Women at Work

The monthlong Summer Dance Festival includes a number of showcases, plus workshops and master classes by the likes of former Martha Graham principal dancer Steve Rooks (see Classes & Workshops in Calendar). Houston's all-woman Weave Dance Company opens the fest's performance schedule with a program titled "Circle of Trees," featuring new works and accompaniment by a distaff contingent from OrchestraX.

" 'Weave' depicts motion and women working together," says trouper Juliet Hicks, who adds that the company's name reflects the members' collective desire to "evoke something feminine." Co-founder Jennifer Lawson agrees, saying, "We use movement as a way to tell stories and to tell what we feel are truths about women's lives."

The pieces Weave will perform in "Circle of Trees" reflect the sextet's ambition to combine rigorous technical skill with creativity of spirit. Lawson, inspired by Cornell University historian Joan Jacobs Brumberg's The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls, choreographed the piece "Fast." She says it's an examination of "how we control our bodies through what we eat -- is it really the individual who has the ultimate control or society?" An untitled piece by Hicks explores the journey of a woman trying to find a path for herself in her world; the work incorporates video and evolves from text: "I get movement out of words," she says. Maria Montes de Oca's untitled work is set to the dreamy, world-fusion music of Dead Can Dance; she says it evokes the frustrations of daily life -- and the joy of escaping from the rut.

The Summer Dance Festival continues through July 12.
-- Melissa Jacobs

Weave Dance Company's "Circle of Trees": 8 p.m. Saturday, June 20; 3 p.m. Sunday, June 21. The Jewish Community Center, 5601 South Braeswood. Info: 729-3200, extension 3223. More info: 551-7255. $12; $7 for students and seniors.


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