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Big Range Dance Festival: Blending Dance, Movement and Theater

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The styles and influences explored during Suchu Dance's annual Big Range Festival is as broad and all-encompassing as its name. Back for its ninth year, the festival is one of Houston's most anticipated contemporary dance events, with eight days of performances and three different programs of dance works. The event also features three master classes and other gatherings/parties/improvisational events--the latter being a kind of dancey tour of the ballpark-area Barnevelder complex, called "Venturing Out," cryptically described at the Big Range website as blending dance, movement and improvisation "with the irregulars."

But it's the performances that draw the crowds to see the wide range of work, which swing from cheesy dance-your-issues-out pieces to conceptual multi-disciplinary experiments to narrative dance-theater to meaningless absurdity. We're most intrigued by Suchu choreographer Jennifer Wood's "tragicomedy that was her career as a dork in gym class" from Program A (June 3 & 4); Program B's I know this much..., by Atlanta's Liana Conyers, who seems to have a dark, Gothic streak running through her work (June 10 & 11); and Daniel Adame's Touch Base Spring Action, described as "a counterbalance of sexy and bland," in Program C (June 17 & 18).

Adame is a sublimely silly performer. Check him out as "Cactus" in the festival's funny and bizarre teaser videos.

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