Houston Contemporary Dance Company Presents Electrostatic Attraction

Contact: Marlana Doyle, (713) 804-6646 ext 3, marlana@houstoncontemporary.org


Photo by Clarie McAdams

APRIL 20th, 2024


Houston, TX – Houston Contemporary Dance Company presents Electrostatic Attraction to continue their 5th Season. This concert will include a world premiere by Houston Ballet Demi Soloist, Jack Wolff and a new solo created by Andrea Dawn Shelley on founding company member Genene Walis McGrath. Houston Contemporary will also present works from the last 4 seasons that were audience favorites including, Intersections by Joe Celej and Let my Hair Down by Robbie Moore in collaboration with Say Girl Say playing live. One night only!

Electrostatic Attraction is funded in part by the Houston Arts Alliance through the City of Houston, Texas Commission ontheArts,Mid America Arts Alliance and Dance Source Houston. We would also like to Thank Bob Boblitt, Bobbie Nau, Shirley and Brian Colona, Remington and Sarah Tonar, Bank of Texas, Amegy Bank, USI and Jackson Walker for their support this Season. This event is being performed at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, sponsored by Houston Area Lexus Dealers and United Airlines.

Read more about the Guest Choreographer and Artists below:

JoeCelej is a NewYork City based creative artist whose career spans nearly fifteen years of professional concert dance performance, choreographic investigation, and passionate instruction and mentoring of students. Joe began his relationship with METdance, then called Houston Metropolitan Dance Company, as a dancer in 2001, and worked with artists such as Robert Battle, Kate Skarpetowska, Peter Chu, Mario Zambrano, and Eddy Ocampo. During this time, Joe served as Resident Choreographer of METdance, creating several works for the company including audience and critic favorite, What More? (2005). In the fall of 2005, Joe relocated to New York City and performed for over eight years with the internationally touring/acclaimed concert company Elisa Monte Dance. As a senior company member and soloist, Joe performed extensively throughout the US (including multiple Joyce seasons) and Europe with EMD, most notably meeting and performing for the Duke and Duchess of Luxembourg. Through the EMD choreographic initiative, Joe enjoyed collaborating and creating six works for the company, and was honored to have his Joyce Theater choreographic premiere in 2011. During this time, Joe continued his relationship with METdance as a guest choreographer, creating new works including ForeverFleeting (2007) and primed (2014), guest faculty, and served on the company’s advisory board. Joe is incredibly honored to be appointed Associate Director of METdance beginning in its 2015-16 20th Anniversary Season. Joe is a master teacher throughout the US and Europe. He has been a guest teacher/choreographer at a variety of educational institutions including Steps on Broadway, SUNY Buffalo, Rice University, Salve Regina University, the High School for Performing and Visual Arts Houston (HSPVA), Episcopal High School, St John’s School, and the Hetrick-Martin Institute. Joe is proud to have been a teacher/mentor to many dancers performing with multiple dance companies and projects. Joe graduated summa cum laude with a BFA in dance performance from SUNY Buffalo, where he was a performing and creative arts honors scholar and supplemented his training with scholarships to Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, The Edge, and the Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles. Joe’s commercial credits include Levi Strauss and Company, Wal-Mart, and the City of Houston. As an independent artist, Joe has presented his choreography at numerous venue and his most recent endeavors include presenting his new commission, tonight, we dream together for the Island Moving Company of Newport, RI at the Great Friends Dance Festival this past July, and co-creating a new digital comic book, Drawn In: The adventures of Jamo Lady and Magners Man with co-author Clymene Baugher. www.joecelej.com

Robbie Moore grew up dancing from age six in Houston, Texas, where he attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. In 2010, he was named Presidential Scholar in the Arts. Robbie graduated from the Juilliard School in 2014. He studied closely with dynamic anatomist Irene Dowd to learn, model and archive her body of work. Robbie toured internationally with L.A. Dance Project, under the direction of Benjamin Millepied, from 2015-2017. In 2019, Robbie moved to Belgium to work for Eastman – Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. In Antwerp, he trained under Anna Rubau to become a certified True-Pilates instructor. Robbie joined Opera Ballet Vlaanderen as a demi-soloist in 2019. While there he worked with Damien Jalet, Marina Abramović, Johan Inger, Alexander Ekman, Alan Lucien Øyen and Trisha Brown Dance Company. He currently resides in Houston working as a freelance dancer, Pilates instructor, movement coach and choreographer. Robbie works as Resident Choreographer and Guest Artist with Houston Contemporary Dance Company. He continues to work with Eastman on various projects as a performer, rehearsal director and choreographic assistant.

