Free Events Thursday

Free Events Thursday

Houston Arboretum and Nature Center

Enjoy nature trail, bird watching, wildlife and forests at the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center. Calm your senses with a leisurely stroll through our 155-acre nature sanctuary with 5 miles of beautiful hiking. Located just 4 miles west of Downtown Houston.

  • Spring Native Plant Sale (Saturday, March 15 – March 16 and Saturday March 22 – March 23 at 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.) 


How I See It: Houston Architecture

March 13, 2014-April 18 at 5:30 pm

Architecture Center Houston, 315 Capital,

Discover Houston architecture through the eyes of high school students in this Opening Reception of “How I See It: Houston Architecture.” This juried exhibition of local high school photography is for FotoFest 2014.

Price: FREE!!!


Relax With Yoga

Every Saturday, 9 am

Discovery Green

1500 McKinney on the Grace Event Lawn behind The Grove Restaurant.

This yoga class brings together elements of tai chi, kung fu, balance techniques and energy building poses. No pre-registration required.

Price: FREE!!!


Gaze At The Stars 

Reservations begin February 26

Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center

Humble at 20634 Kenswick Drive

Learn about the planets, stars and other celestial bodies at Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center’s Stargazing event.

Price: FREE!!!


“These Birds Walk” Houston Film Screening

March 13, 2014

River Oaks Theatre
2009 W. Gray St, Houston, TX 77019

Sundance Nominated film “These Birds Walk” by Omar Mullick and Bassam Tariq may be FINALLY coming to Houston. The film follows the life of runaway street children in Pakistan and the samaritans like Abdul Sattar Edhi who seek to care for them while living amongst them.

For those of you haven’t heard of Abdul Sattar Edhi, he is a guy who has been working for and living amongst the poor of Pakistan since 1947 to create rescue programs for over 20,000 abandoned infants, rehabilitation programs for over 50,000 orphans, training programs for over 40,000 nurses, and hundreds of food kitchens, shelters, and clinics for the mentally handicapped.

Price: $11 


Architects of Air

March 15, 2014 – March 23, 2014

Discovery Green
1500 McKinney Street, Houston, TX 77010

Back by popular demand, Britain’s Architects of Air returns to Discovery Green with Miracoco, a one-of-a-kind stunning new luminarium! Inspired by the Lotus Temple in India, the monumental, inflatable structure is a dazzling maze of winding paths and soaring domes designed to generate a sense of wonder at the beauty of light and color. Rising almost 30 feet in the air and occupying half a football field, Miracoco can be appreciated by people of all ages, cultures and abilities.

The line will close when the number of people already in line exceeds the number that will go into the structure by 6:30 pm. Admission is limited to 80 people in the luminarium at one time.

Price: $10


Battleship Texas Centennial Celebration

March 15, 2014 at 12:00 p.m.

3527 Independence Parkway South
La Porte TX 77571

This event is a celebration to honor the Battleship TEXAS, her legendary history and the men who served on her. The festival will be held on the grounds surrounding the Battleship TEXAS and will feature educational exhibits, a World War I and World War II historical zone, ship tours, a children’s activity zone, concessions, shops and live entertainment throughout the day including Robert Earl Keen, Reckless Kelly, Charlie Robison, and Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis. The day will end in a celebratory fireworks display.

Price: $20


6th Annual Festival “Russian Spring Celebration”

March 16, 2014 at 3:00 – 6:00p.m

2349 Bissonnet St, Houston, TX 77005

It becomes our tradition to invite Houston public and visitors of the city to celebrate the end of winter in style of Russian folk holiday. We offer delicious home-made bliny or Russian pancakes, which symbolize the sun. Also on sale will be another traditional Russian food – savory piroshky. The guests will have a chance to purchase original hand-made Russian souvenirs.

“Flying Balalaika Brothers”, the popular group from Austin, will provide the entertainment. The group plays various music: from Russian folk to bluegrass, country and rock. Their lively performance would leave no one unmoved. This year we will introduce to our guests a folk choir “Sudarushka”. Vadim Angerov, the well-known Houston musician will accompany them on the button accordion. There also will be special activities for children.

Price: $10


Come Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at The Flying Saucer

March 17, 2014

15929 City Walk, Sugar Land, TX 77479

In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, Flying Saucer Sugar Land will be selling pints for $3 all day.

Price: FREE!!!





MFA Monday

MFA Mondays

                   Happy Monday Framers! 

      Enjoy reflections by Angela Falcone! 



