Image: Ben Doyle

METdance has always prided itself on bringing new works to Houston, and the organization’s upcoming concert continues the trend. When We Take Flight continues the group’s 23rd season, themed “Better together.” The program at the MATCH features four works by dynamic choreographers.

“The title piece, 'When We Take Flight,' is by Kyle Abraham,” explains Marlana Doyle, METdance’s artistic director. “He’s a great New York choreographer, and he created this piece in response to the dangers of AIDS. It was originally meant to be performed outside, and we are the first company in the country that will be doing it inside.”

Doyle says she worked not only with Abraham’s assistants on the choreography of the work, but also with the lighting and costume designers to re-create it as fully as possible. Doyle describes it as being both light and fun for the audience, as well as challenging for the dancers.

“I always want to push our dancers, both athletically and artistically,” she says. “And I really love the way this piece is structured.”

When We Take Flight also features a world premiere by Joshua Manculich, his first full-length work. Titled Starry Night, the dance is inspired by the Vincent Van Gogh painting of the same name. It’s divided into three sections, backed by the theme of the moon, and Doyle says the costumes use the blues and yellows and whites of the classic artwork. There is also a duet that centers around a troubled relationship, and a quartet from choreographer Bridget L. Moore. Doyle feels the duet is likely to resonate with people, given its themes, and she selected the Moore piece because she believed it was a great reflection of contemporary dance.

“As a company, we’ve always wanted to show the breadth of contemporary dance,” she says. “I want audiences to feel happy or sad or sit back and think after our pieces, and these works are all examples that show the athleticism and really detailed artistry in dance today.”

Nov. 15–17. Tickets from $18. MATCH, 3400 Main St. 713-521-4533. More info and tickets at metdance.org.

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