Sunday Brunch

Sunday Brunch

Frame | Work Interviews News & Updates

 

Let’s have pretend Sunday Brunch together to introduce our new Frame Dance staff.

The Brunchers

Lydia Hance, Founder and Artistic Director

Brunch Spot: Pondicheri

Brunch Dish: Almond roti frankie or anything on their breakfast menu

Brunch Beverage: Oat milk latte


Colleen Hargraves, Program Manager

Brunch Spot: The Kitchen at the Dunlavy

Brunch Dish: Avocado Toast with a poached egg

Brunch Beverage: Just a glass of champagne!


Kerri Lyons Neimeyer, Associate Director of Education

Brunch Spot: Bouldin Creek Cafe, Austin

Brunch Dish: Migas w/tofu scramble

Brunch Beverages: Espresso and fresh OJ

The Talking

Lydia: I am so excited to work with you both, you’re my dream team. Would you share how you each came to Frame Dance? 

Colleen: I am thrilled to be part of the Frame Dance team! I have worked in the art and non-profit world since I moved to Houston 5 years ago and love supporting our community’s artists. When I saw this opportunity I couldn’t resist applying, I love all the past and upcoming programs and classes! 

Kerri: One decade ago when I moved to Houston, my sweet friend, Margaret, recommended Hope Stone dance studio, and that is where I took my first modern dance classes. It was a brave move for me, and my brave heart grew there. After that studio closed I heard that Lydia Hance, who I knew as their Education Director, was teaching open-level adult modern dance and I knew that I needed that class. That is how I joined MultiGen, became a Framer, and now dance braver than ever.

 

 

Lydia: What about Frame Dance’s work and mission excites you? 

Colleen: Frame Dance is the kind of organization I wish I had access to growing up. A place where you can express yourself freely and creatively is incredibly important for developing confidence, stretching your brain, and promoting joy! 

Kerri: Its uncompromising artistry and its openness. It is dance for everyone, and it takes dance to the people. That is what kind, responsible people and organizations do, and I want to be a part of it.

 

 

Lydia: What unlikely place should the company perform in next— if there was no Covid and no limits? 

Colleen: I would love to see the company perform in the Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern! Magdalena Fernandez’s installation “Rain” was incredible in the space and I think the environment would be impressive to see dance in. 

Kerri: Graffiti Park would be a great backdrop. The Eastern Glades at Memorial Park have really soft lawns, perfect for floorwork. The big hill at Spott’s Park. The space in front of the Glassell Building at the MFAH. Sabine Street Bridge and the stairs and lawns beneath it. On boats in the bayou. Stop me!

 

 

Lydia: What’s a perfect day for you? 

Colleen: That’s a tough one. I’d have to say April 25th. Because it’s not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket” ….. I couldn’t resist! My real perfect day is simply taking a walk in the arboretum with my husband and dog and getting to have pho for dinner. The little things mean the most! 

Kerri: Well, it has ice cream and nature and family and tons of laughing, and those ingredients can plentifully arrange themselves however they want. And good weather, of course. It’s Houston, so you have to specify that.

 

 

Is there a space in Houston that you love and would like to share? A restaurant or a business? 

Colleen: It’s hard to choose just one thing, there are so many things I love to do and still want to experience! The Folly Garden at the Rienzi is particularly special to me though, I can’t think of a more magical spot in Houston! I would highly suggest checking it out if you want a small taste of being in Roman ruin. 

Kerri: First, Old Sixth Ward is a treasure. Dream neighborhood. In my actually neighborhood, my secret magic spot is the waterfall feature at Allen Parkway and Tirrell on Buffalo Bayou. Apparently it’s called the McGovern Cascade. Sometimes it’s dry (eyeroll), but when it’s working you can spend gorgeous carefree time floating sticks and leaves down the falls while the running water drowns out traffic sounds. 

I shop Space Montrose for cards and gifts and usually go home with something for myself, too. To quote Marianne Faithfull on Absolutely Fabulous, they do your shopping for you. Everything in there is a winner.

 

Lydia: What’s your favorite color? 