A Critical Assessment of “Drill Team” vs. “Concert Dance” Culture

“Drill team” is its own culture in the dance world; it has its own set of expectations, language, behaviors, and customs.  A drill team is a group of trained dancers that perform precision in various dance genres during football halftime shows, local parades, and dance competitions. Over the years, I have noticed a regimented trend within drill team choreography.  After experiencing collegiate dance making processes and developing my own personal process, I believe the process of generating high school drill team choreography can be expanded and explored to parallel the ideals of concert dance making.

Typically, drill team choreographers have a limited amount of time with their dancers, while a wide range of choreographers in concert dance have residencies that last from a couple of days to a number of weeks.  Both processes also pose different outcomes.  The drill team choreographic process is final product based, whereas the concert dance world is more interested in the actual process. In attempts to introduce the drill team industry to the processes of concert dance, I believe there are various avenues to generate choreography.  Some examples of these avenues stem from Tere O’Connor’s “lines of research,” which is taken from a workshop with Headlong Dance Theater’s choreographers and Larry Lavender’s “IDEA model,” which comes from his book about “facilitating the choreographic process.”

As previously stated, Tere O’Connor’s “lines of research” would be an essential attribute to drill team dance making.  “Lines of research” is an investigation of particular obsessions that can be as simple as a hand gesture.  Exploring this single movement can then become a process in and of itself.  What is “interesting, evocative, [or] curious” about this particular movement and how many different ways can you explore this hand gesture through timing, direction, and manipulation? By investigating this single gesture, a person can be provoked to make an entire work about that one move (if they so desired).  This “lines of research” idea allows the movement to evolve and develop, rather than dictating what the movement should be.  In Tere O’Connor’s “blook” (his version of a book and blog), he mentions that he wants to “make work as a method for processing a constellation of ideas.”  In drill team, the final product is the goal, but by exploring O’Connor’s method, I would hope to see a shift in the mentality by allowing the process to be the rich, driving force of the work.

Another intervention of drill team that could be implemented is Larry Lavender’s “IDEA model.”  This model serves as a way to approach, generate, and manipulate choreography. “IDEA” is an acronym that stands for Improvisation, Development, Evaluation, and Assimilation.  While I believe drill team choreographers use some of these modes, I do think there can be more involvement with each of these four modes to enrich every aspect of drill team choreography.  In the chapter of Lavender’s book Contemporary Choreography: a critical reader, he mentions that all of these IDEA modes should be present in the creative operation of dance making. 

The one mode that is not present in drill team is improvisation.  The mode of “Improvisation” is essentially what it sounds like, experimenting and improvising with different movements with different bodies.  Reflecting on my background of drill team, improvisation is unheard of and somewhat frowned upon in this industry. My intention with this method would be to develop a movement dialogue with the choreographer and dancers, while also making and inventing different movement through a more artistic, personal, and vulnerable place.

As explained above, there are numerous possibilities that are feasible for the drill team industry.  My ambition is to one day shift the paradigm of drill team choreography by infusing the principles of Larry Lavender and Tere O’Connor into the world of drill team by diving deeper into the work and creating richer developments and opportunities of movement in order to lead up to a process-based final product, instead of simply a final product.



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Angela Falcone, a Houston native, graduated from Friendswood High School in 2007.  She was a member of the drill team, the Friendswood Wranglerettes, where she held the title of Grand Marshal. After graduating, she followed her dream and tried out for the Kilgore College Rangerettes. She had the honor of being chosen as the Freshmen Sergeant and Swingster her freshman year, and received the greatest honor of being chosen as Captain her sophomore year. Following graduation from Kilgore College with an Associate in Fine Arts, she was accepted to the University of Texas at Austin, where she holds a B.F.A. in Dance.  Angela currently attends Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas where she is pursuing her M.F.A. in Dance.  She is specifically interested in shifting the paradigm of high school drill team by reinvigorating the choreographic process and bringing a somatic awareness to high school dancers’ bodies.  

MFA Monday!

MFA Mondays

MFA right

       Happy Monday, Framers!


For those of your who might not know…The “MFA Monday” series features the musings of local Master of Fine Arts holders. Enjoy their thoughts on the process of attaining an MFA!



Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained


In my two previous blogs I talked about things that I missed in my graduate school experience, due to either the limitations of my program or of my own imagination. In writing about these experiences, it is my hope that others will have the opportunity to take advantage of these powerful resources that are within reach but may be easy to miss. However, I certainly don’t intend to diminish my graduate school experience; indeed, they were some of best years of my life, both personally and creatively. To that end, here are some of the top things I gained from graduate school:


Not everyone likes my work and that is OK. For an artist, rejection is the pits. It is a massive blow to the ego the first time someone says something negative about one’s work. “How can they not like something that I poured my heart and soul into? I shall now crawl into a small hole and weep!” In graduate school, along with plenty of positive feedback from faculty and peers, I got a lot of honest constructive feedback about things that weren’t working. No one wants to hear that their work isn’t beloved by people they respect, but it helps you grow. I made a lot of good work in graduate school and I also made some real crap. Thanks in part to the criticism I received, I can now better distinguish between the two. Learning to take and give constructive feedback is essential to a choreographer. You do not have to take all suggestions that are given to you, but you should always listen. It is hard to be objective about your own work; it is your baby and your baby is beautiful, right? Be open to an outsider who may see something you are missing.

Don’t apologize for your work. Your work should express who you are. Will you be that same person in 5 years? Probably not, but that is not the point. Don’t change your work to suit someone else’s opinions. Everyone is my graduate program was very diverse and our aesthetics were wildly different. We had choreographers who believed in pure technical movement, work with a strong socio- political outlook, work that was fun and light, and everything in-between. It was easy to compare my work to my fellow classmates’ and feel like I didn’t stack up. My work has always run more towards the abstract side of things, and at times, I felt like my work lacked substance compared to that of my classmates. It needed to say more and be more. I needed to be an ARTIST!, not an artist. Eventually, I learned to embrace my own personal style and creative process. I learned to express my own voice and appreciate my own artistic sensibilities.

Surround yourself with a good support system. I would not have made it through graduate school without my fellow classmates. Graduate school is completely overwhelming at times. It can feel like a giant hamster wheel of rehearsals, papers, costume purchases, and job responsibilities. I was very lucky to find some terrific friends that became family to me. Lean on each other and you will make it to graduation day together.

If you love what you do, don’t give up! When I see acquaintances or classmates, they always ask if I am still dancing. Everyone seems pleasantly surprised that I am still “keeping the dream alive.” Here’s the bottom line: I have hated every non-dance job I have held. I hate sitting behind a desk; it makes me physically itchy. My body wants to move! I have never wanted to do anything else, so I keep plugging away. It has been a lean and hard life at times, but I never seriously consider giving it up. Being an artist requires resourcefulness, perseverance, and a willingness to sacrifice. You probably won’t be able to afford expensive gadgets, vacations, or a new car. You may have to take side jobs and hustle every skill you have into something that makes you employable. It is not the right life choice for everyone, but it has always been the right one for me. In graduate school, it is easier to maintain your focus, but in the real world the lack of money becomes a little more real. Remember why you love dancing and what you worked for in graduate school. Use that support system of fellow grad students. You will all be in a similar boat and can throw each other a life preserver when one of you falls overboard.

Go to school because you love dance and want to learn more. Graduate school is expensive and time consuming. Graduate school doesn’t guarantee you a job. Graduate school is extremely stressful and frustrating as hell at times. If you are lucky enough to get a TA (teaching assistant or any job on campus), your salary will be low and your work load will be significant. However, I have never regretted my choice to attend graduate school. I went to graduate school because I love choreographing and I was able to fully immerse myself in the art of creating dance for three wonderful and challenging years. If you choose to pursue an MFA, do it for the experience and you will be rewarded.

Don’t be afraid to start over. You can start a dance with a great idea, but sometimes it just doesn’t take shape. You can craft it and change phrases around, but it just doesn’t feel right. In graduate school, you learn to roll with the punches and start pieces a million times until they finally take shape. As an adult, change can be terrifying and pretty sucky, but it is sometimes necessary. This past fall, I moved to Texas to take my current job at Rice University. I loved my life in North Carolina, but professionally, I was stagnant. I knew it had to change. I decided to approach this move like the new section of a long work. I use those skills to start building a new work and a new beginning. I am excited to see how the next phrase develops.



heatherHeather Nabors is the Assistant Director of Dance Programs at Rice University. Heather relocated to Houston this summer from North Carolina. Heather has been a teacher and freelance choreographer in NC since 2005. She served as an adjunct faculty member at Catawba College, Greensboro College, Elon University, and UNCG. In 2012, Heather founded ArtsMash, a collaborative arts concert in NC. Her work has been presented at ArtsMash, The Saturday Series, UNCG Dance Department Alumni Concert, Greensboro Fringe Festival and the American Dance Festival’s Acts to Follow. She has choreographed over 14 musicals in NC for community theaters and local high schools including RentOklahoma! ,The King & I, Legally Blonde, Little Shop of Horrors, and Children of Eden. Heather received her MFA in Choreography from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.