14th Annual Celebration of Dance

November 5, 2016
The Wortham Center

The 14th Annual Celebration of Dance honored legacy teaching artists Mary Martha Lappe, Mitsi Shen, and Patsy Swayze, and hosted by Harrison Guy.

New Second Line by METdance

Choreography: Camille A. Brown
Restaging: Francine E. Ott
Dancers: Jesus Acosta, Mia Angelini, Kayla Collymore, Dwayne Cook, Andres De Blust Mommaerts, Risa D’Souza, Kerry Jackson, Genene McGrath, Brittney Smith, Paige White, Brett Wotherspoon
Music: Rebirth Brass Band

Commissioned by Reflections Dance Company in 2006 and inspired by the events of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, this work is a dedication and celebration of the spirit and culture of the people of New Orleans. Second Line is a traditional brass band parade for weddings, social events, and most notably, funerals. The people who follow the parade dancing with high energy and spirit are known as the ‘second line’.

The Nutcracker (excerpt) by Houston Ballet

Choreography: Stanton Welch
Dancers: Sara Webb and Connor Walsh
Music: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Costume Design: Tim Goodchild

A sneak peek at the ACT II pas de deux from the upcoming world premiere of Stanton Welch’s The Nutcracker.

Toccata by HSPVA Dance Department

Choreography: Mary Martha Lappe
Restaging: JoDee Engle
Dancers: Sarah Gowdy, Natalie Katz, Avery Moore
Music: Mannheim Steamroller

A trio choreographed by honoree Mary Martha Lappe in 1987 on three Senior HSPVA Dance Majors.

I Smile by Visions of Faith from Lilly Grove Missionary Baptist Church

Choreography: Jessica Page
Dancers: Janiah Bouldin, Riana Bouldin, Gary Evans, Khaitlynn Evans, Kheliyah Houston, Kiersten Joe, KiJa Johnson, Chandler Jones, Cameron Mask, Trinity McCleary, Maya Menefield, Jessica Pickett, MaKenzie Simon,  Jordan Walker, Brenna Winn, Arianna Wright
Music: Kirk Franklin

“I Smile” is a reminder to the believer that not everyday will go well, but we must remain positive and know that God is in control! We should smile through all we face because God is taking care of everything!

Open Hands by The Houston Dance Lab’s Youth Company

Choreography: Devon Sells
Dancers: Taylor Anderson, Janetra Davis, Jordan Gregorcyk-Landrey, Trevon Johnson,Tiara Rose,  Jacqueline Taylor, Jayla Wright
Music: Ingrid Michealson

The effects of divorce weigh heavily on the children. They can change their perception of the ones who have loved them instantly. The struggle to find your way back to who you once were with your parents can be quite difficult. Nothing is worse than being used as a tool by one parent to hurt the other. Resentment will fester and hatred may grow.  If fortunate enough you will find peace with at least one parent by your side.

Bitter Earth by Ad Deum Dance Company

Choreography: Steve Rooks
Dancers: Dani Hammack, Shannon Benton, Leah Wierichs, Julie Haney, Katie Dearman
Music: Max Richter and Dinah Washington
Lighting: Tiffany Schrepferman

On a journey through life’s questions, two people ponder the sometimes harsh realities of life; joined by a chorus of three women who believe that as our hearts cry out for significance, Heaven’s hope will reveal that life “may not be so bitter after all…”

Spring Awakening by Dance of Asian America

Choreography: Wang Ge and Han Jin
Restaged: Yifan Zheng
Dancers: Tara Diep, Evelyn Fung, Abby Ganze, Grace Hao, Serena Hou, Angela Ling, Rachel Reid, Isabella Truong, Nadia Truong, Brandy Xie, Tiffany Yan, Alice Yi, Saranna Zhang, Magen Zeng

Spring has arrived. This dance depicts the budding of new life on earth.