Colleen: White 

Kerri: Blue

Lydia: Favorite holiday? 

Colleen: Christmas!

Kerri: The Christmas 

Lydia: Song? 

Colleen: “The Getaway” by Athlete 

Kerri: “Born Under Punches” by The Talking Heads and Oscar Peterson’s “Peace for South Africa.”

 

Lydia: If you could pick any decade to live in, which would you pick? 

Colleen: I would choose the 50’s, mainly to see Elvis perform live. 

Kerri: I would live 2010-2020 over and over again. Controversial choice, I know. The 2010s don’t end well, to put it mildly, but I get to go from newborn to 10 year-old with my son in that decade, so it’s the best.

 

 

Lydia: Would you rather be part of a human pyramid or a human steam roller? 

Colleen: Now that I googled what it is, I would choose the human steam roller. It seems like it would be fun! 

Kerri: I choose to roll.

 

Photos provided by subjects, except cover image “Monki Bistro Inglewood” by Kaush949

The Balanced Bath: A Prelude to Your Creative Reset Workshop

The Balanced Bath: A Prelude to Your Creative Reset Workshop

Frame | Work News & Updates

The week has just started, but Wednesday is coming. Humpday, right in the middle. What a perfect time to retreat from busy-ness. What a perfect time to try a Creative Reset.

 

You’re familiar with the Creative Reset series, right? It’s Frame Dance Productions’ offering of workshops to our community – in Houston and online – at a time when we all need quick responses to the uncertain and unfamiliar. And it would be nice to make these responses with a bit of grace, with awareness, with balance.

 

You know what will help? Water. Fortunately, Frame Dance has a workshop for that this Wednesday, September 16 at 7:30 PM. Know where it’s meeting? Wherever you want it to. Creative Reset is a series of learning and tool-building recalibrations, and our workshops are all about being stretched out and then coming from multiple directions to settle into ourselves.

 

This Wednesday, you’re going to work with water, first by yourself, and then in a workshop. You’re going to give your body and mind an evening of balance and flow. 

 

Note: the balanced bath is only a suggestion! It is not a part of the workshop or a prerequisite for Brooke Summers-Perry’s watercolor class. But it’s a pretty great compliment to the class and a chance to set aside a couple of hours for yourself in the middle of the week.

 

First, you’re going to clean your tub if it needs cleaned (which it will if it is like my tub which is also a shower and is shared by the people who live with me. These are not bath people). Nice and clean. No harsh ingredients in those cleaning supplies, no irritation to your lungs or your hands. All right. Now you’re going to take off your clothes, take off your day. Ahhh. You did your work and you did it well. Time to let it go. By all means, dry brush while you fill that tub. Light candles if that relaxes you. Take a nice stretch, arms up with a big inhale, and roll down on the exhale. Get out a clean towel, fresh from the laundry or linen closet, and set it next to your tub. Check the water. Warm it up or cool it down if necessary. It’s almost time to get in.

 

What does your body need right now? 

Magnesium in Epsom salts soothes sore muscles and softens skin.

Oatmeal treats sensitive skin, and even soothes irritation as severe as sunburn and hives.

Milk, coconut milk, and coconut oil all moisturize and have anti-inflammatory properties.

And then there are the ingredients that work – in part – by smelling w o n d e r f u l:

Ginger clears congestion and aids headaches (but can be irritating to sensitive skin).

Dried, fresh, or distilled to essential oil, lavender, rose, and eucalyptus benefit the skin and the spirit.

Just a bag or two of your favorite tea will turn your tub into a tiny oasis.* 

 

Now that you have prepared the water, get in slowly. Feel the difference that the water makes on your skin, on your muscles. Breathe. Cover yourself as deeply as you can, and feel the parts of you that float. Swish your body and feel how that changes the water and your body in the water. Now be still, and think of nothing.

 

When it is time, get out of the tub. Rinse your body if it needs rinsing. Thank the water, and anything you put in it, for serving you well. Pull that plug. Get dry. Get moisturized. Put on whatever you like to wear best right now; your favorite pajamas, a pretty sundress, overalls, a big fluffy robe. You are about to take an art class with Brooke Summers-Perry, and she does not care what you wear as long as it doesn’t impede your work. 

