PDC Works Presents Take Root

For Immediate Release                                                        
Contact: Sophia Torres

a view underneath the forest floor through live music & dance

Photo by Pin Lim Photography

University of Houston Gerald D. Hines Architecture Building
Thursday, August 25 @ 6:30pm
Friday, August 26 @ 6:30pm
Saturday, August 27 @ 7:30pm
Tickets:  Free Event

(Houston, TX) PDC Works presents Take Root an evening-length, multidisciplinary performance at the University of Houston Architecture Building August 25-27, 2022. In collaboration with composer Rob Smith, Take Root will feature original music by Smith and choreography by Torres that will inform audiences about the importance of trees in urban communities. The concert will feature guest musicians Nina Bledsoe-Knight (viola), Roberto de Guzman (clarinet) and Bing Wei (cello). The unconventional venue invites the audience to walk around the sculptured centerpiece in the lobby of the Hines Architecture Building prior to and post performances as well as experience the live shows from various vantage points.

Originally presented as work-in-progress, the expanded version of Take Root will continue Torres’ and Smith’s interest in integrating musicians and dancers in performance. The idea sprang from nature. Trees talk. Trees communicate with one another, trees collaborate, trees share resources and even give defense signals. Through an underground living network with intricate connections, a vast amount of information moves through the complex hubs and systems below ground. The underground dialogue is the inspiration for Torres’ choreography, Smith’s music and where Take Root begins scratching at the secret world beneath the forest floor.

Take Root will occur in the lobby of Gerald D. Hines Architecture Building. The non-traditional space encourages the artists to engage with the audience from all sides. Traveling in an around a specially designed set piece will provide a central focal axis point. Members of the audience can take advantage of the open format to move about and change their perspective during the show at any moment. Onlookers can catch glimpses of the free event as they pass through the building. Performances align with the first week of classes at UH. In addition to the full evening performances, short excerpts will be presented at the Student Center to promote and invite the larger UH student body to attend the full production. These less traditional and more public spaces allow visitors to experience ‘living art’ in a less formal atmosphere.

As part of the performances, a series of pre-show talks with local environmental and conservation leaders and faculty members will speak about their conservation work and research to provide context for the piece. Attending audience members will hear from Houston Arboretum and Houston Parks Board to learn more about their efforts to protect, preserve, and nurture local greenspaces. Additionally, the directors will present lectures to music and dance students about their collaboration and their unique approach towards integrating music and dance.

Livestreaming of the performance and early installation of the set piece will be available.

Since 2015 Torres and Smith have developed several collaborative works that foster substantial interdependence between dancers and musicians. Take Root continues the intersection between their respective disciplines in creating programs that facilitate deep and meaningful interaction.


Sophia Torres, choreographer

Rob Smith, composer


Lindsay Cortner, Keeley Dunnam, Melissa Juneau, Mia Pham, Tory Pierce & Arielle Tesia Rojas.


Take Root – Rob Smith


Nina Knight (viola), Roberto de Guzman (clarinet), & Bing Wei (cello).

PDC Works is funded in part by Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts and New Music USA’s New Music Organizational Development Fund.

Press interviews and photos are available upon request.


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