Behind the Scenes: Let’s Stay Home and Fight

Behind the Scenes: Let’s Stay Home and Fight

Frame | Work News & Updates Performances/Screenings

Frame Dance Productions presents Let’s Stay Home and Fight, the latest from dancer, choreographer, and Artistic Director Lydia Hance. Lydia both generously and provocatively describes her inspiration and intention for this performance, and I believe that these insights will enrich the experience for you, our beloved participants and audience.

Letter from Lydia:

Dear Framers,

Settle in, I’m going to take you behind the scenes of my creative process for this next show, Let’s Stay Home and Fight on January 26 and 27. I like to make work to confront myself: my fears, my doubts, my questions. I love how art is my vehicle for personal growth. That’s how I know it is a lifelong endeavor. Making art will never be something I retire from. It’s the way I make sense of things, and it’s the way I deal with my world. As a person averse to conflict (any of you out there like me?), I have been trying to figure out why my natural instinct is to avoid it. I mean, there are ACTUAL HUMANS out there who dive right in with zest and a pair of curled up fists. After a little research I discovered that there are people who believe conflict is the best way to reach an agreement, and is even a good way to connect. This was mind blowing to me. I’ll take my one way ticket back to Mars, because I must be an ET on this Earth.

At the recommendation of a friend (and artist in this show), I began to study the Enneagram. The Enneagram is a model of the human psyche which is principally understood and taught as a typology of nine interconnected personality types. I have found this system far more accurate and helpful than any of the other personality typing models out there. I’ve been digging into it for almost a year; I am no expert, but it has truly helped me understand my own strengths, vices, and challenges. It has been both freeing and challenging.

I take quite a bit of time by myself crafting creative concepts, movement ideas, and music selections. I schedule rehearsals where I have time to be by myself and internally sift through what is developing. I make dance by feeling. I often cannot put words to my ideas in the creation process. I make by instinct. It’s like I have millions of feelers all over my body and I have to sense every choice. That can take time.

People have told me that I’m thoughtful. I’ve always kind of liked that. As a 4 personality type (you’ll have to do a little of your own research to understand what that means), I have an ability to understand how others around me feel. 4s are highly empathetic. So in rehearsals, I sense others. I respond to them. What would happen if I embraced conflict? Easier said than done, I know. Could I create an environment where I give myself license to be a little bit more obstinate? Could I make work that might be a little bit less thoughtful, and maybe a little more gutsy? I’m trying it.

Here’s how I’m making this show:

I am assigning each of the six dancers (including me) a number on the Enneagram. We are researching these numbers deeply. Each artist makes each creative choice from the perspective of the personality type they are assigned to. I am giving each person a primary duet partner, and we are researching our partners’ numbers. The show will be based on three pairs of people negotiating with each other’s differences. We are making the show during extended rehearsal times, all crammed in one week, in the performance space. There’s an intentional pressure-cooker format to the creation and performance. In a word: intense. In another? Exhilarating.

Here’s your homework:

  • Research the Enneagram. There are a lot of great podcasts out there. Find out your number before this show, do a little emotional work. It would even be fun to see if you can guess the personality numbers of the dancers by watching the performance.
  • Come see the performance. This is going to be risky, vulnerable, and revealing.

Put ‘em up,

Lydia

Forward Focus: Fave Events for the Fairly Near Future

Forward Focus: Fave Events for the Fairly Near Future

Frame | Work Houston Hot Spots News & Updates

I know it’s cliche, but I’m working on a couple of “don’t call them resolutions” self-improvement ideas in this new year. Are you? I deliberately set mine to advance me toward self-perfection or whatever at a microscopic, this-won’t-hurt-at-all rate of change. And, by gum, it has worked beautifully for a whole week and a half! Baby steps, my friends, baby steps. Or giant leaps. Whatever works for you. We’d love to hear your goals, plans, successes, and challenges in the comments section because, you know, we go farther when we go together.

If your New Year, New You goals happen to involve working more art into your life and/or showing up in support of your community, the Frame Dance team has recommendations that will keep your resolutions (or whatever you call them) rolling through mid-February. You’re welcome!

Grown Up Storytime happens on the third Tuesday of the month (bonus events for GUST fans, writer’s workshops are scheduled for January 20 and 27. See Facebook page for details).

