Dance Salad Festival Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary With Dance (of Course)

Categories: Dance

Photo by David Kelly
Queensland Ballet: Nils Christie's Short Dialogues
Li Cunxin suspects it may feel a little strange for him to sit in the audience of the Cullen Theatre and not be the person dancing on-stage.

"[This] city holds so many wonderful memories for me when I danced with Houston Ballet for nearly 16 years...the Wortham stages are where my dancing career was shaped and advanced," recalls Cunxin.

Returning to Houston as the current Artistic Director of Australia's Queensland Ballet, Cunxin's company will be showcased in this year's Dance Salad Festival, along with seven other local and international acts.

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LMNOP - A New Muzical When Actors Really Have to Know Their Lines

Categories: Stage

Letters are falling from the sky. Well actually from a monument in town and the local leaders in an island community take this as a sign that they should no longer be using the ones that hit the ground and ban them one by one.

Based on the novel Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn, LMNOP - A New Muzical with music by Paul Loesel and book and lyrics by Scott Burkell [Ho Ho Humbug at Stark Naked Theatre Company) is the latest production at TUTS Underground.

Jason Gotay (last seen at TUTS in Bring it On: The Musical) plays Nate Warren, the just-returned boyfriend of our heroine, young Ella (Madeline Trumble, Broadway Newsies) , who spearheads the fight against government extremism. Gotay (Broadway Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark) says he'd heard about the show which has only been performed in a couple of other places and wanted in.

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Anime Matsuri Returns to Houston And It's Bigger Than Ever

Photo courtesy of Anime Matsuri Convention
Anime Matsuri features one of the biggest Lolita fashion shows in the United States.
Anime Maturi, the convention that anime fans of all ages love, returns from Friday April 3 through Sunday, April 5. It's now in its ninth year and there are several new features for 2015. The show has grown so large it will take up all of the first floor of the George R. Brown convention center and two-thirds of the third floor.

Deneice Leigh, who co-founded Anime Matsuri along with her husband, John, is excited about the additions. "This year, we have so many exciting new things for the convention!" she says. "For one, we've lined up one of the biggest Japanese names in rock music, Anna Tsuchiya, who will be our headliner for the live concert on Saturday. There are also several artists, voice actors and actresses from studio TRIGGER, one of the biggest Japanese animation studios."

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The Nature of Forms and Intentionally Dirty - dual exhibitions at Nicole Longnecker Gallery

Categories: Visual Arts

Photo by Frank Sherwood White
Frank Sherwood White's "Pelvis" from "The Nature of Forms" exhibit at Nicole Longnecker Gallery
The current dual exhibitions at Nicole Longnecker Gallery - photographer Frank Sherwood White's The Nature of Forms and Julian Lorber's Intentionally Dirty - both illustrate the erosion of nature through thoughtful and captivating imagery, though the resemblance ends there.

White plays with the shape of rocks, often pitted and marred, seeing the curves of a human form and pairing those images with similarly shaped models. In about half of his pieces he has placed a carefully-lit subject out of the camera's field of vision, then positioned a rough-edged glass near the curved rock, so that the human form is reflected. The results are sublime, especially in Pelvis, where the ghostly image of the model's lap vanishes off the edge, bringing the viewer's eye back to the strength of the curved stone.

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5 Houston Retailers Catering to the Newest Shopaholics...Men

Categories: Fashion

Photos by Cherise Luter
Field Refined pocket squares and tips. Some made of up-cycled men's ties.
I never knew I would see the day where this statement was are taking over the fashion landscape. No longer relegated to five or six male models serving only as partners to the women, designers are paying just as much, if not more, attention to their male centric offerings. As always, anything happening on the New York runway will show up in the store fronts of Houston. Men's high end retailers like M Penner and Hamilton Shirt Co. have always had a presence here, but it members of the new guard that are responding to the call and bringing the trends from up North to down South.

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Houston's Society For the Performing Arts Announces Its 2015-16 Season Today

Photo by Harry Fellows
The Hot Sardines
In a season once again serving up an eclectic mixture of dance, music and theater as well as speakers including returning favorites such as writer/performer David Sedaris and chef/author/TV personality Anthony Bourdain, Houston's Society For the Performing Arts remains dedicated to its mission to bring the arts to Everyman.

