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Volume 68, Issue 126, Friday, April 4, 2003

Arts & Entertainment

Dancers, chili mix at benefit

By Chris Goodier
The Daily Cougar

Finally, an opportunity to see dancers eat. Usually athletic and restrained of consumption, the lean specimens will line up to battle it out both on the stage and in the kitchen at Saturdayis Barnevelder Movement/Arts Complex Grand Opening and Chili Cook-off. The price of admission should be worth watching weight-conscious specimens hunker down around a bowl of chili -- $20 says someone pukes.

This should be the local dance showcase of the season, with Suchu Dance, Fly Dance Company, Hope Stone Dance Company, Psophonia Dance Company and Weave Dance Company performing original works.

The strong billing supports the new complex as an active contributor to the Houston dance scene, and pitting groups against each other in a chili cook-off is pure genius.

Barnvelderis fully equipped facility is prepared to meet any client demand without sacrificing the comfort of patrons. Owned and operated by Suchu Dance, the venue comfortably seats 120 people in a spacious performance theater. Located in the new Arts Corridor on downtownis East Side, the non-profit organization provides education to the public through contemporary dance and movement classes in three studios.

One of the five featured groups, Fly Dance Company, continues the fresh form that developed out of a chance encounter between choreographer Kathy Wood and a crew of street dancers. In 10 years, the message of movement has carried to six schools and community programs. A glimpse at past musical selections used in their performances -- Kodo Drummers, Wes Montgomery, Propellerheads, hip-hop versus Vivaldi -- should convince you to check them out.

Psophonia Dance Company should bring the innovative range of images itis known for. It has emphasized lighting and set design in past works. Last seasonis production, User Friendly, used tires to show the balance between the body and outer world.

Of course, no dance showcase is complete without the enthralling Suchu Dance, Houstonis heavyweight contender for hottest company. Another testament to choreographer Woodis vision, Suchu has performed over 50 pieces and four evening-length programs. Their pieces are always developed with innovative use of humor and equipment.

Weave Dance Company will present an entirely feminine message. Weave chose the name "to evoke a timeless image of women creating tapestries of experiences." The all-female group has conveyed their message of "feminine strength" through seven years of provocative dance work. 

Tickets for Saturdayis 8 p.m. event are $35 per person and $60 per couple. Performances end at 10 p.m., followed by dessert and a DJ mixing until midnight. 

Barnevelder Movement/Arts Complex is located at 2201 Preston St. For tickets or more information call (713) 529-1819.

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