Where: Rudyard’s, 2010 Waugh, 77006

When: Tuesday, January 15, 8:00 PM

For Italy lovers, the Contemporary Italian Film Series happens most months on the third Wednesday of the month. See Texas film premiers shown in Italian with English subtitles. (Bonus ICCC family event: Festa della Befana this Sunday at 3:30 PM).

Where: Italian Cultural and Community Center, 1101 Milford, 77006

When: Wednesday, January 16, 7:00 PM

Wednesday, February 20, 7:00 PM

Inprint’s Margarett Root Brown Reading Series features author Claudia Rankine. Moderated by Project Row House founder Rick Lowe, the reading will include an excerpt of the author’s play performed by members of the Houston’s historic Ensemble Theater.

Where: Stude Concert Hall, Rice University, 6100 Main, 77005

When: Monday, January 14, 7:30 PM

Inprint’s Reading Series continues in February featuring American Book Award winner Valleria Luiselli and “overnight literary star” Tommy Orange interviewed by UH-Downtown’s Daniel Pena. Tickets go on sale at noon on January 15.

Where: Stude Concert Hall, Rice University, 6100 Main, 77005

When: Tuesday, February 26, 7:30 PM

Frame Dance Productions (hey, that’s us!) presents new work Let’s Stay Home and Fight, an intimate piece that features compositions from our Composer Competition winners Karl Blench and Daniel Harrison (more about these geniuses here) performed by Axiom Quartet.

Where: Studio 101, 1824 Spring St, 77007

When: Saturday, January 26, 7:00 PM

Sunday, January 27, 7:00 PM

Is it art? Is it culture? It’s definitely community, and it’s definitely good for your body and for your fluffy little soul: it is Kitten Yoga at Yogaleena! A portion of the proceeds goes to the Best Friends Animal Society.

Where: Yogaleena, 2126 S Shepherd, Suite 230 (upstairs), 77098

When: Sunday, February 3, 2:00 PM

‘Tis the Seasons: Endings and Goodbyes

‘Tis the Seasons: Endings and Goodbyes

Frame | Work News & Updates

A Frame Dance Farewell

We’ve all bid farewell to 2018, and, perhaps, to holiday guests and household symbols of the season. Maybe you were traveling and had to say goodbye to beaches or ski slopes, or to some version of family and home. Endings can be tough; it takes a special fortitude to make a graceful exit from the things that bring us comfort and joy, and no judgement if you need to give in and ugly cry. Here at Frame Dance, we have an extra hard goodbye to say, and that is to our Cori, the exquisite Ms Capetillo, who has relocated to Portland, Oregon, with her beautiful family. Are we separating with graceful eye-dabbing or snotty sobbing? No comment.

Perhaps you know Cori as the “front desk” face at Frame Dance classes, or perhaps you saw her perform in My Beloved…meet me at the prom last spring, mere weeks before giving birth to her son with the equally amazing Alberto Capetillo, who also danced in that performance. Perhaps, like me, you’ve had the fun of dancing with Cori in a Baby-Wearing or Multi-Gen class at Frame, or you’ve performed under her capable and easy-going stage management. Whatever your interaction, you probably appreciated Cori’s unflappable cool and adept problem solving, her smarts, her creativity, and her humor. Cori made us all feel safe in her hands, and lucky to be there.

About Cori, from Lydia:

When I started Frame Dance it was a one-woman leap of faith. As I made work, wonderful people started to emerge as the helpers. Mr. Rogers always told me to look out for them. We’ve had the great privilege and fortune to work with incredible collaborators, artists, teaching artists, donors, students, volunteers, and board members. But, administratively, it was all me for a long seven years. Then, because of all of the helpers along the way, Frame Dance got to a place where I could hire Cori Capetillo to work with me. With her organization, her ability to create structures and policies, to remove some of the administrative duties from my plate, and her belief in Frame Dance’s mission, we grew more last year than we ever have. She did this all with a new baby. I dreamt about the day when I could have a partner-in-good like that. And way too soon (as far as I’m concerned!) she’s off with her beautiful family to begin a new adventure in Portland.

