Dance Goulash

The Uptown Dance Center presents a mixed program of modern and classical dance.

By BoJanay Posey October 4, 2013

Dance Infusion 2013
Oct 5 at 3 & 7
$30; seniors $25; college students $15
I.W. Marks Theatre Center
Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center
5601 South Braeswood Blvd 

Toss in a quarter cup of modern, a half cup of ballet, sprinkle in some jazz, and the result is a dance goulash. Uptown Dance Center will offer Houstonians a taste of several different dance styles with their season opener this Saturday at I.W. Marks Theater Center.

“Within one show, you get to see all these different styles,” says Beth Gulledge-Brown, the director of Uptown. “So we try to give something for everyone to enjoy and also show the broad range of dance styles. And I think it’s also unique that we feature emerging artists and well-known ones within the same performance.”

The evening will mix works from Broadway chorographer Chet Walker alongside debut work from Erik Sampson, a professional Uptown dancer and choreographer for Uptown’s Company II.

Sampson’s Relational Disquiet is a contemporary piece based on his observation of society and social media. Though people today have many ways to connect with others, we live in one of the loneliest societies and generations in history, Sampson says. He asked Company II to combine his movements with their personal stories.

“I asked them [Company II] questions like, ‘Has there ever been a situation where you wondered, is this really who I want to be?’” Sampson says. “‘Is this who I want to demonstrate myself to, or do I even feel lonely trying to keep up and maintain a face in public?’” 

While Relational Disquiet conveys an abstract impression of life using gestures, props, and motifs, Paquita, a classical ballet choreographed by Adrian Ciobanu, takes a literal approach by telling the story of a wedding, and Alex Pandiscio’s Café Flor, a contemporary work, gives the audience a sense of nostalgia by taking us to a routine place, a café.

But the night isn’t all storytelling. Walker will premiere two works of jazz, Take Back the Night and OMG, and Gulledge-Brown will end the evening with Collage, a contemporary ballet.

“What makes Dance Infusion different and unique is the fact that one company does a concert of premiere works and that we perform so many different styles within one performance,” Gulledge-Brown says.

Like we said: a dance goulash.

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