Uptown Dance Company Presents “Creative Minds At Uptown


UPTOWN DANCE COMPANY PRESENTS: “CREATIVE MINDS AT UPTOWN: An evening of Japanese- inspired Ballet, Music, & Voice”

Photo courtesy of Asia Society Texas Center (Lynn Lane Photography)

HOUSTON, TX – On April 23rd, 2017, Uptown Dance Company (UDC) partners with Creative Minds Collaborative (CMC) in an exciting program of Japanese-themed dance andmusic. The show featuring performers from UDC, CMC, Houston Ballet, Axiom Quartet, andUniversity of Houston’s Moores School of Music.

CMC presents selections from “TSURU,” a ballet conceived by CMC Founder Nao Kusuzaki. This original ballet is an arrangement of a traditional Japanese folktale, “Tsuru no Ongaeshi (The Cranewife).” Chiba-born dancer Kenta Kojiri choreographed the work in collaboration with Nao Kusuzaki and Asia Society, for its premiere at Asia Society Texas Center on June 27, 2015. Complementing the themes of “TSURU,” UDC Artistic Director Beth Gulledge-Brown creates a world premiere inspired by a set of Japanese art songs for classical voice and piano. She is using music that has just recently been collected and published in the United States. Utilizing dancers from both UDC and CMC, the new co-creation highlights themes in the Haiku poetry of the songs which deal with wildlife and landscapes.

Following the each performance there will be a question and answer session, giving the audience a chance to hear from the choreographers, musicians, and dancers involved in the creation of these works. In addition to UDC and CMC artists, the performances feature Houston Ballet’s first Japanese male Principal Dancer Charles-Louis Yoshiyama, and cellist Patrick Moore from Houston’s Axiom Quartet, with additional musicians from the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music.

This project is made possible in part by through the Houston City’s Initiative Grant, with additional funding from the Texas Commission on the Arts, and Dance Source Houston. Uptown Dance Company is a non-profit 501(c)3 and professional dance company based in Houston, TX. Founded in 1999 by Beth Gulledge-Brown, the company presents contemporary, diverse, and innovative choreography created to expand the imagination of dance audiences.

UDC strives to break boundaries and provide a unique place for dancers and choreographers to convey their passion for their art. UDC enriches the diverse Houston dance community by regularly commissioning and performing works by local and national choreographers, and by providing high-level performance and training opportunities for both professional and pre- professional dancers.

In 2016, Nao Kuzuaki founded Creative Minds Collaborative (CMC) as a platform to produce performing arts events featuring talented dancers, musicians, and arts educators both locally and internationally. CMC is one of Houston’s newest arts organizations, whose primary mission is to promote collaboration among artists and supporters of the arts in order to deepen understanding among diverse individuals and organizations. The company officially received its non-profit status in early 2017.


Beth Gulledge-Brown

An evening of Japanese-inspired Ballet, Music, & Voice”

WHEN: Sunday, April 23rd, 2017
2:00 pm and 6:00 pm

Uptown Dance Centre
7417 Shadyvilla Lane
Houston, TX 77055

$30 General admission / $25 Senior / $15 Student with College I.D.

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