 

You are rested and focused and ready to meet the water again, but in a new way. Color it. Play with it. You are mostly water, remember. Our need for it is literal, and perhaps this is why we relate to it so well metaphorically. Get stirred up, settle, wave, float with it, push it, be moved by it, flow. It is in you and it is a tool. Use it.

*Ingredients suggested by the website helloglow.co. Go here for yummy bath recipes.

Dance in Quarantine: Responses and Resources

Dance in Quarantine: Responses and Resources

Education Frame | Work Links We Like News & Updates

I don’t need to tell you that we as a society have gone through massive and abrupt changes in recent months. I would like to take this opportunity to notice and celebrate the ways that dancers and choreographers – always nimble, always flexible – have created, discovered, expanded, adapted, worked and reworked formats for creating and sharing dance in this time of uncertainty. In the role of artist, dancers and choreographers both lead and reflect our responses to events and our shifting perspectives. The art of dance has held an important place in quarantine culture since it began, becoming uniquely popular as we stay home to stay safe. 

 

By the end of March, publications like the LA Times and Vanity Fair were reporting on online dance classes and dance parties, while industry journals like Dance Enthusiast had designated space for social distance dance content. Dance companies responded with choreography and editing that allowed dancers to dance alone together. On March 29, the Martha Graham Dance Company posted “Sharing the Light,” excerpts from Graham’s dance Acts of Light performed by company members in domestic and outdoor spaces. In format, “Sharing the Light” is reminiscent of the gorgeous dance films of Mitchell Rose, specifically 2016’s “Exquisite Corps” and 2019’s “And So Say All of Us,” where dancer-choreographers are connected by movement, music, and editing while dancing worlds apart. It is an adaptable format. For example, it is used adorably and with feeling by YouTubers Dylan Arredando in a series of Quarantine Movement Chain Letters, and Prischepov TV to present the Quarantango.

 

Dance educators were quick to adapt to virtual dance. Within days of cities declaring lockdown, studios big and small moved their classes online, and we all found the most Zoom-able corner of our house and turned it into a dance studio. Suddenly, anyone with an internet connection could study dance with the schools of Alvin Ailey, Merce Cunningham, Gibney Dance, and the aforementioned Martha Graham. Smaller local and regional studios without the resources of these legends have not had to navigate digital dance instruction alone. The wonderful people at the National Dance Education Organization began sharing resources for on-line dance education on March 24 and, as of today, have produced and shared fifteen free webinars on the subject. Luna Dance Institute in Berkeley, CA, hosts weekly practitioner exchanges that gather dance leadership from around the country to discuss concerns and solutions in virtual dance education. 

 

Our dance community has not missed a step (pun intended!) in it’s goal to provide quality dance training, and has even found exciting new possibilities in the online format. Student dancers are having a crash course in dance-for-camera as they consider framing, space, and editing as part of their “digital studio” skills. Pre-recorded classes give dancers a chance to look carefully, to slow down the movement, and to revisit it at will. Holding classes in the home allows the entire family to participate in dance education, and interacting with studios via social media provides a different, sometimes broader, sometimes deeper relationship between a dancer’s family and their instructors. The domestic/public spheres are being broken down and renegotiated, as are so many parts of the larger culture, offering new possibilities as old practices are eliminated or put on hold. We are learning together, and together we are remaking our world. That’s not hyperbole. That’s bodies, in motion, making choices.

Please share online dance resources – instructional and/or just fun to watch – in the comments. Show us part of your world!

Lydia’s News from Quarantine

Lydia’s News from Quarantine

Frame | Work News & Updates

Hi Friends,

It feels like it’s been awhile since I’ve written to you. My world has turned upside down with the birth of my sweet daughter, Willa. She is truly something to get delightfully lost in during the emotional rollercoaster that is COVID and quarantine. I am not exhausted by my newborn. Oh, no. I am exhausted from feeling scared, peaceful, alone, claustrophobic, irritated, anxious, and frankly, thankful for my family’s protected time together. As one who already feels my feels big and intense, this time has amplified them even more. And I know I am not alone in that. You are exhausted. You are scared, alone, claustrophobic, irritated, anxious and maybe thankful, too. This experience has been one of extreme training for my thought-life, not allowing my thoughts to run away. I’ve been trying as hard as I can to literally count my blessings as a means to control my emotions and maintain perspective.

