arts, is whatever you need or want or use it to be. However, the words above come from some of the most thoughtfully engaged people in the history of contemporary dance, and it is significant that they see dance as a spiritual and/or universal act. It must be acknowledged that sacred considerations are in the DNA of modern dance, whatever the beliefs of the dancer. In fact, I don’t see how one would engage with modern dance without, on some level, confronting the Big Questions about why we are here and what differences our choices make. Dance is made out of the same physics that define all movement in our universe, and human decisions with the potentially to carry the finest nuance of meaning.

And perhaps something more, or perhaps to a higher purpose.

Sacred Dance in Houston

Planetary Dance at Hermann Park

This Sunday, June 2, 10 AM-12 PM in the field between the Houston Museum of Natural Science and the Miller Outdoor Theater at Hermann Park, Core Dance and Frame Dance host Planetary Dance 2019, the Houston chapter. This is the 39th iteration of the annual ritual dance originated by Anna Halprin in San Francisco, and we are lucky to have a local event to proclaim our intentions and join in the “group spirit” that can evolve out of participatory dance. Read about the origin story, the stages of the dance, and see a short documentary video here, and then register here, or just show up and join in this extraordinary “dance for a purpose.”

SA LE O at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Held on Sunday, June 9, at 2 PM, this “Concert of Profound Healing Through Music, Sacred Chants, and Meditation” features musicians from Tibet and Nepal and a sacred dance from the Bon tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, wherein “[i]t is taught that when performing ritual dance, you should discard all notions of your ordinary self and assume the divine pride of the deity whose dance you are performing.” Tickets and information here.

Global Water Dances

On Saturday, June 15, all over the world people will be “dancing for safe water, for everyone, everywhere.” This is the eighth year that this awareness-raising event has been put on by dozens of choreographers who select a local body of water and create a dance for the community that interacts with it. In June 2018, Frame Dance participated in Global Water Dances in front of the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Hundreds of Houstonians and visitors were touched by the project, and Frame Dance remains committed to careful and forward-thinking use of all of our natural resources.

Ecstatic Dance in Houston

Ecstatic Dance Evolution hosts weekly (Sunday) “free-form sacred and conscious dance events”  for all ages and experience levels. It is an opportunity to dance without judgement and with the intention to connect more deeply to your own intuition and/or to a safe and supportive group of people.

Sacred Movements of Gurdjieff

The Gurdjieff Foundation of Texas – Houston chapter offers meetings around the “forms for study instituted by Gurdjieff such as practical craft work, cooking, discussion, exchange, and sacred dance.” According to practitioner Chandrakala, “the learning process of the sacred movements is a strategy to develop presence and awareness; a reconnection, an alignment of the mind with the body and with the feeling center in such a way that they become one reality.”

Maybe some of these ideas about dance feel very comfortable to you, or maybe they don’t. Dance always requires that we use our bodies to confront the space around us. Maybe you will choose to comfortably or uncomfortably challenge yourself to make that confrontation with a sacred intention and just, maybe, see where that takes you.

Do you know of other sacred dance practices in Houston? Share them in the comments.

See you on the Hermann Park Lawn, Lovelies!

a-May-zing!

a-May-zing!

Education Frame | Work News & Updates Uncategorized

How’s your pre-summer, Frame Family? I hope this month of Mother’s Day/Graduations/Summer Vacation Planning went and is going well, and I hope that your plans and celebrations include lots of dancing. 

Our summer plans at Frame Dance sure do! I mean, of course they do (it’s, like, our whole thing), but, still, we’re very excited about what we have to offer, so check it out: we’ve got kid dancing, adult dancing, and family dancing on the calendar, plus a party with a performance from our professional dance ensemble.

See you at the Soiree and in the studio, Summer Framers!

(I threw in a few suggestions for camps, etc, with some of Frame Dance’s best institutional buddies here in Houston. We believe that everyone is a dancer, and that all dancers are simultaneously a bunch of other things, so get those experiences!)

FRAME DANCE SUMMER

Movement for Families

Starting June 1 and running each of the five Saturdays in June, little dancers (ages walking-5 years) and their parents join Ashley Horn for Creative Movement for Families, 9:30-10:15 AM at River Oaks School of Dancing.  

And Can I Just Say…Ashley Horn is exactly who you want to teach your kid/s. She taught mine, and I remember the joy I felt hearing the little dancers at the end of each class: “I did a great job! You did a great job!” Dancing with your young child is a treasure. Get it while you can.

Multi-Gen

Summer-long Multi-Gen drop-in classes start Saturday, June 1 and run through August 17, 11 AM-12:15 PM at River Oaks School of Dancing. No class on July 4.

And Can I Just Say…Multi-Gen has my heart. This is the living ideal of dance for all. Myself and my child and a bunch of my favorite people will be there, and I hope you will, too.

