Weekend of Texas Contemporary Dance

August 11, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

Weekend of Texas Contemporary Dance
Free, at Miller Outdoor Theatre
September 23-24, 2011

Houston, Texas – August 11, 2011 –Dance Source Houston <http://www.houstondance.org> presents the 17th annual Weekend of Texas Contemporary Dance at Miller Outdoor Theatre <http://www.milleroutdoortheatre.com/default.asp?Mode=DirectoryDisplay&id=1&DirectoryUseAbsoluteOnSearch=True> on September 23-24, 2011 at 8 PM.  Gone are the days of just dancing on a bare floor. Through doorways, on screen, and up walls, Weekend brings to life contemporary dance as an artistic expression for 21st century humanity. Framed by Texas’ top performing companies, Weekend is a mixture of athleticism, technology, and imagination rolled into one evening.  This year’s program features Ad Deum Dance Company <http://www.danceaddeum.com/> , Earthen Vessels/Sandra Organ Dance Company <http://www.organdance.org/index.htm> , HIStory, Houston Metropolitan Dance Company <http://www.houstonmetdance.org/index.htm> , infinite Movement Ever Evolving (iMEE) <http://www.infinitemoves.com/> ; Psophonia Dance Company <http://www.psophonia.com/> , Vault <http://www.amyell.com/Vault/Home.html> and independent choreographer Ashley Horn.

Dance Source Houston also presents Dance Around the World, a free family matinee that juxtaposes two different dances genres on Saturday, September 24, 2011 at 11 AM at Miller Outdoor Theatre. Dance Around the World is an entertaining yet educational introduction to dance for young and old viewers alike.

For additional information and video footage from each of the companies, visit www.dancesourcehouston.org <file:///C:\Users\Toni%20Valle\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary%20Internet%20Files\Content.Outlook\IQHBZ5JY\www.dancesourcehouston.org> . For ticket information for the evening program only, directions and location of Miller Outdoor Theatre, visit www.milleroutdoortheatre.com <http://www.milleroutdoortheatre.com> or call (713) 373-3386.  For dance updates, follow Dance Source Houston on Facebook <http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dance-Source-Houston/24260892786?ref=ts>  and Twitter <http://twitter.com/dancesource> .

Ad Deum Dance Company will present Unconfined, a work inspired by Artistic Director Randall Flinn’s experiences in Communist-controlled Germany/Eastern Europe.   Critic D.L. Groover commented, “This piece is heavy and sinuous, infused by tribal beats and ritualized gestures, set to the driving, raw folk sound of the Warsaw Village Band. A man struggles against conformity, manifest in a coat that he dons or removes with a visceral effect upon him, and with appropriate response from the frightened community around him.” (11/6/10, Dance Source Houston).  Unconfined premiered at the Onesimo Gonzalez International Festival of Contemporary Dance in Guadalajara Mexico, 2010.

Earthen Vessels / The Sandra Organ Dance Company presents Rails, Rows, and Seasons choreographed by Sandra Organ, with projection of John Biggers’ artwork, FOUR SEASONS (2004), and set to music by Bobby McFerrin. Biggers established the art department at Texas Southern University, where he served as professor for more than 30 years. Biggers’ works feature prominently in the history of African American art and are included in private collections and museums at home and abroad. Houston audiences are probably most familiar with “The Quilting Party” which hangs today in Wortham Center, Downtown Houston.  Organ’s choreography, inspired by the patterns, symbols and structures of Biggers’ work, picks up on the theme of railroad tracks, row houses and the seasons bursting forth through the gateway arches of the doorframe. The archetypal matriarch holds down the fort as she endures life on the other side of the tracks. The incessant rhythms of the music structure, swirling transitions and soaring golden hues carry the piece along.  Rails, Rows, and Seasons premiered at Barnevelder Movement Arts Complex in 2011.

