Catapult: Dance meets Design
. Husband-and-wife artistic directors and choreographers Andy Noble and Dionne Sparkman Noble agree that it would have been easy to make the five dance works mechanical, and therefore less human, but, adds Dionne Noble, “I think music and lighting and the dancers themselves soften the edges throughout, but it is true that these are real structures – there’s steel onstage, there’s a largeness, a grandness to the structures. I think we can only be human against them.”
7:30 p.m. Friday and August 26. The Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. For information, call 713-315-2525 or visit noblemotiondance.com
. $25 to $35.
NobleMotion Dance is flying high in Catapult: Dance meets Design, a new evening of daring choreography that premieres at The Hobby Center’s Zilkha Hall, August 25 & 26 at 7:30 PM. NobleMotion has partnered with an industrial designer to create 5 custom built interactive sets, reimagined from everyday structures, that shape the space and offer new terrain challenges for the dancers. Deconstructed tunnels, flipping doors, and a 12-foot spinning/teetering stone mill are a few of the landscapes. Each structure will offer surfaces for projection mapping and will be engineered as a surreal dancer obstacle course, providing innovative ways to climb, swing, and vault. It’s a physically exciting show; think dance meets parkour with a dash of cirque.
Stone Mill: Ziggurat, a world premiere in collaboration with Jared Doster and David J Deveau, is inspired by the structural feats of early civilizations. Dancers construct a 12-foot stone mill structure on stage and portray a societal hierarchy from laborers to deities. At times mythical, Ziggurat has an old-world feel and showcases the dancers’ physicality and teamwork. Zigguratwill be the first dance made for a new mix of dancers as NobleMotion is welcoming several fresh faces to the company this season.
Doors: Portal reimagines how doorways can be used as dancers jump through memories to pivotal moments of life. Two doors transform into a table, a seesaw, and ramps as scenes of children playing, love teetering, and family conflict unfold. Some moments nostalgic and others surprising, portal comments on the universal nature of love and loss. Choreography and set concept by Andy Noble, industrial engineering by Jared Doster, projection design by Jonathan Kinsey, and light design by Bryan Ealey define the world.
Tunnels: Aorta is a female take on the superhero genre and plays with the notion that “behind every good man is a woman.” Choreographed by Dionne Sparkman Noble in collaboration with light artist Bryan Ealey, Aorta uses tunnels to excavate a relationship rife with complexities. “It’s like looking into a telescope at a hero’s moment of weakness,” states Sparkman Noble. The tunnels and cyclical movement create an illusory effect that draw the eye deeper into the action as the dancers propel through lifts and momentarily dance sideways on concave walls.
Ramps: Echo is a dynamic and socially conscious work that examines a war torn community. Composed in two parts, Echo features 25 dancers storming down ramps into the chaos of battle. It continues NobleMotion’s trend of putting big visceral dance on stage. The second section, an introspective duet, shows a couple left picking up the pieces. The juxtaposition of the two sections speaks to the world’s current challenges as well as the endurance of the human spirit.
Imagine a door becoming a see-saw, a 12-foot-tall stone mill morphing into a Ferris wheel or a tunnel that narrows your point of view like a telescope. Now factor in a company of dancers, leaping and swinging, climbing and twisting against these transformable set pieces, and you’ve got NobleMotion Dance’s