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Barnstorm Dance Fest Says Hey! to the "Macarena" (Ay!)

Barnstorm Dance Fest brings the down-home spirit of a hoedown to contemporary dance. The two-week showcase-style dance festival from Dance Source Houston includes three programs and spans 21 contemporary dance artists and companies.

Dance Source Houston artist in residence Laura Gutierrez performs Locomote, a solo work of her own creation, for the second annual festival. Gutierrez will dance to wedding reception favorite the “Macarena” along with several other ’90s pop hits. “In the ‘Macarena’ and line-dancing, there are simple steps that we all know and we do them at parties. I wanted to bring attention to those.” Gutierrez has built on those simple moves. “It has turned into the song specifically and how I would move to that in a modern dance, abstract, contemporary way.”

Guest artist Courtney D. Jones, courtesy of CDJ Dance Project, took inspiration (and a title) from a line in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night's Dream: “And though she be but little, she is fierce!” The work, a self-made solo piece titled and though she be but little, mirrors the festival as a whole. It is meant to defeat preconceived notions about dance while it shows the audience a good time. “I have a runner’s body,” says Jones. “I never was the leggy girl with this great extension and hypermobility. I usually was the girl who did a lot of running to the ground and a lot of rolling.” 

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The showcase-style format and set price of $35 to attend all three programs allow audience members the chance to try something new at a relatively low cost, says Mollie Haven Miller, interim director of Dance Source Houston.

“If we can help provide an entry point for someone who doesn’t know about dance,” she says, “we can make dance approachable to people.”

Performances are scheduled for June 16 through 25 at 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at The Barn, 2201 Preston. For information, call 713-224-3262 or visit dancesourcehouston.org. $15 to $35.

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