Another reason you haven’t heard from me as much as usual is because with businesses and people turning to social media platforms, there has been an abundance of content to digest. That’s great! There was no reason to compete. However, I did want to share a few ways to connect with me and Frame Dance moving forward. I’ll start with the first event:

Saturday, April 18

National Water Dance Performances

Tune into our social media channels (@framedance on IG) at 3pm CST to watch Framers dance together with people across the world in community and solidarity for caring for our planet, our home, our natural resources.

Ongoing

Online dance classes

For the children and for the families, we offer both live zoom classes and prerecorded creative movement and ballet classes. Our master teachers are continuing their semesters online. Even if you live too far to usually attend, you can join us virtually. I’ve been so pleased with how the classes have transitioned from classroom/studio to the computer. It truly is a time of connection and joy to inject into your quarantine.

Starting now, or when you’re ready

Coming This Summer

Book club with Lydia.

This summer I am reading Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit: Learn it and use it for life. If you consider yourself a creative person, or would like to be more creative, or are craving accountability and structure in your creative practice, I invite you to join me! We will meet online to discuss the book a little at a time this summer. If you’d like to get a jump start on the reading like me, go ahead and order it now and we will begin meeting in June for discussions. Email Bobbie.Hackett@framedance.org to let us know you’re reading with us.

Rescheduled

Soirée

Good question, glad you brought it up. Our smashing, dazzling, super fun annual bash is being rescheduled. We are celebrating 10 years! But we want to do it safe, and right, so stay tuned for a new date.

Virtual hugs, and stretches, and dances, and sweet thoughts to you.

 

Lydia

Experienced or Exploring, We Support You!

Experienced or Exploring, We Support You!

Education Frame | Work News & Updates

Week-long summer camps are the perfect chance for kids to do two things: spend focused time on something they already like, or try on something new, something shiny that catches their curiosity but that they might not know much about. One week of focused exploration gives your child a greater understanding of and hands-on experience in a subject. That knowledge might make them hungry for more, or it might satisfy their desire for that particular dish; in either case they come away knowing a little more about their world and about their own appetites, which is great information to have!

 

Day camps in Houston are also an opportunity to learn more about local organizations that are eager to engage your family throughout the year. Museums, theaters, studios, and other institutions offer behind-the-scenes experiences with professionals in their field. These relationships and experiences are enriching and inspiring for kids, and make meaningful connections that enhance school-year studies and can be continued throughout the year.

 

Frame Dance appreciates the chance that summer camps provide to deepen our relationship with current and former dancers, and to meet new dancers (bring your friends!) as we share our inclusive, smart, and supportive approach to dance. We have just one camp available for each age group, so sign up quick

 

July 6-10 Ashley Horn and Lydia Hance teach our Wiggle Worms: A Bug’s Life camp. Creative movement, music, and mural-making for age 3 to 5 years. 

 

July 13-17 Ashley, Lydia, and educator Kerri Neimeyer (that’s me!) present Leaping Lizards camp for ages 6 to 8 years. Our theme is Sheroes and Heroes, and includes modern dance, ballet, music creation, costume design and visual arts practices.

 

July 20-24 Ashley, Lydia, Kerri, and Alli Villines present Formers and Framers for 9 to 13 year-olds, featuring training in dance, choreography, costume design and poetry/songwriting. We are making makers!

 

Whether your child is looking to dabble in dance or go deeper, we welcome and support them in their dance experiences and explorations.

 

Do you have any favorite summer camp memories? Recommendations? Surprising or niche summer camps in the area? Share them here with #FramerNation. 

Let’s Talk About Women and Social Anxiety

Let’s Talk About Women and Social Anxiety

Frame | Work News & Updates

Considering Oh, I have to wash my hair In Terms of Cursorily Googled Research.

