‘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: Framing these Multifaceted Holidays

‘Tis the Seasons: Framing these Multifaceted Holidays

Frame | Work Uncategorized

Celebrations can be such weighty convergences of the little and the big, the trivial and the fundamental: toys and family, scarves and service, red reindeer noses and remembering. The nights are long, my friends, but we certainly don’t feel rested! Our children swing from ecstatic to inconsolable as we teach them our traditions and trust that they will understand their significance, which is that the decreasing daylight and end of the calendar year are a time of reckoning, of gratitude, of coming together, and of hope for our future.

 

We are grateful to have all of you Framers come together for soirees, performances, classes, and online sharing. You give us hope that our mission to bring modern dance to more and more and more of Houston can be and is in fact being achieved.

 

Below is a letter from our Artistic Director, Lydia Hance, and a coming soon are a few suggestions for this season of shopping lists, cookie trays, and high-stakes family time, so look for those. It is truly our pleasure and privilege to spend a part of this season with you.

 

Dear Framers,

We made it to winter break. I usually love this time of year because I love to celebrate Christmas, and I yearn for that feeling that I’ve earned a break.  But I’m struggling with feeling like I’ve earned it. Let me back up, because I always like to list my blessings before I start to complain, as if it’s going to give me perspective on my grumbles.  

We have had an absolutely incredible year at Frame Dance. We hosted the first, very successful, Frame x Frame Film Fest with artists traveling internationally to attend and premiere work. We had two additional performances just this fall with Horse Head Theater and our Midtown Winter METROdances. This summer we had a literal blast at our space-themed Wiggle Worm Dance Camp for kiddos. We pulled off the zany 80s prom-themed immersive performance that subtly broke down the artificiality of the 80s aesthetic and tapped deeply into heartache. There has never been a show more fun to create than that one (my dancing to INXS and Tears for Fears has previously been limited to solos in my kitchen).  Our education programs have been so rich and fruitful. Amazing and passionate people are finding us, including those certain kindred spirits who appreciate our values and offerings in a way that makes me feel supported. (You know who you are Rebel Families and Creative Souls who prioritize nourishing yourselves artistically in community). And in between all of that we* created a Strategic Plan for the next few years.  

Still, I feel like I’m drowning, trying to balance on an underwater teeter totter of  ideas and actual to-do tasks. I’m behind on thanking people for Giving Tuesday. I still haven’t finished that grant report. I can’t find the new shoes I bought for my son anywhere. Artists contracts need to go out. People are waiting on ME for things, which is something I avoid like the plague. And speaking of plague, I’ve been very sick twice since Thanksgiving. I feel like I can’t quite focus and finish the things I’ve begun– like I might burst into tears at the next thing that is just a little bit difficult. I feel like I am letting people down. I feel disappointed in myself for everything I can’t remember I need to do. And I’m sulky because I haven’t had even a moment to myself for the past three months until now, when I sit down and complain to you, friend. Have I thanked you for listening? Nope. Forgot that too.

But I have come to the conclusion that right now, a lot of stuff is rough. And that doesn’t mean I’m not thankful for the great stuff.

-We had a major leak in our home’s bathroom that seeped under the floor boards and so we ripped it all out, and now going into the fourth month of people coming in and out of my house all. day. long. There’s debris, dust, decision-making, and arguing, and so much more that goes along with this.

-I was rear ended badly in October on my way to our performance with Horse Head Theater, and the driver was uninsured which delayed it getting repaired for two and a half months.  

-One of the major Frame Dance funding sources cut funding, and we received 50% of what we had planned for. Read: I need to find those funds somewhere if we are going to accomplish all of the beautiful things I have planned for 2019.

-My friend, sole co-worker, teammate, and confidante Cori Capetillo is moving. I’m grieving the loss of my friend in Houston, and also dealing with how Frame Dance will change without her. More on this later.

-Parenting a toddler while sick is…very hard.

There are about ten more items like this (let’s get together and I’ll tell you the juiciest one of all). I keep telling myself to choose joy. Sounds good, right?

I am giving myself the grace not to gloss over the difficulty of the present, but asking myself, What can I learn from this?

So far I have this:

-I will not successfully juggle all the balls all of the time. Homework: How do I see myself when I’m not living up to my own standards?

-Sometimes I just have to ride the wave.  