Soiree

One night only! The Frame Dance SOIREE 2019 happens on June 20, 6-9 PM at Ronin Art House. This is our annual FUNdraiser, where we have the opportunity to celebrate our incredible dance company with our dancers, board members, family, and friends. Attendees will experience a performance by the professional company, share sips and nibbles with cocktail table hosts, and hopefully go home with a wonderful prize from the silent auction. Buy a ticket, or a table, here.

And Can I Just Say…The Frame Dance Soiree is a blast. First, Lydia is there! I love talking to Lydia. Second, the dancers are there! Frame has the best dancers. Third, it’s a relaxed hang with a little bit of fancy, which is exactly what I’m in the mood for in the weeks after the school year ends. Come and find me there. Tell me how you like the blog, what it does and doesn’t do well for you. I need and want to hear all about it and this is the perfect opportunity to chat!

Summer Camps

In July we get busy with SUMMER CAMPS, with Wiggle Worms camps for 3 ½-5 year olds running July 8-12 (full), and again July 22-26 (spots available). Leaping Lizards camp for ages 6-8 runs July 15-19 (spots available), and all camps meet from 8:45 to 11 AM at River Oaks School of Dancing. Registration and more information available here.

And Can I Just Say…I love introducing my child to new possibilities through a week of investigation at summer camp. I love that Frame Dance’s summer camps are growth experiences for a child socially, physically, emotionally, and intellectually. I love that one camp has already filled, and I hope that the others will quickly follow suit so we can bring these sweet skills to the maximum number of kiddos.

SUMMER (CAMP) RECOMMENDATIONS

Music and Mindfulness Camp at Prelude Music

Ages 5-9

This camp offers introductory lessons in violin and ukulele in addition to other musical experiences and mindfulness activities. Each camp session begins and ends with breathing exercises and includes a craft.

Craft Camp at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft

Ages 5-12

Campers explore materials, process, and critical thinking through individual and group projects, conversations with resident artists, and thoughtful engagement with works on exhibit at HCCC. At the end of each week campers exhibit and discuss their own creations for family and friends.

ExploreAsia at Asia Society Texas

Ages 6-14

A variety of camps for your curious artist, foodie, and performer. And for your gaming kid, there is the Video Game Maker camp in association with Writers in the Schools (who offer several other camps around Houston).

(Also on offer at AST is the Family Day Eid celebration on Sunday, June 9. Check it out.)

Filmmaking Camp at Aurora Picture Show

Ages 12-15

Only two camps – June 24-28 and July 22-26 – still have spots available! Campers collaborate to produce a short film that will screen at the MFAH on August 10.

William Forsythe: Choreographic Objects at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

All ages

May 23-September 15

is the museum’s interactive exhibit for the summer, inviting Houstonians to go fully into the art and explore with our whole bodies, to “connect to the organizing principles of choreography.” As a dancer, this is compelling, but as a mom and a MFAH docent who spends lots of time looking in the museum, these annual “please touch,” indoor playground-for-body-and-mind summer installations are seasonal soul food. Remember last year’s adventurous Big Bambu? The playful and engaging Shadow Monsters? The weird but captivating Houston Penetrable? The dreamy world of Pipilotti Rist? People, we are so lucky to have access to these worlds. Summer in Houston might seem like a sentence, but between our museums (world-class and air conditioned!) and many splash pads, I think we just might make it.

Invitation to Indulge

Invitation to Indulge

Frame | Work Houston Hot Spots Links We Like News & Updates

Wow. What a feast of dance we have here in Houston in March! The remainder of this month-of-plenty is framed (ahem) at either end by Frame Dance Productions’ generous and varied portions of artistry and fun. Join us, and be nourished, satiated, fulfilled.