Cori, I wish you the very best. Thank you for your work. Godspeed and best wishes.

xo Lydia

P.S. “You did a great job!”

About Houston, from Cori:

A few things the Capetillo family will miss about living in Houston:

1) We will miss chips and queso without a question.

2) We will miss the hustle and bustle of the city. There’s a vibration to this city that’s unlike any other.

3) We will miss dancing in the MultiGen class. The class served as a stress release for us and served as a way to bond with our new son. We found another family where we were safe to express ourselves freely without judgement. In that hour and fifteen minute class, our troubles were left at the door and only love and gratitude could be felt. Our people is what we will miss the most.

Cori

 An Irish blessing to go with you as you exit our particular stage:

May your days be many and your troubles be few.

May all God’s blessings descend upon you.

May peace be within you. May your heart be strong.

May you find what you’re seeking wherever you roam.

Break a leg, Cori.

‘Tis the Seasons: Tired of Leftovers

‘Tis the Seasons: Tired of Leftovers

Frame | Work Houston Hot Spots

You finally finished off the mashed potatoes and you don’t want to see another sugar cookie for about 350 days. It’s time to take yourself (and your holiday guests, if you still have them) out to one of Frame Dance’s favorite places for food and drink in Houston. A dancer has to eat, after all!

  1. Mala – I ate here just last night and was relieved enjoy my meal with nary a Santa in sight! My mouth was a tasty, spicy little oven when I left. Can’t wait to return.
  2. Vibrant – Give the gluten and/or dairy-free members of your family a chance to order anything – ANYTHING – on the menu. They’ll cry. You’ll love it, too.
  3. The Path of Tea – Take the time to step out of time, and into a cup of organic, fair-trade tea. You will leave rejuvenated.

We also recommend that you follow Friend-of-Frame David Leftwich on social media for the best of Houston food culture:

Twitter: @DavidLeftwich68
Instagram: @davidleftwich68
‘Tis the Seasons: Framing these Multifaceted Holidays

‘Tis the Seasons: Framing these Multifaceted Holidays

Frame | Work Uncategorized

Celebrations can be such weighty convergences of the little and the big, the trivial and the fundamental: toys and family, scarves and service, red reindeer noses and remembering. The nights are long, my friends, but we certainly don’t feel rested! Our children swing from ecstatic to inconsolable as we teach them our traditions and trust that they will understand their significance, which is that the decreasing daylight and end of the calendar year are a time of reckoning, of gratitude, of coming together, and of hope for our future.

 

We are grateful to have all of you Framers come together for soirees, performances, classes, and online sharing. You give us hope that our mission to bring modern dance to more and more and more of Houston can be and is in fact being achieved.

 

Below is a letter from our Artistic Director, Lydia Hance, and a coming soon are a few suggestions for this season of shopping lists, cookie trays, and high-stakes family time, so look for those. It is truly our pleasure and privilege to spend a part of this season with you.

 

Dear Framers,

We made it to winter break. I usually love this time of year because I love to celebrate Christmas, and I yearn for that feeling that I’ve earned a break.  But I’m struggling with feeling like I’ve earned it. Let me back up, because I always like to list my blessings before I start to complain, as if it’s going to give me perspective on my grumbles.  

We have had an absolutely incredible year at Frame Dance. We hosted the first, very successful, Frame x Frame Film Fest with artists traveling internationally to attend and premiere work. We had two additional performances just this fall with Horse Head Theater and our Midtown Winter METROdances. This summer we had a literal blast at our space-themed Wiggle Worm Dance Camp for kiddos. We pulled off the zany 80s prom-themed immersive performance that subtly broke down the artificiality of the 80s aesthetic and tapped deeply into heartache. There has never been a show more fun to create than that one (my dancing to INXS and Tears for Fears has previously been limited to solos in my kitchen).  Our education programs have been so rich and fruitful. Amazing and passionate people are finding us, including those certain kindred spirits who appreciate our values and offerings in a way that makes me feel supported. (You know who you are Rebel Families and Creative Souls who prioritize nourishing yourselves artistically in community). And in between all of that we* created a Strategic Plan for the next few years.  

