For six years, Midtown-based Frame Dance has combined performance art with technology to create unique and interpretive dance pieces. This month the modern company partners with Asia Society Texas to present Drift, a unique exploration of sound, movement and process.
“We decided on the title of the piece, Drift, because we were interested in the chain of information processing,” explains Lydia Hance, Executive and Artistic Director of Frame Dance Productions.
To add a sense of improvisation and spontaneity, Hance integrated INDRA—a computer program designed by Drake Anderson—into the show. Because the musicians and dancers do not know what the music will sound like each time they rehearse or perform it, they must prepare specific choreography based on what the music calls for them to do. “The computer conducts the music, which travels quickly to the musicians' computers, who play what's on their screen, and the dancers listen to the music and convert that music into movement,” notes Hance.
Comprised of three different works, the movement ranges from subtle to physical, from gently expansive to explosive. Hance and composer Robert McClure wanted to stress the marriage between water and movement. “A large part of the piece consists of intricate running patterns,” Hance describes. The dancers move quickly in curving thin lines into a flock, and back again. The music calls them off into different short bits of movement and pulls them back into the group. “My choreography plays with the many ways to visually drift an image, idea, shape, and group of dancers across the stage space.”
“Lingering Garden,” the first portion of the program, is a meditative piece created for five female dancers where the shapes in the choreography are drawn from the famous Lingering Garden in Suzhou, China. “The dancers and I worked the intricate, unusual rock formations into the choreography through unique partnering between the women,” Hance notes. The performance continues with “At Waters Edge” and concludes with “Drift,” a high-energy piece where dancers flood the stage in a whirling dervish of motion.
“As the choreographer,” Hance says, “this has been a puzzle to figure out what to make variable and what to make consistent so that there is living, breathing excitement in the unknown.”
January 28–30. 7:30. $25. Asia Society Texas, 1370 Southmore Blvd. 713-496-9901. asiasociety.org