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Thursday, September 21, 2017 @ 8:00 pm - Sunday, September 24, 2017 @ 5:00 pm
Suchu Dance presents the world premiere of
September 21, 22, 23, 24
8:00 pm/3:00 pm September 24
Concept and Choreography by Jennifer Wood
Animation by Sharad K. Patel
Original Music by Fescennine
Light Design by Gregory Starbird
With Choreographic Contributions by Performing Artists:
Lysette Portano Marmolejo
Costume Design by F.A.F.
Creative Support by YOU ARE AN ARTIST
Production management by Vipul H. Divecha
3400 Main Street
All performances $25
purchase tickets at
Deep expanses, jellyfish, sharks, endless horizons, storms, drowning, cute sting rays, sea slugs, colorful anemones and urchins, slimy sea kelp and bioluminescent deep sea creatures are all sources of inspiration for OCEAN.
OCEAN is an original full length production exploring the depths and darkness of the sea. Enhanced by maximalist costuming, a lush soundscape and animation, Suchu Dance’s new work is a delight for the senses.
We are thrilled to be collaborating with award winning independent filmmaker, Sharad K. Patel, in the making of OCEAN. Patel is contributing animation that will be projected during the performance.
Its not often that a dance company takes all the time it needs to bring a work to life. It’s not often in this economic climate that a small, non-profit, non-commercial dance company can afford to take the time and have the studio space to fully involve themselves in creating a new work. Making a completely new full length dance piece is the same writing a book or, more accurately, writing a play while you are producing and directing it at the same time.
In the exploration of new movement concepts, it takes time for the body to acculturate, for the brain to send the right messages to the body, to build strength.
A year in creation, beginning with the concept and research in September 2016, as well as the beginning of the musical score, OCEAN is a creative first for Suchu Dance. Known for being prolific, this time the company delved deeper and more thoroughly in the subject and the movement. Movement development began in late 2016 and the company began working as an ensemble in February 2017 after a round of auditions. OCEAN brings back Suchu Dance veterans Prudence Sun and Adam Castaneda, and would like to introduce three new members Brenda Baez, Ayan Felix and Lysette Portano Marmolejo.
Why a dance piece about the ocean? Jennifer Wood:
“Thalassophobia is the fear of the ocean and a new word I recently learned. I am personally afraid of the ocean. I don’t go there.
In dream analysis, the ocean can represent unexpressed thoughts or emotions. It’s massive. It’s mostly uncharted. The deepest known point is in the Pacific ocean and it is seven miles deep.
I almost drowned twice in my life and the power of water is underestimated. The first time was when I was a small child and before I knew how to swim. The second time I was a pre-teen and was a good swimmer, but the force of the water carried me away.
I am deadly afraid of sharks. I know they are important for the ecosystem, but, don’t laugh, Jaws and SNL’s Land Shark ruined me forever. I never saw the movie Jaws but reading the book was bad enough. ‘Candygram.’ makes me scared. (SNL land shark reference.)” I’ve also been stuck on a ship in a storm with 15 foot waves and been thrown about. That was my first and only cruise.
The idea for OCEAN came about as I was marveling how deep the ocean is and I had been having some dreams where I was faced with the prospect of being dropped in the ocean with no help. However, there are so many beautiful colors and movements in the ocean. The subject matter is so large, I could probably spend a lifetime trying to work through it all.”
From performing Artist Lysette Portano-Marmolejo when asked how she feels about the ocean:
“It scares me, it’s so deep! It’s amazing to imagine that, a long time ago, for people who didn’t know what the world was, to say, ‘Hey lets cross it.’
For the same reason, I still love it because you can get in touch with nature. Just being with the ocean, brings all this peace and calm happiness with being a human and being alive in the world. I get that feeling about life when I am by the ocean. I just wonder about all those creatures we don’t really know about. Its a whole different crazy world in there.”
For more information about Suchu Dance please go to http://www.suchudance.org
We are a Houston-based contemporary dance company. Since our founding in 1998, we have worked to enhance the presence and vitality of contemporary dance in Texas through performances, classes, and making spaces for rehearsal and performance. We have drawn attention for our inventiveness, variety and comedic innovation. We foster experimentation and play, exploring movement and questioning forms within a structure of openness, risk-taking and humor. With the establishment of the Comedy Dance Festival in 2015, we expanded our mission to include encouraging comedy in dance. Raised in Houston, Artistic Director Jennifer Wood often draws on the absurdity of the human experience for movement inspiration. Wood’s work has been performed at the historic Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival Inside/Out, in Becket, Massachusetts and in Austin, Atlanta, Las Vegas and San Diego.
Sharad Kant Patel
Born in Texas, Sharad Patel has a background in illustration and narrative storytelling. He studied film at the University of Texas in Austin and is now the principal of UFOclub Creative, which helps artists with video and audio production. He first collaborated with painter Shiva Ahmadi on Lotus, an animated short that was exhibited at the Asia Society Museum in New York in 2014.
Patel’s short films have screened at SXSW (Austin) and Raindance (London); his first independent narrative feature film, Somebody’s Darling, won best international feature at Feratum Festival in Mexico in 2016. Patel has taught film history, experimental film production and screenwriting at Eastern Michigan University, University of Houston and Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual arts.