Swing, Baby, Swing! (excerpts)

Choreography: Carla Earle
Dancers: Hindolo Bongay, Ashton Booth, Atriana Dearmon, Le’andre Douglas, Sydney Felton, Julian Granberry, LaKendra Howard, Darius Johnson, Anaya Judson, Alde Lewis*, Jeffrey Louis, Venishia Marthrel, Kierra McKay, Tony Merriwether, Jeremy Mitchell, Olivia Olivares, Shamond Powell, Leanna Sparacino, Samantha Taborda, Brenden Winkfield
Singers: Veronica Carroll, Anthony Hurman, Alex Kennedy, Cecil Shaw, Kijanna Wiseman
Music: Issac Boney, David Donaldson, Alvin King, George and Ira Gershwin, Harry Akst, Grant Clarke, Duke Ellington, Irving Mills
Lyrics: Norma Miller
Writers: Dwight Baxter, Andrea Cody, Carla Earle, Norma Miller, Sister Mama Sonya
Lighting: Tiffany Schrepferman

Vignettes from the script workshop of a new musical theatre production for Norma Miller, the Queen of Swing. The musical features Lindy hop and is all about love, joy, and bringing people together.

*Alde Lewis performs courtesy of the newly relocated A. L. Efficacy Movement, a nonprofit organization for dance and theatre in the Houston area.

Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better by Lunchbox Dance Crew

Choreography: Aaron Medina, Steve Lozano, Eileen Tayam
Dancers:  Cameron Giles, Daniel Sanchez, David Menchaca, Jannai Portillo, Kayla Lang, Kirsten Farrington, Sarai Guzman, Ahmiya Laboy, Trinity Torres, Akayla Gardner, Camryn Jaeger, Helen Sanderson, Kennadi Smith, April Guzman, Marielle Zubire, Rayven Toca, Tori Richardson, Zoe McClendon
Music: “Anything You Can Do” from Annie Get Your Gun, “Wine & Kotch” by J Capri, “Beat Down” by Steve Aoki, “Ultimate” by Denzel Curry, “Run the World (Girls)” by Beyoncé, “Bust Em” by Party Favor

A classic boys versus girls story with a Lunchbox twist! Who will win? Watch and see!

Ardhanari (Symbol of Duality) by Nritya Academy of Classical Indian Dance

Choreography: Padmini Chari
Dancers: Meghana Thota Prerana Atreya, Shruti Natarajan, Shravya Satish, Prachi Shah, Manasa Udthawar, Varsha Vasu, Meenakshi Venkatraman
Participants: Aishwarya Ramachandran, Divya Nagarajan,

A piece that represents the synergy between the masculine energy (Purusha) and the feminine energy (Prakriti) of the universe. It elaborates on the duality of consciousness within all life and in all forms of nature. The feminine as balancing the masculine- the beauty in contrast. The adaptation of choreography expresses the contrast between grace and vigor.

African Airways (excerpt) by Pretty Cultured

Choreographers and Dancers: Felicia Thomas, Stacey Allen, & Lindsay Garrigue
Music: Sean Kuti & Egypt 80

This piece is an excerpt from a larger piece titled …in all her glory. It is the fifth section that ends a journey to joy, acceptance, and the glory of African beauty. It is Afro-modern fusing traditional West African movement with modern Horton technique to create a movement vocabulary that is fun and celebrates cultural glory.

2Ch7:14 – The Healing Formula by the Grace Praise Dancers from Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church

Choreography: Erica Henderson
Dancers: DeVaughn Eghomwanre, Erica Henderson, Jason Holmes, Mikaila Pallet, Chantel Perry, Q. Olivia Rivers, Aaricka Washington, Ke’Oisha White, Aun’Jel Yepp
Music: Kirk Franklin, featuring Sarah Reeves, Tasha Cobbs, and Tamela Mann

“2Ch7:14 – The Healing Formula” speaks to our present times; the conditions to our restoration are that we must pray, seek God’s face and change our ways. This piece is the emotional journey through the pain, plea, and advanced praise of a people seeking His healing for their lost and dying world.

Seventeen by Inertia Dance Company

Choreography: Bryan Paule and Ty’Esha Lewis
Dancers: Brenda Almanza, Alexis Baker, Sydney Balcom, Hector Cisneros, Dale Cummings, Brianna Dorantes, Erin Gim, Kiara Guyton, George Henson, Makaila Jackson, Hue Le, Jason Levine, Elena Lohmann, Steven Lopez, Euriah McQueen, Hayley Morgan, Kevin Nguyen, Deveon Ollison, Kennedi Taylor, Ava Tran, Jalon Turner, Fiama Villagrana-Ocasio, Myles Watson, Floyd Worsley, and Yoshiki Zaitsu
Music: “September” by Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick

“Seventeen,” celebrates the 17th year of Inertia.  Rising to the occasion, dancers explore the youth, joys and theatrics of boys vs. girls with style and grace to realize they are equal and better as one.

Photos by James Wiseman.