Dance + Film = Julydoscope

Fourth annual family festival at Discovery Green highlights five dance groups, screening of Oscar-winning documentary.

By Shy Hardiman July 18, 2014

Image: Anna Veselova

July 19 at 6:30
Discovery Green
1500 McKinney St. 

On Saturday, Discovery Green will host the fourth annual Julydoscope, a free family festival organized by the Houston Cinema Arts Society (HCAS) that features art, live dance, and a film. Beginning at 7 p.m. there will be performances from five dance groups: Hierro Forjado, Mnemosyne International, Dance of Asian America, Compañia Folklorica Alegria Mexicana, and Urban Souls.

As their names suggest, each group’s form of dance is very different. All of the performing companies are members of local arts incubator Dance Source Houston, and were selected for the festival with the help of HCAS executive director Trish Rigdon.

“They are five very eclectic and culturally diverse dance groups,” said Rigdon, who previously worked in Rice University’s theater program from 2000 to 2007. “We purposely look for style and variety in culture because we want to represent Houston demographics. We want to represent new ideas and artistic expression to the public.”

The featured film is 20 Feet from Stardom, which won last year’s Academy Award for Best Documentary. The movie examines the lives of backup singers, showing how much these often uncredited performers contribute to the world’s most recognizable albums. “We’re dedicated to giving the public innovative films that celebrate the artistic process,” Rigdon told us. “This one tells such an interesting story—it’s a really well-done documentary, and the singers have fabulous voices.”

This year’s Julydoscope will coincide with Discovery Green’s perennially popular Flea by Night craft market, and several of the city’s acclaimed food trucks will be on hand. But Dance Source Houston’s executive director and Julydoscope co-organizer Stephanie Wong is most excited about the variety of dance styles on display. Each of the groups is performing a representative work from their repertoire. She hopes that the audience will be intrigued enough to dig deeper into Houston’s rich dance scene.

Image: Anna Veselova

“I think each of [the groups] is really doing a brilliant job of showcasing their genre,” Wong said. “Each of those groups is well-invested in their communities and has done a lot to bring high caliber work.”

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