Still, I feel like I’m drowning, trying to balance on an underwater teeter totter of  ideas and actual to-do tasks. I’m behind on thanking people for Giving Tuesday. I still haven’t finished that grant report. I can’t find the new shoes I bought for my son anywhere. Artists contracts need to go out. People are waiting on ME for things, which is something I avoid like the plague. And speaking of plague, I’ve been very sick twice since Thanksgiving. I feel like I can’t quite focus and finish the things I’ve begun– like I might burst into tears at the next thing that is just a little bit difficult. I feel like I am letting people down. I feel disappointed in myself for everything I can’t remember I need to do. And I’m sulky because I haven’t had even a moment to myself for the past three months until now, when I sit down and complain to you, friend. Have I thanked you for listening? Nope. Forgot that too.

But I have come to the conclusion that right now, a lot of stuff is rough. And that doesn’t mean I’m not thankful for the great stuff.

-We had a major leak in our home’s bathroom that seeped under the floor boards and so we ripped it all out, and now going into the fourth month of people coming in and out of my house all. day. long. There’s debris, dust, decision-making, and arguing, and so much more that goes along with this.

-I was rear ended badly in October on my way to our performance with Horse Head Theater, and the driver was uninsured which delayed it getting repaired for two and a half months.  

-One of the major Frame Dance funding sources cut funding, and we received 50% of what we had planned for. Read: I need to find those funds somewhere if we are going to accomplish all of the beautiful things I have planned for 2019.

-My friend, sole co-worker, teammate, and confidante Cori Capetillo is moving. I’m grieving the loss of my friend in Houston, and also dealing with how Frame Dance will change without her. More on this later.

-Parenting a toddler while sick is…very hard.

There are about ten more items like this (let’s get together and I’ll tell you the juiciest one of all). I keep telling myself to choose joy. Sounds good, right?

I am giving myself the grace not to gloss over the difficulty of the present, but asking myself, What can I learn from this?

So far I have this:

-I will not successfully juggle all the balls all of the time. Homework: How do I see myself when I’m not living up to my own standards?

-Sometimes I just have to ride the wave.  

-No one promised me that life would be easy, so probably best not to expect it.  

-I need to learn to ask for help. Even when people say no. Ask again.  

I do believe that joy will come in the morning. But it feels like a long, loud night. I am with you in whatever is difficult right now.

Warmly, and still thankful for every blessing,

Lydia

Relaunch of Frame|Work [Blog]

Relaunch of Frame|Work [Blog]

News & Updates

Hello, and welcome to Frame|Work, the revamped blog representing Frame Dance Productions. I am Kerri Lyons Neimeyer, and I sit on the board and dance in the Multi-Generational Ensemble. I am also involved in the new blog formatting. We intend this blog to be a connection and a frame (get it?!) of reference for content on modern dance, dance education, arts events in Houston, and other topics that uplift us here at Frame Dance.

Let me tell you why I am involved with this dance company, and give you an idea of the work we wish to share with our community.

In 2006 Kurt Vonnegut declined a request to speak at a New York high school by sending a letter of thanks that included the message he would have delivered in person. “To wit,” writes Vonnegut, “Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or how badly, not to get money or fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.”

Executive and Artistic Director of Frame Dance Productions Lydia Hance is of the Vonnegut school of arts practice. In her interview for the initial post of Frame|Work, Lydia says:

I want to help people get their heart back in their bodies, and use that to move, and to find out more about themselves, about who they were made to be, about understanding each other, with the understanding and the belief that they don’t need to change who they are to be better dancers. I mean, technically we want to grow and everything, but dance is this gift, and I want everyone to experience it. I think that in a lot of ways dance has become for a select few, and that makes me really sad because we find out so much about who we are and the world that we live in through moving and through dancing. This is how we are on earth; we are in a body. The capacity for the body to move, and do incredible things, small or big, changes how we think, changes how we see each other, and it changes how we feel about ourselves (emphasis added).

