I’m taking a break from my normal Thursday schedule (You know, the “poor us we love art and no one cares” “crisis for artists” series) to tell you about the art in my life.
Last weekend Texas Dance Theatre (TDT) performed a concert of dances by DFW choreographers. The night began with Moldau, a neoclassical ballet made for the symphonic poem Die Moldau by Bedrich Smetana (by Chung-Lin Tseng) followed by Esperanza, a tango-inspired pas de deux (by Paula Ulery-Reynolds), and the first act was completed by Jon Shields’ athletic modern solo, Trimurti, commenting on his experience as the member of the military.
The second act featured Gershwin Dances. A fun, flirty, and fantastic suite of trios, solos, duets, and group dances celebrating the musical styles of George Gershwin.
I really love working with Wil, TDT’s artistic director, and the TDT dancers. So I was eager to collaborate with Wil and TDT dancer Emily Hunter to choreograph Gershwin Dances. We each created a section or two (or four!) to create the 20 minute suite.
Because of the unexpected Texas snowstorm, their schedule of tech and dress rehearsals on the day of the show (yes- all in ONE day!!! Carayzay!) was thrown off a bit, but they still managed to not only make the show happen, but perform well, and get people in the seats.
What was even better was a cross-promotional event produced by the Fort Worth Community Arts Center, which houses 2 theaters (including the one in which TDT performed that night), an art gallery, and the offices of several Fort Worth arts organizations.
To promote some new art, the FWCAC opened two hours before the TDT concert, inviting the community to come in and view the art while snacking on free hors d’ouevres provided by local restaurants and eateries and sipping on free wine and coffee or tea samples.
Those browsing (and eating… note to artists, offer free food, more people will come. Just sayin’) were then invited to buy tickets to attend the TDT concert immediately following the reception, in the same building.
I was really encouraged to see so many people browsing the artwork and enjoying themselves. It was even more encouraging to see some of those people walk through the gallery and then into the theater.
The performance incredibly well-received and I was very happy with my dancers’ performances, and impressed by all the performances that night.
Art is not dead in Fort Worth. We just need to let everyone know.