Yes, I am woman. Yes, I have (too much) experience with social anxiety. Yes, I am performing in Oh, I have to wash my hair this week. And yes, I did Google “women and social anxiety” to find authoritative sources for this blog post. Let’s talk about it. There is a place for comments, y’all. Use it.

 

First, let’s hear from a woman who has researched and experienced social anxiety. I found this personal and professional narrative on the website The Cut in an interview by Cari Romm with writer Andrea Petersen, science and health reporter for The Wall Street Journal. Peterson published the book On Edge: A Journey Through Anxiety and in it she writes that “there is no greater risk factor for anxiety disorders than being born female.” Petersen continues,”women are about twice as likely as men to develop [an anxiety disorder], and women’s illnesses generally last longer, have more severe symptoms, and are more disabling.” 

 

Lydia Hance, choreographer and Frame Dance Founder and Artistic Director, has identified a very real phenomenon. She has also identified one of the insidious patterns of social anxiety, one that hides in the veil of “nature” and gender. It is the idea that girls and women need to prioritize the feelings and opinions of others, and the idea that girls and women are under threat and need be fearful and suspicious to ensure their survival. In On Edge, Peterson discusses research on parenting that shows both mothers and fathers, with their language and their behavior, discourage daughters from physically risky play while encouraging sons to take risks, projecting their assurance that boys are capable of either accomplishing the difficult task or of accepting the hurt they might suffer. 

 

“So, while this kind of parenting might protect girls physically, the research suggests that it also contributes to this feeling of vulnerability, that the world is a dangerous place. Because the message that it sends to girls – encouraging them to be very cautious and always highlighting safety and danger – is that the world is a dangerous place and that they can’t cope on their own. And that feeling of vulnerability of course is a core belief of anxiety as well.”

 

In the program Oh, I have to wash my hair, look for the generational, parental encouragement – or insistence – for girls to accept social discomfort and fear. Do you see messages that female safety depends on external approval, which depends on their presentation, which is expected to be inoffensive, congenial, pleasant, acquiescent? Where are these messages in the show? Do you find them in your life? How dated or contemporary are these ideas? How are they encouraged or challenged in society?

 

Peterson talks about a sense of vulnerability that is primarily physical when it comes to parents and young children, but she points to the idea that this fear becomes generalized, and in social anxiety the belief that one is threatened with damage or destruction is no less real than the risk of falling off the monkey bars. But it is endlessly more ambiguous and subtle.

 

Stephan G Hoffman is director of the Social Anxiety Program at Boston University and he says, in an interview with Olga Khazan on theatlantic.com, that “people are social animals, and we have a strong desire to be part of a group and to be accepted by the group. Social anxiety is a result of the fear of a possibility that we will not be accepted by our peers. It’s the fear of negative evaluation by others, and that is [part of] a very fundamental, biological need to be liked.”  Angela Chen of the website theverge.com interviewed clinical psychologist Ellen Hendriksen and about her work with social anxiety and about her book How to Be Yourself: Quiet Your Inner Critic and Rise Above Social Anxiety. Hendriksen, echoing Hoffman, says the “social anxiety is a perception that there is something embarrassing and deficient about us, and, unless we work hard to conceal or hide it, it will be revealed and we will be judged or rejected for it.”

 

What does this fear of “negative evaluation,” judgement, and rejection feel like for you? Are there certain kinds of environments or people where these feelings are stronger? How do you address these fears when you see or hear about them in other people, perhaps in your child? Can you identify these fears in any part of Oh, I have to wash my hair, perhaps in the music, a dance score or scene, or an individual gesture or action? 

