100 Creatives: Andy Noble

(Part of our ongoing series profiling 100 Houston-area artists. No rankings; no order. Check back every Tuesday and Thursday for another edition.)

What he does: "I have a hip-hop background," says Andy Noble, co-founder of Noble Motion Dance, "and that's how I came to dance. I started off as a breakdancer." With his wife Dionne Sparkman Noble, Andy has built a company of diverse backgrounds and influence that approaches modern dance from a unique perspective, free from rigid training regimens like ballet, and with a lean toward theater and film. "Both my wife and I have studied dance and technology," says Noble, "we've made filmwork before. We're not afraid to incorporate technology into our work." Noble considers himself a director as much as a choreographer, and he incorporates character, plot and spectacle, in addition to movement and shape, into his dance pieces.

Why he likes it: The 36 year-old enjoys the collaborative nature of dance. "I really love working with dancers, my wife and other collaborators," says Noble. "For me that's the most important part of the work. If you enjoy the people you're working with then the product is enjoyable." Noble also enjoys the potential to influence others. "This might sound cheesy, but I think art can make a difference," he says. "It may not change people's life decisions, but maybe they go home and they're nicer to their husband or their wife for a moment, and maybe that helps a little bit. I'm not under the belief that I can change the world with my work, but maybe I can make it a little bit better."

What inspires him: Besides being inspired by colleagues and collaborators, Noble gets ideas from artwork of all kinds, especially film. In the Bedroom, Fight Club and Where the Wild Things Are have all inspired specific works. "Quite often I'll see images in films that I'll incorporate. I also watch how the actors use their bodies to communicate and how it's framed," he says.

If not this, what? If Noble wasn't a choreographer, he imagines he'd be working in film or theater. "The reason I didn't go [the theater] route was that the family was all doing that," says Noble, whose parents and family have a theater background. "My way of rebelling was being a dancer."

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David McGee

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