Lydia is more generous than Kurt Vonnegut. I am not. I practice arts because I discovered that these practices enrich and satisfy me; they make my soul grow. And, for the most part, I practice arts as an amateur, which is to say that I do it for love of the practice or field, not for mastery of the practice or field. Lydia, on the other hand, is a degree-holding, working dance artist who is respected, celebrated, and promoted by her peers. She created a professional company to realize her vision of artistic production, and then, seeing a need, she developed curricula for dance education with the same open yet specific spirit as her performance practice. Do you see in the quotes above how Lydia took the idea of practising art for self-discovery, for soul-growing, and expanded it to include community, the connection and interaction of souls, and the kind of understanding about oneself and one’s world that can only come from practices that are communal? Dance is a gift, and it can grow souls, and it can grow communities. This is what Frame Dance Productions offers its dancers, professional and amateur. This is what I get out of being a Framer. I hope you will join us; in classes, in audiences, and in our social media communications, which includes this re-imagined blog. Talk to us, here and anywhere. Be part of the community, part of the communication. Build this Frame|Work with us.

Looking ahead, Frame|Work will feature more interviews with Framers from the professional company, dance classes, youth and multi-generational ensembles, as well as behind-the-scenes folks and what I like to call Frame-adjacent creatives and professionals. There will be articles about the arts working in people, in education, and in the community. It will also offer a curated look at Houston-specific happenings, and some of our favorite places on the World Wide Web. Let us know what you like. Let us know what you need. We look forward to working with you.

Hear From The Framers

Interviews

Hey Framers!

Ms. Catalina Molnari told us one of her favorite local spots in Houston. The Jade Garden Classical Chinese Medicine. If you’ve had a stressful day/ week, this tranquil abode offers soothing teas and healing services including chiropractic, massage, bodywork, re-connective healing and yoga. These holistic classes infuse 2,000 year old traditional medicine methods that help their weary visitors reduce their stress and boost their energy levels.

Frame Dance’s Catalina says it’s a great place to simply relax with a fresh cup of herbal tea after a satisfying session in her martial arts class. Instead of heading home right after work and suffering through Houston traffic, try The Jade Garden Classical Chinese Medicine in the Heights. It must be a great place because Catalina told Frame Dance if she’s not at work or home it’s she’s at The Jade Garden.

 

Click on the picture to find out more!

 

download

Frame Dance Productions’ Beginner Adult Workshop According to a Non-Dancing Framer

Education

 

Still not sure about attending the Beginner Adult Workshop?

 

I understand how intimidating it can be to go to a dance class and feel completely overwhelmed. You feel awkward and even slow at times, but this isn’t your typical dance class-it’s better. We weren’t just learning simplified dance moves. This class allows us to forget the mundane calculating world and just lets us enjoy being creative for a day. One of the best things about this workshop is the fact we are not only getting in shape through dance and yoga but we also get the opportunity to expand our creative minds. That’s not something most dance classes teach. That’s why I say this workshop is better. It offers a variety of things that people normally don’t find in typical dance classes.

I’m not a professional dancer so I was very thankful our first session wasn’t dancing at all. We simply walked about the room to loosen up. I could do that! We then learned about the various parts of our feet and I honestly had no idea how complex the human foot was! I found out we have outer, middle and inner parts to our heels, arches, pads and even toes. It felt great stretching each part of my foot. I felt each individual toe move as we walked and it really relieved stress in our backs as well. I enjoyed the first session. It was a great break ice breaker to get me ready for Jackie’s intro to modern dance class.

It was nice having one of the Framers teaching us about basic modern dance steps and exercises instead of having a third party teaching it. It made me feel more connected to the Frame Dance team by seeing how they dance/train and use simple body movements to create beautiful dance routines for different shows. I especially liked the fact we spent so much time lying on the floor doing stretching exercises. Who wouldn’t love that if they went to a dance class?

I loved learning new easy ways to stay in shape that didn’t involve spending a lot of money on equipment. That’s one of the other great things about this workshop! We can learn new skills that require no experience and no special gear. Jackie taught us very basic, what felt like ballet moves. Now don’t worry you’re not expected to perform Swan Lake by the end of the class. They were very simple and we did them several times. It wasn’t like other classes where they show a move and they see if you can get it by the second example. Jackie would put on fun music and we would travel across the room. The moves were kind of a mixer of ballet and basic waltzing moves. I know it sounds intimidating when putting them together but they were very easy to pick up.