-No one promised me that life would be easy, so probably best not to expect it.  

-I need to learn to ask for help. Even when people say no. Ask again.  

I do believe that joy will come in the morning. But it feels like a long, loud night. I am with you in whatever is difficult right now.

Warmly, and still thankful for every blessing,

Lydia

Hear From The Framers

Interviews

Hey Framers!

Ms. Catalina Molnari told us one of her favorite local spots in Houston. The Jade Garden Classical Chinese Medicine. If you’ve had a stressful day/ week, this tranquil abode offers soothing teas and healing services including chiropractic, massage, bodywork, re-connective healing and yoga. These holistic classes infuse 2,000 year old traditional medicine methods that help their weary visitors reduce their stress and boost their energy levels.

Frame Dance’s Catalina says it’s a great place to simply relax with a fresh cup of herbal tea after a satisfying session in her martial arts class. Instead of heading home right after work and suffering through Houston traffic, try The Jade Garden Classical Chinese Medicine in the Heights. It must be a great place because Catalina told Frame Dance if she’s not at work or home it’s she’s at The Jade Garden.

 

Click on the picture to find out more!

 

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

Education

 

Still not sure about attending the Beginner Adult Workshop?

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Click on the picture and register today!

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

Hear from the Framers

Interviews

Hey Everyone!

I hope all of you are enjoying your Tuesday. If not, it was because you didn’t know about Danielle Garza’s Quick and Easy Overnight Oats recipe!

It’s tough sometimes trying to find something healthy in a world of fast food and high carbs. Even breakfast items! The most important meal of the day and it’s too unhealthy and can make you sluggish. Some snack companies claim to be “healthier alternatives” but in reality are actually higher in carbs than the “bad stuff.”

It really can be challenging when you’re trying to stay fit and sometimes you just don’t have time to prepare an easy meal (or your like me and just don’t really care to cook).

Well, no fear! Here is a low-carb alternative that you can put your personal spin on.

 

Quick and Easy Overnight Oats

 

  • Fill mason jar with 1/2 cup oats, 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup almond milk, raisins and chia seeds.
  • Blueberries and Bananas (Or any fruit you love)
  • Optional: Add cinnamon or sweetener.
  • Then put in the fridge over night and have a great breakfast ready in the morning that keeps you energized throughout a busy day! Or at least until your next meal 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Food for Thought

Eat Well Wednesday

10 Interesting Facts About Caffeine

 

https://cranemedicine.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/hot-cup-tea.jpg

People may not think of caffeine as the most popular mood-altering drug in the world, even those who use it daily, by drinking coffee, tea, sodas or energy drinks as part of their routine.

Whether it’s brewed from a K-Cup, sipped in sweet tea, savored in chocolate or downed in cola, caffeine is a mild stimulant to the central nervous system that has become a regular fixture in everyday life. 

 

Cari Nierenberg, a Live Science Contributor, writes about 10 Interesting Facts About Caffeine. This article covers topics like “How Long Does it Stay in Your System?”, “Withdrawal Issues”, “Can People Truly Be Addicted?” and others.

What Do You See?

Frame Dance Events

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#Houseeit

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Do You Have TunnMysterious tunnel to the lightel Vision?

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Find out every Monday and Wednesday at Noon

in the Downtown Tunnels of Houston

beginning October 5th

 

jercho

 

 

 

Tuesday Tunes

Tuesday Tunes

“All choreographers think of the impact music will have on the movement they create,” stated in an article from The Kennedy Center.  Music can make us feel specific emotions or recall certain memories. It’s a powerful tool for dance; the absence of music can be equally strong.  Music creates atmosphere, dictates the flow and development of a dance, indicates struggle, and provides fodder for visualization.  At Frame Dance we prioritize music and work with composers to collaborate with all new music.
This article outlines how choreographers Alvin Ailey, Mark Morris, Robert Battle, and Larry Keigwin used music within their pieces. Check it out!

photo by Lena Silva of the Framers rehearsing
photo by Lena Silva of the Framers rehearsing

Ready…Set…WAIT!

MFA Mondays

 

 

You have paid your money.

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

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

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

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

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

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

photo by Lynn Lane
photo by Lynn Lane

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

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

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

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

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

 


 

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

 

 

 

Why you should go see the Barn Storm Dance Fest

Links We Like Performances/Screenings

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

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

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