 

Both Hendriksen and Hoffman describe socially anxious people as employing certain habits before, during, and after stressful situations. Says Hoffman, 

 

Initially, they will dread the event, going there, they will worry excessively about the upcoming social event. They will be predicting that the worst thing will come true. And they will be extremely worried for a long period of time. Once you bring them into the situation, when they have to face whatever social challenge there is, they will then often report that they have no control over their anxiety. They believe that a mishap would have disastrous, long-lasting, irreversible consequences. They will report that they are not in control of their body, of their anxiety response, that others will see how anxious they are, and then they will try to avoid, to get out of the situation and escape. Sometimes they try to use strategies that are more subtle, such as holding tight on a glass while they talk to someone so people don’t see them shake and tremble. They will maybe stare at the ground to avoid eye contact. After the event, they will often engage in post-event rumination. Even in ambiguous situations that weren’t that bad, they will interpret them in a negative way, and identify weaknesses that they showed. This establishes a vicious cycle, and the next time they have to go into a similar situation, they will expect things to be even worse.”

 

And Hendriksen:

 

“The vast majority of social anxiety is anticipatory. People who are socially anxious engage in ‘safety behaviors,’ which are simply behaviors that trying to help you tamp down anxiety in the moment. For example, if you’re at a party and feel anxious, you hover on the edge of the room or you scroll on your phone or you might rehearse what you plan to say beforehand to make sure it doesn’t sound stupid. These behaviors take up a lot of bandwidth. If you’re thinking about how you come across, and there is very little room left over to just be our authentic, friendly self.”

 

Did you notice anticipatory anxiety in the dances? Specific behaviors dancers used to convey their stress? Can you identify “safety behaviors” of your own, or that you’ve noticed in others? How about the bandwidth of calamitous thinking? Doesn’t the idea of all this wasted energy and unnecessary suffering just knock you over like a wave?

 

Ugh. Thanks, I guess, Lydia, for asking us to look at this morass.  

 

I will, though, leave you with a few notes of encouragement. First, notice the subtitle of Ellen Hendriksen’s book: Quiet Your Inner Critic and Rise Above Social Anxiety. This sounds like a call to be gentle with ourselves (although I’ve barely touched here on perfectionism and all of the ways it lives in the feminine psyche and feeds social anxiety, it is all over Oh, I have to wash my hair). Hendriksen isn’t saying that we must Silence our Inner Critic and Destroy Social Anxiety, but that there is the possibility of shushing the voice of fear and taking a distanced, more objective posture toward the experience of social anxiety. Hendriksen advises that we continue to engage with anxiety-producing social situation, because if we give up then we give in to “the two most fundamental lies about social anxiety:” first, the idea that the “worst-case scenario is a foregone conclusion.” If you don’t go to the Met Gala because you know that you’ll fall on the stairs and no one will ever respect you again, then you can never go to the Met Gala and not fall on the stairs. “And the second is that ‘I can’t deal.’ When we avoid experiences, we don’t get the evidence to disprove those two lies of social anxiety. We don’t see our own capabilities.” If you don’t go to the Met Gala because you know that you’ll fall on the stairs and no one will ever respect you again, then you can never go to the Met Gala and not fall on the stairs, or, go to the Met Gala, fall on the stairs, and find that people still respect you, and are in fact concerned for your well-being. 

 

Hendriksen even finds a positive perspective on being a woman with social anxiety. “The one thing I always like to add is that social anxiety is a package deal, and it often comes bundled with strengths like high standards and empathy and being helpful and altruistic. People who have social anxiety are often good listeners and conscientious and they work hard to get along with fellow humans. And those are all really amazing strengths that won’t go away even as people work on their social anxiety.” (I might have to buy this book. Women With Social Anxiety Book Club, anyone?) 

 

If you have social anxiety, you are not alone. If you are a woman with social anxiety, you are surely not alone and you may notice that these identities are connected by myriad strands. You may also notice that you can make compelling, brilliant art out of these identities and ensuing experiences. You may also notice that Lydia Hance’s art about those identities also gives us subtle encouragements and embedded choices. As I see the show, she suggests that engaging with anxiety-producing presentations and situations is a choice, so we can either accept or reject the opportunities and messages we are given. I also see that we can become bristly and defensive in our engagements, or we can become soft and find a power in that vulnerability. Mostly, I see that we as women are in this together, and that, again, there is a kind of vulnerability that is actually empowering, and that we as women can give each other the gift of empowered vulnerability in our social interactions. 

 

What did you see?

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

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!