Founder Nancy Henderek has been ready for the long-awaited three-year arrival of this season’s Dance Salad Festival. Rising to the artistic occasion post-pandemic, Henderek has once again proven her beautiful and thoughtful capabilities to bring together a mix of dance embraced by the innovative choreography and music on April 14, 15, and 16, 2022 at Wortham Center in the Cullen Theater. With six international companies, Houston audiences will witness works from Hofesh Shechter Company (London, United Kingdom), Semperoper Ballett Dresden (Germany), Royal Danish Ballet’s Kammerballetten (Copenhagen, Denmark), Royal Ballet of Flanders (Antwerp, Belgium), Dunia Dance Theatre (Zimbabwe and Belgium), and Laboration Art Company (France).
A tie that binds this festival is the original compositions and performances of music. One of the main highlights of the Dance Salad Festival is the multifaceted performances from Hofesh Shechter Company with their curated version of Grand Finale. While Schecter’s choreography is a masterpiece in its own right, his original musical compositions that accompany the performances offer a dramatic and ambitious world of artistic intersections of movement and melodies with a live band of musicians onstage with the dancers.
Another creative collaboration happens with works by Royal Danish Ballet’s Kammerballetten, which features pieces encompassing the sway between dancers and the music ensemble. Selvportræt (Self Portrait) is set to music composed and performed by Alexander McKenzie on piano, Niklas Walentin on violin, and Jonathan Swensen on cello.
“Selvportræt (Selfportrait), an intimate and personal work threaded together by the characters representing Life, Love & Death…”, says choreographer Paul Lightfoot. “Inspired by the ancient myth of the Moirai; three goddesses who assigned a mortal’s destiny at birth by spinning a thread together. Clotho (The Spinner), Lachesis (The Allotter), and Atropos (The Inflexible). I wanted to use this metaphor as a mirror to hold onto all our lives during these strange and lonely times. Distant from each other, yet connected. A reflection on the beauty and pathos of our interwoven states. The stripping of one’s ego until we discover the resolution within the poetry of our fleeting existences.”
The Royal Danish Ballet’s Kammerballetten will also perform Oenothera choreographed by Tobias Praetorius set to music by Franz Schubert with piano by Alexander McKenzie, violin by Niklas Walentin, and cello by Jonathan Swensen. The final selection from this company includes work from the greatest representative of Romanticism in Russian classical music: Serge Rachmaninov. In Bright Gloom, choreographed by Sebastian Kloborg, features live cello by Swensen and piano by McKenzie. As French poet Charles Baudelaire said: “Dancing can reveal all the mystery that music conceals.” Plan to attend one, two, or even all three nights of Dance Salad Festival for the true connection between both art forms. To buy tickets and learn more, visit www.dancesalad.org.