HIStory Dance Company will present a Houston favorite, Check It Out, featuring the collaborative choreography of Joel Rivera, Mark Chaves, Jesse Garcia, Bryan Paule and Sharon Roberts.  A rousing celebration of hip hop dance, with music from Beastie Boys and Mark Ronson, Check It Out is full of energy, skills, and thrills.

Nooks is a dance-for-film piece created by choreographer Ashley Horn, developed from the idea that the architecture of homes creates unique narratives that can be explored through movement and imagery. In collaboration with videographer and artist Aisen Caro Chacin, Nooks tells the story of a man who misses the magic of the home he has created. Nooks premiered at the Big Range Dance Festival in 2009 and since has been shown at the Third Coast Dance on Film Festival (2010).

The Houston Metropolitan Dance Company presents Kate Skarpetowska’s Consumed, a work with music by Meredith Monk and Richie Hawthine. Consumed deals with the stresses that modern society puts on an individual. In the initial solo we see a man trapped in the proverbial cage, the constraints of which drive him to take a dramatic leap. What follows is the portrayal of a “swallowing machine” and the unraveling of an individual psyche in the face of that force.  Skarpetowska was a member of The Parsons Dance Company, The Battleworks Dance Company, and The Lar Lubovitch Dance Company.   Her choreography has been performed by various universities, Houston Metropolitan Dance Company, Hubbard Street 2 and the Parsons Dance Company. Consumed premiered on the JCC Triple Focus stage in 2010 and is a signature piece of the Houston Met Dance Company.

Infinite Movement Ever Evolving (iMEE) presents the startling duet, Ivonice, a piece in remembrance of the awe-inspiring dancer and choreographic genius of Brazilian choreographer Ivonice Satie, who lost her battle with cancer in 2008.  iMEE Artistic Director, Andrea Dawn Shelly remarks, “She left an indelible mark upon my heart, my dancing and my choreographic voice.  Experiencing her work, her tutelage, her spirit, helped define who I am as an artist.  I was inspired to create this work while driving across the West and viewing the grandeur of the Grand Canyon.  I had just learned of Satie’s passing and was saddened by the world’s loss.  Sadness turned to joy with the realization of how much she had touched me.”   Ivonice premiered in Santa Barbara, California in 2009 and has been seen in California, Florida and Texas.

Psophonia Dance Company brings the stirring portrayal of one woman’s emotional journey in The Long Hallway. Changed forever by an unexpected trauma, a young woman confronts a juncture in her life symbolized by two opposing doors. Realizing she can no longer be the person she once was, she must decide whether to hold onto the memory of her old self or let go and move on. Set to an original composition by Pelayo Parlade, The Long Hallway awakens the spirit to change.

Aerial dance company Vault presents an excerpt from Amy Ell’s Torn, which will premiere in its entirety at DiverseWorks at the end of September.  This excerpt, previously performed at the aerial dance festival in La Baule, France, is danced by three women suspended on the face of a wall. Trained extensively as a dancer, Ell acknowledges she has an obsession with finding new ways to use all of the space within a performance arena – not only the ground, but also the air.

Dance Source Houston presents Weekend of Texas Contemporary Dance at Miller Outdoor Theatre on September 23 and 24, 2011 at 8 PM.  Dance Source Houston also presents Dance Around the World, a free family matinee, on Saturday, September 24, 2011 at 11 AM at Miller Outdoor Theatre.  The dance festival is sponsored in part by the City of Houston through the Miller Theatre Advisory Board, Inc. KUHF-FM Houston Public Radio <http://www.kuhf.org> is the official media sponsor.

For ticket information, directions and location of Miller Outdoor Theatre visit www.milleroutdoortheatre.com <http://www.milleroutdoortheatre.com> or call (713) 373-3386. For dance updates, follow www.dancesourcehouston.org <http://www.dancesourcehouston.org> , Facebook <http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dance-Source-Houston/24260892786?ref=ts> and Twitter <http://twitter.com/dancesource> .