After Jackie’s intro to modern dance session, it was time to move onto yoga! Yoga mats out and ready to go! The yoga portion of the workshop was very rewarding physically and mentally. As much as I enjoy doing yoga at home, I wasn’t the most coordinated person in the class, but I had fun. I felt skinnier the more we did it! Definitely worth it! I liked the idea of having a session that everyone was used to. I looked forward to that particular session because it was something I already knew and felt comfortable doing. Plus, everyone got to take a short “nap” in the dark dance studio as a part of yoga. Now that should definitely make you want to go to the workshop. Great idea Frame Dance!

After a great lunch at the Vietnamese restaurant across street, we teamed up with another Framer-Alex, who taught us fun creative exercises that expanded our imaginations during the creative writing portion of the workshop. As I stated before, these workshops aren’t typical. I thought we would just sit around, write in our journals and that was it. Nope! Alex had us walk around the room in any direction we desired and would play word association games. We were still being physically active while being mentally tested.

But my favorite part about the creative writing tutorial was plastering colorful sticky notes all over the dance studio with words or phrases of inspiration. But he took it a step further and made us add onto each others’ work and in the end producing a very original short stanza or poem. That was just amazing to see different people with different levels of written creativity come together and create this beautiful and coherent piece of art. It was amazing to see!

The final part was just fun. I don’t know how to describe it in any other way. Lydia Hance, one of the co-founders of Frame Dance, taught us how to take the words/ phrases we produced from the creative writing class and portray them through dance moves. We basically just built on what we learned from Alex but instead of writing, we used our bodies to convey a story.

We had four people in the final session and we each came up with a different dance move. It was incredible how many stories we could tell just by using four dance moves. Sometimes the story would be about controlling one another like puppets on strings or opening someone’s eyes to the beauty of life. All from four dance moves. Amazing. The best part was it was all from our own creativity. No one was telling us how our part should be or how our part fits into the story. We simply told stories.

All in all, this adult workshop is a wonderful idea for anyone looking to get into shape but not wanting to spend the money on a gym. It’s educational, productive and yet relaxing. This class offers the chance to expand creative minds and stay in shape in fun ways. Tap into your artistic side for a day before heading back to the black, white and gray world of responsibility and math. The Framers did a great job in coordinating a friendly and unique workshop. And it’s only $60 for the whole day! Cheap and easy! What more could you ask for? I hope to see all of you on October 25th at the MET Dance Studio. Until then, keep dancing.

 

Click on the picture and register today!

Frame Dance - Multi-Gen Class - Discovery Green Water Promo -  Photographer Lynn Lane-65.jpg

Hear from the Framers

Interviews

Hey Everyone!

I hope all of you are enjoying your Tuesday. If not, it was because you didn’t know about Danielle Garza’s Quick and Easy Overnight Oats recipe!

It’s tough sometimes trying to find something healthy in a world of fast food and high carbs. Even breakfast items! The most important meal of the day and it’s too unhealthy and can make you sluggish. Some snack companies claim to be “healthier alternatives” but in reality are actually higher in carbs than the “bad stuff.”

It really can be challenging when you’re trying to stay fit and sometimes you just don’t have time to prepare an easy meal (or your like me and just don’t really care to cook).

Well, no fear! Here is a low-carb alternative that you can put your personal spin on.

 

Quick and Easy Overnight Oats

 

  • Fill mason jar with 1/2 cup oats, 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup almond milk, raisins and chia seeds.
  • Blueberries and Bananas (Or any fruit you love)
  • Optional: Add cinnamon or sweetener.
  • Then put in the fridge over night and have a great breakfast ready in the morning that keeps you energized throughout a busy day! Or at least until your next meal 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Food for Thought

Eat Well Wednesday

10 Interesting Facts About Caffeine

 

https://cranemedicine.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/hot-cup-tea.jpg

People may not think of caffeine as the most popular mood-altering drug in the world, even those who use it daily, by drinking coffee, tea, sodas or energy drinks as part of their routine.

Whether it’s brewed from a K-Cup, sipped in sweet tea, savored in chocolate or downed in cola, caffeine is a mild stimulant to the central nervous system that has become a regular fixture in everyday life. 

 

Cari Nierenberg, a Live Science Contributor, writes about 10 Interesting Facts About Caffeine. This article covers topics like “How Long Does it Stay in Your System?”, “Withdrawal Issues”, “Can People Truly Be Addicted?” and others.