Andrea Dawn Shelley born in Miami, Florida, received her classical ballet training predominately from Magdalena Maury and Magda G. Auñon. She studied dance at the University of South Florida under Gretchen Ward Warren and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance Education from Florida International University. Andrea began her professional career with Southern Ballet Theatre as a member of the corps de ballet and has since danced as a principal artist with Maximum Dance Company, Miami Contemporary Dance Company, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater, State Street Ballet and iMEE performing throughout Americas and Europe. She is the Co-Founding Director of iMEE Dance Company, est. 2009. As a choreographer, Shelley has created original works commissioned by professional dance companies and festivals such as: iMEE, Ballet Florida, Miami Contemporary Dance Company, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater, State Street Ballet, O Dance, Ad Deum Dance Company, The Dance Gallery Festival / Level UP, palcoscenico danza, METdance, Island Moving Co., the black box INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL THEATRE & DANCE, Festival Ballet Providence, Bellingham Repertory Dance, 16th Annual Mid-Atlantic Choreographic Showcase, Houston Contemporary Dance Company and Vitacca Ballet. Her choreographic works have been presented throughout the United States, Mexico and Europe: including California, Florida, Texas, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Washington, Virginia, Italy, Bulgaria and Mexico City. Currently, Ms. Shelley serves as the Resident Artist Program Director and Faculty at Vitacca Vocational School for Dance in Houston, TX and is Ballet Faculty at Institute for Contemporary Dance in Houston, TX. Additionally, Shelley is in her first season with Vitacca Ballet as the company’s Rehearsal Director and in her second season with Houston Contemporary Dance Company as Ballet Mistress and Rehearsal Assistant to the Director.

Jack Wolff joins Houston Ballet as an Apprentice after training at American Ballet Theatre’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School from 2015-2018 on full scholarship. Wolff has previously trained with Precision Dance Academy, the Houston MET Too Pre-Professional Program, and Houston’s High School for the Performing Arts, while participating in summer intensives at The Juilliard School, Arts Umbrella, New York City Dance Alliance, American Ballet Theatre, French Academie of Ballet, and Houston Ballet Academy. He joined as a Corps de Ballet member in 2019. He was promoted to Demi Soloist in 2022.


Say Girl Say is a genre-bending multi-instrumental duo from Houston, Texas composed of members Brigette Yawn and Suad Ihsan, known for their hypnotic vocal harmonies, lyrical finesse, and entrancing melodies backed by eclectic instrumental production. What began as a casual friendship in 2012, grew into a local staple within Houston’s artist community. In May 2015, the band released their first self-titled record “Say Girl Say”, an all-acoustic album featuring ukulele, guitar, harp, and violin, accompanied by many sounds of worldly percussion. Since then, Say Girl Say’s sound has evolved over the years while writing and recording their sophomore album “Let My Hair Down”, which debuted May 2021. “Let My Hair Down” is a concept of finding yourself by stumbling through the human experience in search of love, empowerment, forgiveness, and compassion.


Houston Contemporary aims to lead and innovate performing arts in Houston by drawing upon the director’s long tradition of inclusiveness and diversity within all facets of the organization. HCDC sets itself apart by employing high caliber performing and choreographic artists from across the country. In setting high technical and artistic standards, HCDC is currently the only contemporary repertory company to provide Houston audiences with opportunities to view works created by some of America’s most exciting dancemakers that speak to and are representative of the full spectrum of Houston’s diverse populace, while supporting talented Texas based artists as well.

Marlana DoyleFounding Artistic and Executive Director, is originally from Massachusetts and graduated from Point Park University in 2001 with a BA in Dance. Marlana is the former Artistic Director of Met Dance, where she held various positions for seventeen years. Under her direction, Marlana’s vision and leadership catapulted the company to new levels of excellence and growth while holding tightly to the company’s long tradition of diversity and versatility in its dancers, choreographers, collaborators, and content.Marlana is the President & CEO of the Institute of Contemporary Dance which houses Houston Contemporary professional concert dance company and HC2, a youth training company. Marlana is a member of Dance Source Houston, International Association of Blacks in Dance, Texans in the Arts and Dance USA, spending 2009-2012 as an emerging leader at Dance USA. She was awarded the Dance USA Leadership Mentee Fellowship for the institute of training in 2012 and was a mentor for the same program in 2019. She served for three years as a Dance USA Board of Trustee member and served as the Artistic Director Council Chair. Marlana has also serving on the Performing Arts Houston’s Educational Committee, San Jacinto College Dance Advisory Board and the Leadership Committee for Arts Connect. As a performer, Marlana has danced and generated roles in a range of works by renowned choreographers and artists. Marlana is also a guest teacher and an award-winning choreographer for her many students in Houston and throughout the United States. She has choreographed for the City of Houston, Levi’s and Walmart, Mercury Ensemble, Apollo Chamber Players, Houston Chamber Choir, Houston Symphony, TUTS, Loop38, Kinetic Ensemble, ROCO, University of Houston, Sam Houston State University, Lamar University, RICE University and University of St. Thomas. She lives in Sugar Land, TX with her husband Ben and her two adorable daughters Olivia and Evie.

For more information about Houston Contemporary Dance Company and how to purchase tickets, please see below:

Houston City Book Article
Dance Dish Article
Houston Contemporary Promo Video

Houston Chronicle Article
Houstonia Article


Who: Houston Contemporary Dance Company What: Electrostatic Attraction
When: April 20th, 2024
Times: 7:30PM
Where: Hobby Center for the Performing Arts
*Tickets are on sale at: https://my.thehobbycenter.org/6280
Why: To be an innovative non-profit repertory dance company transforming how Houston experiences dance as an art form that moves, unites, and inspires.
Contact: Marlana Doyle (Founder & Artistic Director) marlana@houstoncontemporary.org

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