DELICIOUS DANCE

WHAT: Candlelight Improvisation Workshop presented by Frame Dance

When: Sunday, March 10, 6:45-8 PM

Where: River Oaks School of Dancing

2621 Shepherd, 77089, 2nd floor

WHAT: As the Shadows Grow Longer by Core Dance, a work by D. Patton White

When: Thursday, March 14, 8 PM, pre-show 7:30 PM

Friday, March 15, 8 PM, pre-show 7:30 PM

Saturday, March 16, 8 PM, pre-show 7:30 PM

Where: MATCH

3400 Main Street 77002

WHAT: Panopticon by Open Dance Project

When: Friday, March 15, 7 PM and 9 PM

Saturday, March 16, 7 PM and 9 PM

Friday, March 22, 7 PM and 9 PM

Saturday, March 23, 7 PM and 9 PM

Where: MATCH

3400 Main Street 77002

WHAT: Cultured Cocktails benefitting Frame Dance

When: Thursday, March 21, 5-8 PM

Where: Bar Boheme

307 Fairview 77006

WHAT: Moving Mountains Through the Clouds with Transitory Sound and Movement

When: Friday, March 22, 8-10 PM

Where: Asia Society Texas

1370 Southmore 77004

WHAT: ‘s (a tale of possession) by Hope Stone Dance

When: Thursday, March 28, 7:30 PM

Friday, March 29, 7:30 PM

Where: MATCH

3400 Main Street 77002

WHAT: Metro Dances featuring Frame Dance

When: Saturday, March 30, 5-6:30 PM

Where: Metro Red Line from Bell Station to Hermann Park/Rice U Station

RECOMMENDED ARTS PAIRINGS

What: Sor Juana and the Chambered Nautilus

When: Friday, March 15, 8 PM

Saturday, March 16, 8 PM

Sunday, March 17, 2:30 PM

Where: MECA

1900 Kane St 77007

What: Round 49: penumbras: sacred geometries Opening, Artists’ Talks and Market

When: Saturday, March 16, 2:30-7:00 PM

Where: Project Row Houses

2521 Holman 77004

SAVE ROOM FOR

Wednesday, April 17, 7 PM

Dance Salad Festival Choreographer’s Forum

Brown Auditorium, MFAH

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, April 18, 19, and 20, 7:30 PM

Dance Salad Performances

Wortham Center, Cullen Theater

501 Texas Ave, 77002

Blooming on the Red Line: Frame Dance + Spring = Metro Dances

Blooming on the Red Line: Frame Dance + Spring = Metro Dances

Frame | Work News & Updates

It’s March. It’s rainy. The azaleas are blooming and my car was covered in a light dusting of yellow tree pollen this morning. I’m gonna go ahead and declare that it is SPRING IN HOUSTON!!! Time to work our gardens, get our final use of scarves and sweaters, and stock our medicine cabinets with Flonase.

Frame Dance has grown a captivating and sundry garden this spring, with flowers magically set to bloom in unison from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM on March 30th along the Houston Metro Red Line from Bell Station in the north to Hermann Park/Rice U in the south. Be there and be in a verdant landscape of performing arts, all for the price of a Metro ticket.*

Let me introduce you to our flowers:

Hermann Park/Rice U Station

Red daisies, crocuses, and celandine highlight the unconscious beauty and promise of our Junior Framers, while viscaria, wisteria, and protea bloom for the MultiGen Ensemble, symbolizing their (our!) courageous acceptance of the invitation to dance, and their arms-open welcoming of all dancers. Moonflowers will grow at the feet of Kirk Suddreath, and probably poppies, too, because his music is so g– d—- dreamy.

Museum District Station

Purple carnation, begonia, and the easily-fragmented white daisy bloom at this station, where actress-musician Alli Villines moves from story to story seeking a disintegrating past. Frame Dancers Lindsay Cortner and Jamie Williams act as unreliable muses, leading the storyteller from ground to ground like flighty seeds on the wind.

Ensemble/HCC Station

The talented Callina Anderson and Joe Palmore tell a tale as silent and ephemeral as the flowers. Linaria bipartita wishes for love to be noticed. Jonquils beg that affection be returned. Rainflower whispers, “I love you back. I will never forget you.” What happens next? Red roses? Morning glories? Forget-me-nots?

McGowen Station

Harrison Guy, Outspoken Bean, and the dancers at Urban Souls are planting the seeds at the McGowen Station, and I can’t wait to see what blossoms. Maybe some orchids for beauty, sunflowers for all-knowing ideals, protective nettle, or peaceful white poppies. Watch this space/garden plot!

Bell Street Station

Ashley Horn presents dance inspired by children’s landscape drawings and the endless, unselfconscious days of childhood. Blossoming here will be asters for daintiness and trust; camellia japonicas for unpretentious perfection; baby’s breath and white lilac for innocence and purity-of-heart, and for the memories children aren’t even aware they are making; and delphinium for lightness-of-heart, for joy, for the passionate, ardent attachments made by children and by the child in us all, and for the guiding sense of play and fun that it is so wise to follow.

If you know gardening, you know that you never really know what to expect, but we’ve planted our garden in faith, joy, and radical congeniality, and we hope that many of you Houstonians and lovers of growing, living things will walk in and ride through this garden. Like any good garden, there are multiple ways in and out, and you can come and go as you please. Wander. Notice. Be intrigued by something in the distance and follow it. You have 90 minutes of what I hope will be a lovely evening to discover, rediscover, or continue to discover the dynamic, cultured Midtown District of Houston by way of our speediest and arguably most interesting public transport.

See you on the platforms.

*$1.25 gets you unlimited transfers for three hours.

I got lots of help writing this article from the Wikipedia page on plant symbolism, and I recommend you check it out and learn a new and vibrant language: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plant_symbolism