Frame Dance Infiltrates METRO to Make You Rethink Your Commute
Live Performance Comes to Houston’s Red Line
Houston, Texas: Forget gilded curtains and spectator glasses. Bringing dance straight into the path of Houston commuters as they travel to work, home, and around the city, METROdances, choreographed by Lydia Hance and in partnership with METRO, is a vibrant traveling dance and live music performance that provides a front-and-center view for anyone taking the Red Line running from the Houston Medical Center through Downtown.
“Framers,” as the dancers are known throughout the Houston arts community, will be accompanied by traveling trumpets and brass quintet, featuring Omni Brass and original composition by Charles Halka. Lagan Percussion will also perform a brand-new percussion piece as moving trains and transit stops on Houston’s METRORail become a stage in motion for the performers. Spectators are invited to travel along for only the cost of a METRO ticket and passersby become welcome members of a fluctuating audience.
METROdances is meant to shake frames of reference and perception to spark creativity and renew passion in those stuck and ragged from the stresses of life. In Houston, a huge metropolitan area known for its car culture, Hance also sees this non-traditional display of dance as a way of highlighting the city and, in this public performance, an opportunity to get people to learn about the METRO system. Some viewers will ride, perhaps for the very first time, as friendly faces are found nearby to help them navigate the system.
“Dance brings people together, and has the power to spark joy in the mundane,” explains Hance.
The performers will be rehearsing on location throughout the month of April allowing those catching the train a window into the process and occasional drama of a work-in-progress.
If this style of public performance seems risky, that’s because it is. However, Frame Dance, a company known for injecting dance into unexpected places, has bravely interjected their work into the paths of Houston bystanders before. For those for whom the high cost or atmosphere of traditional performance is prohibitive, the performances are often met with gratitude but, for Hance, mixed or even angry response is okay, too.
“Our goal isn’t to make everyone happy, she asserts. “We know the power of dance performance and we are on a mission to get it out.”
Performance Schedule and Tickets: April 22nd & 23rd. Performance is free.
About Charles Halka: Charles Halka’s music has been performed in North America, Europe, and Hong Kong, including performances by the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra conducted by Marin Alsop, the Lviv Philharmonic, the Mexican National Symphony, counter)induction, Mivos Quartet, Fort Worth Opera Studio, Volti, and Callithumpian Consort, and at such venues as the Kennedy Center, ISCM World Music Days, Palacio de Bellas Artes, and the Coolidge Auditorium of the Library of Congress. As a Fulbright grantee, he spent a year in Lithuania writing an opera, Julius, which premiered in 2010. He is a recipient of the Copland House Residency Award, and has also been in residence at the MacDowell Colony and at the Sarbievijaus Cultural Center in Lithuania, where he wrote a chamber opera that was performed at Fort Worth Opera’s 2015 Frontiers showcase. Charles earned degrees from the Peabody Conservatory and Rice University, and is Visiting Lecturer at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. www.charleshalka.com
About Omni Brass: Omni Brass is an innovative, genre-bending chamber ensemble presenting high energy programs for diverse audiences. We specialize in multi-style arrangements and new works, all packaged in an exciting, artistic, and inviting concert experience. Omni is also committed to music education and to creating affirming and empowering experiences for young musicians. Omni artists regularly present master classes and clinics, and also work with students of all ages through our annual summer Omnicamps.
About Lagan Percussion: Lagan Percussion is a group dedicated to new and interesting musical experiences. Ricky Bracamontes, Taylor Davis, James Ferris, and Daniel Strange met as students studying percussion at Baylor University. They play together in the Baylor Percussion Group and are winners of the Semper Pro Musica Chamber Music Competition. All members are active performers and teachers throughout Texas. Lagan is interested in big projects, most recently a production of Steve Reich’s monumental work, Music for 18 Musicians, and John Luther Adam’snuksuit.
ABOUT FRAME DANCE:
Frame Dance Productions is a Houston-based contemporary dance company founded by Lydia Hance in 2010 out of a desire to connect dance with technology and to facilitate collaboration among diverse artists. Frame Dance has quickly become a fresh and energetic presence through internationally screened dance films and responsive, intimate performances in exciting and unconventional spaces like art galleries, ferry boats, dance festivals, warehouses, claw foot bathtubs, downtown buildings, and City Hall. The Framers include 8 nationally acclaimed dancers, cutting-edge collaborations with painters, photographers, playwrights, poets, chefs, community members, and emerging and established composers. Frame Dance Productions is committed to working with 100% new music by living composers.
About Lydia Hance: Dubbed Houston’s “queen of curious locations,” Lydia Hance is the Founding Executive and Artistic Director of Frame Dance Productions. She has been named an Emerging Leader by Dance/USA and Arts + Culture Texas has described her as “sharply focused.” Hance has choreographed works on the Galveston pier, the METRO light rail, in the backs of U Haul trucks, downtown tunnels, clawfoot bathtubs and museums, stages, and warehouses. A champion of new music composers, her work deepens interdisciplinary and multigenerational collaborations, and investigates the placement of dance in our lives. Hance is a choreographer, curator, filmmaker, educator, and dance writer originally from the California Bay Area. Her work has been funded by the Puffin Foundation, Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Charles and Joan Gross Family Foundation, Houston Arts Alliance, Dance Source Houston, City of Houston, Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center, and the Houston Parks Board. 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. Since 2011 she has been a curator of the Third Coast Dance Film Festival, and has served on the artist boards of DiverseWorks, and Fresh Arts.