Dance Source Houston is a service organization supporting the creation and presentation of contemporary dance in Houston.  Other Dance Source Houston projects include: The Dance Card, a bi-monthly calendar of area dance events; The Dance Table, sharing dance community information at area performances; the Dance Source Weekly Newsletter, an e-newsletter; Dance Writings, a platform to foster discussions in the community, and the website www.dancesourcehouston.org <http://www.dancesourcehouston.org> for upcoming performance information; previews and reviews.  These activities are funded in part by the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance.  Dance Source Houston is a participant in the MODE Arts Incubator Program supported by the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance. 

St. Jude “Evening of Hope” Gala

August 11, 2011 by  
Filed under Events, Uncategorized

Date: Saturday, April 28, 2012
Location: Westin Oaks Hotel – Houston, TX
Media Contact Person: Carolina Masri-Hamdan

The St. Jude is a first-rate, non-profit pediatric treatment and research facility that treats children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. St. Jude freely shares its discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the country and the world. It is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance.  No child is ever denied treatment because of a family’s inability to pay.

Your contribution in highlighting the image and activities that the St. Jude does, is in advance greatly appreciated.

NAM Hosts Fourth Annual Legislative Breakfast

August 10, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

Northwest Assistance Ministries (NAM) will host its fourth annual legislative breakfast on Thursday, September 8, 2011 from 7:30-9:30 a.m. at its main building at 15555 Kuykendahl.

The event will begin with a continental breakfast reception, followed by the forum at 8:00 a.m. The forum will include a panel discussion on current legislative issues affecting our community, with a focus on children. The program will be immediately followed by a tour of the NAM facility for those who are interested.

The topics selected for the panel are: food insecurity (SNAP benefits), Medicaid/CHIP, and violence against children. Confirmed panelists include:  State Rep. Allen Fletcher, State Rep. Debbie Riddle, State Rep. Senfronia Thompson and City Councilman Jarvis Johnson and Constable Ron Hickman.

The panel discussion will be moderated by Douglas “Woody” Lyons of Lyons & Marek. Reservations are required, as seating is limited. RSVP to Lauren Frazier at 281-885-4582 or lfrazier@namonline.org.

NAM is a nonprofit, community-based social service agency that is supported by over 50 congregations, 18 Service Partner organizations and more than 160 business Community Partners.

Houston Children’s Charity

August 9, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

Hosts the 2011 Back to School Program with
The Rod Ryan Show / 9
4.5 The Buzz & Bull Shirts

DATE:              Thursday, August 11th, 2011 – 12:00 – 2:00 pm.

WHERE:          Houston Children’s Charity Warehouse – 600 N. Shepherd, Suite 10
8 (77007)

WHAT:            Over 2,200 children from Houston Children’s Charity’s approved applicant list will receive backpacks with school supplies, courtesy of The Rod Ry
an Show / Bull Shirts.  

WHO:             Housto
n’s special children.

Houston Children’s Charity is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for Greater Houston’s underprivileged, abused, and handicapped children who have been otherwise left behind. The scope of our support is limited only by the availability of resources. Our goal is to let no legitimate request for assistance go unanswered.

Restaurant Week Blog: Cavour

August 8, 2011 by  
Filed under Blogs


At H Texas we love Houston Restaurant Week (now weeks!).  It’s like Mardi Gras coming to Houston. Follow us as we dine our way through town.

Note:  the first year, I ate out every single evening for the week.  I am certain I gained five pounds I’ve yet to lose.  Now, that this event encompasses the entire month…. We’ll dine at a slower pace.

Cavour Ristorante at Hotel Granduca

If you haven’t been here yet, this place is swanky!!!  Fabulous service – at least three servers buzzed around our group at all times.   We started with a refreshing white wine and then opted for the wine parings.