No, everyone is not going to like everything offered here but that's the point -- pick what suits and maybe stretch your world by trying one more. Who know, you might discover a previously unknown fascination for Russian accordian playing technique. And the price of a ticket is still less than what you'd pay for a trip overseas.

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Reviews For The Easily Distracted:

Title: Home

Describe This Movie In One Simpsons Quote: "Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos."

Rating Using Random Objects Relevant To The Film: Three Gorts out of five.

Brief Plot Synopsis: Lone human joins forces with renegade extraterrestrial to resist alien subjugation.

Tagline: "Worlds collide."

Better Tagline: "The animated movie with tentacles it's safe to take your children to."

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The 5 Best Things to Do in Houston This Weekend: Dancing With the Machine, Texas Abstract Group Signing and More

Photo by Anthony Rathbun Photography
Members of FrenetiCore Dance in Dancing with the Machine
There are two great shows opening this week so it's going to be tough deciding which performance to attend on Friday. Thankfully, both continue through next week so you'll have time to catch them both before either ends their run.

First up on Friday is FrenetiCore Dance's first full-length narrative production in two years Dancing with the Machine. The conflict between 21st-century technology and 19th-century morality is at the center of the narrative.

"[Our current] humanity is in an era of high technological advancement, but socially and morally, many people are stuck in the 1800s. There are those who still believe the world would be a better place if women were second-class citizens and gays would simply vanish," says FrenetiCore member and sometime Houston Press contributor Adam Castañeda.

The stylized Steampunk production follows Aida, a young, free-spirited heroine living in a postapocalyptic world who's on a quest to challenge the society's troublesome political climate. Throughout Aida's journey, she unearths personal family secrets, discovers a mystical machine and falls in love with a fellow revolutionary.

Based on a story by Castañeda, Dancing features choreography by company Artistic Director Rebecca French and costumes by dancer/filmmaker/designer Ashley Horn. Horn was asked to design wardrobes for "sketchy barmaids, dispossessed wanderers, rebel fighters [and] minions of the crooked government," Castañeda explains. "The movement [in the show] reflects each character's temperaments and inclinations." In order to exhibit such personality in the dancing, French called upon her knowledge of modern and contemporary vocabulary while mixing in hip-hop, jazz, ballet and Broadway-musical dance.

Dance with the Machine runs 8 p.m. March 27, 28, 29 and April 2, 3, 4; 2 p.m. March 29. Frenetic Theater, 5102 Navigation. For information, visit $5 to $30.

This story continues on the next page.

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5 Reasons Slender: The Arrival Didn't Live Up to the Hype

Categories: Gaming

Horror gaming has really undergone a renaissance these days thanks to the increasing ability of indie developers to create and release products. What Tobe Hooper was doing with movies in the '70s, game makers are doing now with games like Amnesia and Five Nights at Freddy's.

So I was delighted to finally get a chance to play Slender: The Arrival on PS4. Birthed from the Internet-generated Slender Man mythos, Slender: The Eight Pages and its remake/sequel took the Internet by storm starting in 2012. I was perfectly happy watching PewDiePie play it, but I'd never really gotten around to trying either game out myself.

So that's the setup, okay? I've been hearing about this game for years and am only just now playing it. I was expecting a horror gaming masterpiece, but now I'm wondering what all the fuss was about.

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Two Generations, One Actress: Sutton Foster on Her Empowering Role in Younger

Categories: Film and TV

TV Land
Sutton Foster
Doing everything right in one generation just makes you old-fashioned, even obsolete, in the next. That’s the harsh reality that confronts 40-year-old Liza — played with spirited, sarcastic élan by Tony-winning actress Sutton Foster — when she attempts to re-enter the workforce after a decade and a half of stay-at-home motherhood. Finding herself shut out of the industry where she’d once been hailed as a wunderkind, Liza passes herself off as a 26-year-old to start again at the bottom of the publishing ladder in the peppy and observant Younger, the new sitcom from Sex and the City creator Darren Star.

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