Granduca Salad
Mixed green salad with pesto champagne dressing, baby tomatoes and pine nuts

Caprese Salad
Bufala Mozzarella and tomato, with basil, olive oil and balsamic

Home cured beef with cannellini beans, flowers and micros, with mustard dressing


Folded pasta with spinach and ricotta, with Campari tomato sauce

Parmesan dill risotto, with salmon and sour cream

Scaloppine with mushroom Marsala Sauce, and penne with parmesan cream sauce




Panna Cotta







H Texas rating:

Romantic dining: *****

Family Friendly: *

Cost: ***

(* = Golden Forks; 5 is the highest)


August 8, 2011 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

Don’t touch that tomato. It might kill you. Same with beer and VinMariani. On the other hand, light up an unfiltered Lucky Strike – it’s better than that fattening candy. And get out of that wet bathing suit or the iron lung awaits you. Speaking of lungs, how’s your asbestos farm?

We may be doing ridiculous things today and not know it, but first let’s look backwards. Over the years we have been warned against almost everything, or told it’s OK. But much of what people thought was good or bad for them proved to be wrong years later. Example: Mineral Wells was once billed as “the South’s greatest health resort.” By 1920 the town had 400 mineral wells and was full of health-seekers. Today the mineral business there is a little slow. Go to the desert to get rid of that TB. Actually, there may have been some smarts in that recommendation. Governments spent fortunes on dirigibles, and France nearly went bankrupt building the Maginot Line. .

Hindsight is fine in reflecting on stock tips, Super Bowl bets and whether to bring your umbrella, but how about the more basic concepts? Are we smarter than those who came before us? Does the sun really go around the earth? Did Americans want to stop drinking and vote for Prohibition? They sure did.

Smart people held beliefs which, at the time, seemed plausible. The earth was flat. That was a slam dunk for millions of people over centuries. Columbus and weather satellites proved that theory wrong. George Washington, on his death bed, was treated with leeches. It was that or bat wings and moose tongue. Hey, he was rich, powerful and sick. The best medical minds of our country hovered over his death bed asking, “Who’s your HMO?” while attaching blood-sucking little worms to his saber-scared body. In the next room a death panel was reviewing his X-rays. Today that seems obscene. Tomatoes were not grown in England until the 1590s. Many thought they were poisonous, or at least unfit for eating. They were right.

The most grievous example is slavery. Except for a few Tea Party members, most people today think slavery was terrible. So why did our most thoughtful, intelligent and progressive Americans own slaves? Washington, Madison, Jefferson. All men were created equal, more or less. Robert E. Lee married into a slave-owning family, but didn’t sell his slaves to make a point. At the time, few did.

Angelo Mariani, a French chemist, combined ground coca leaves with Bordeaux in the 1860s and marketed his “tonic wine” under the name VinMariani. Each fluid ounce contained six milligrams of cocaine. Fans of the drug included Ulysses S. Grant, who, dying of throat cancer, drank it while writing his memoirs. The unsuspecting pusher even got endorsements from Jules Verne, Henrik Ibsen, Thomas Edison, Robert Louis Stevenson, Alexandre Dumas and Arthur Conan Doyle. Among heavy users of the drug itself was young Sigmund Freud. Today most experts don’t see cocaine as a cure-all, although Coca Cola still sells well.

In a scene in “Sunrise at Campobello,” FDR stays in his wet bathing suit for a while after leaving the pool, giving the slight hint that his wet suit caused his polio. That was a widely held belief. Remember when a good tan was a sign of good health? Just go out there on the beach and turn brown, then you’ll look like a bronze goddess or god. Today dermatologists get apoplectic at the thought of a dark suntan. Mine says, “Wear a cap, a sun visor, long sleeves, long pants, socks, ski mask. Breathe through a straw. And go inside when the sun comes up.”

What do saccharin, coffee, beer, burned meat, cell phones and electric power lines have in common? Studies showed that these various items caused cancer — in the case of saccharin, bladder cancer in rats that were injected with about 10,000 doses of the stuff. Then further studies showed the initial studies were wrong. But further studies, etc. etc. My chief suspects of carcinogens are studies.

With the advent of AIDS, the cause was linked to everything from drinking water to shaking hands. You got a cold by being cold. In 1964, the U.S. Surgeon General warned against cigarettes (but not cigars, thankfully). Until then, movie stars such as Ronald Reagan, Bob Hope and many others endorsed all kinds of brands. “Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet.” “More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette.” My father was a doctor who smoked unfiltered Camels. He died of throat cancer. Still, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality continues to assure us that a slight amount of pollution in our air is not bad.

Forget the past, what are we doing today that is so stupid or beneficial, but we don’t know it? What will our grandchildren say, with a rolling of the eyes and dripping condescension, “Grandma, you actually ate broccoli? No wonder you’re sick at 107. And you really owned a skateboard? I am so embarrassed.” Maybe living in Arkansas reduced our IQ. Perhaps naming anyone Rupert doomed them to a life of prosperous criminality. Is there a link between poodles and global warming? Our war on drugs may go down with Prohibition as a hopeless, expensive and frustrating undertaking.

“Grandpa, did you really watch ‘America’s Got Talent’?”

“Great Uncle Cosmo, my foreman says Congress used to spend more money than it had, which is why we’re working in a sweat shop and speaking Mandarin.”

What are we doing today that will most certainly kill us tomorrow?

“Give it to me straight, Doc. How long do I have?”

“Well, since you played the saxophone, let me put it this way, don’t buy any green bananas.”

It is the year 2034, and the doctor is looking at your arthritic hand. “You actually touched Velcro?” She shakes her head sadly. “All I can prescribe is a pack of Luckies a day.”

Ashby is slowly dying at ashby2@comcast.net



BrewMasters 5K Rock & Run

August 5, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

BrewMasters 5K Rock & Run, Sept. 3 at Moody Gardens.
Benefits the Galveston County Food Bank Gleanings from the Harvest program.

Saturday, September 3
7 a.m.
Moody Gardens
One Hope Blvd., Galveston, 77554

Party on the pavement is pre craft beer festival race and fundraiser for Galveston County Food Bank Gleanings from the Harvest.

www.brewmastersbeerfestival.com or call Race Director Candice Poston at (281)703-9759

Free Othello at Miller Outdoor Theatre

August 5, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

Free Othello at Miller Outdoor Theatre on Saturday August 6, 2011 at 6:45pm
100 Concert Drive (in Hermann Park)
Houston, TX 

Celebrates the National Instrument of Texas!  Grab your dancing shoes and join Texas Folklife for the 22nd Annual Accordion Kings & Queens Festival!

From Czech and German polkas, cumbia to conjunto, Cajun, zydeco and more, so come early and grab a great spot! Featured performers this year are: Brave Combo, Corey Ledet and his Zydeco Band and Mickey y Sus Carnales.
This is a ticketed event for the covered seating area. Free tickets are available (4 per person over age 16 while they last) at the Miller Outdoor Theatre box office the day of the performance between the hours of 10:30am-1pm. If tickets remain at 1pm, the box office will re-open one hour before show time to distribute the remaining tickets. As always, open seating on the hill.
Produced by Texas Folklife Resources
Phone: 281-FREE-FUN or 281-373-3386


August 1, 2011 by  
Filed under Blogs

THE THEATER – It’s show time. The ad in the newspaper said the movie shall begin at 4:15 — I snuck off early from my job as a charisma instructor for Alan Greenspan. It is now 4:15 and what they are showing on the screen is not the movie, “Rocky XXVI,” but an ad for Coke, then another ad, another, next a long string of trailers for upcoming movies. (Does the sound on these film trailers seem to be about 67 times louder than the featured film?) Then even more soon-to-be-seen movie clips.

At 4:30 sharp the opening credits begin rolling, a quarter of an hour totally wasted. This is when I think: there oughta be a law. Actually, a year or so ago a member of Congress did introduce a bill making it a federal law that movies must begin at the time stated. I never heard any more about it.

There should also be laws preventing anyone from possessing a cell phone that rings in the middle of a movie. A while back an Austin theater announced that anyone would be removed whose cell phone rang during a movie. Phones rang, customers were tossed, generating obscene phone calls later, but even more thankful notes.

These situations present a quandary for those of us who feel there are already too many laws, rules, ordinances and yellow tape around the crime scene. We yearn for independence and freedom from an oppressive government. We don’t need anyone ordering us to fasten our seatbelts, replace incandescent light bulbs with whale oil lamps and to refrain from texting while driving. This reminds me, Gov. Rick Perry recently vetoed a bill prohibiting texting while driving. He said the law was a government intrusion into our private lives. Oh, the delicious irony if the governor’s motorcade was… forget it.

Have you even awakened in a hotel room in the middle of the night and wanted to turn on the TV since you had already seen the earlier porn movie? You grope around for the bedside light, then get the TV remote – and can’t make it work. Hilton’s remote is different from the one you have in your den back home, which is not like the one in your kitchen, bedroom and houseboat. That night in Pampa, there was no way you could find the channel you were seeking. All those little buttons just rewind, stop, turn the volume up to the point where the people in the next room are banging on the wall. There oughta be a law requiring that all TV remotes are identical. Actually, I think there is a law requiring that they all be different. And why can’t NBC be the same channel everywhere?

This brings us to the late U.S. Sen. Lloyd Bentsen of Texas. A reporter once asked Bentsen why he, a wealthy man, always slept at Holiday Inns on the campaign trail. The senator could certainly afford the best. “Promise you won’t tell” he said. “All the bathrooms are in the same place.” Will anyone who has not walked into a door in the middle of the night at the Motel 6 in Nacogdoches looking for the john, raise your hand.

But where do we draw the line on governmental orders? When does the nanny government stop protecting us and start intruding into our lives? There is a lot of hypocrisy here. The same people who think it’s OK for the feds to regulate what gays do in their own home don’t want the government inspecting their fetid chicken-plucking plant for health hazards or their rusty steel mill for safety violations. It’s OK for the state of Texas to tell women what to do with their own bodies, but it’s Big Brother interference to take photos of you running red lights.

Some standards are iffy. Shoe sizes seem to be universal, but when the tag in the inside-neck of a shirt reads “L” as in “Large,” is the 9-year-old Bangladesh sweat-shop worker on the same page as his 10-year-old counterpart in Indonesia? It’s not that we should live in a lock-step world, but why are the numbers 1-2-3 across the top of my cordless phone, yet at the bottom of my calculator? How long did it take you to find the dashboard button to open the outside gas flap on your rented car? Standardization, anyone?

What about a standard language, i.e, English only? Do you get frustrated having to listen to everything twice? Why do I have to press 1 for English? How many languages are there on my ballot? One size fits all. On the other hand, it is wonderful to hear people speak that lilting Romance language. Ah, the food, the music, the culture. Don’t you just love Cajuns?

I have been told, but could never verify, that when the Red Army rolled into Germany in WW II, the commissar of railroads knew that the span between the railroad tracks of the two countries was a different distance. So he had locomotives and rail cars built to the Germans’ specifications. But sometimes we overdo it. In WW I, the U.S. Army ordered millions of nuts and bolts, but discovered too late that each manufacturer had its own size. When the Doughboys tried to bolt together a trench wall, they couldn’t. Thus was established the U.S. Agency for Nuts and Bolts, which ensured a standardized width, length and size for all our nuts and bolts. The agency was belatedly abolished by President Richard Nixon.

‘Tis said, “The best government is that which governs least.” The observation is attributed to either Thomas Jefferson or Thomas Paine. Wrong. Henry David Thoreau popularized it, but was coined by American journalist John Louis O’Sullivan. We don’t want Washington micromanaging Wall Street bankers, air polluters or health care, but there is something to be said for federal laws governing the design of TV remote controls – especially at 3 a.m. in Pampa.


Ashby is standard at ashby5@comcst.net



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