Rest of the Best 2014: Houston's Top 10 Choreographers
Photo Courtesy of Sophia Torres Members of the Psophonia Dance Company
Few cities in the south boast as deep and varied a dance community as Houston. We could easily name our favorite 20 dancemakers, but we've kept the list to the top ten.
Active as a teacher (at both the University of Houston and Houston Community College), Sophia Torres is co-founder and now sole artistic director of Psophonia Dance Company, a troupe she started in 1998 (co-founder Sonia Noriega has left the group). Working in an "athletic, visual, audience-friendly, and approachable" style, Torres laughingly admits that she's not only the choreographer for Psophonia, she's the janitor, costume designer, graphic artist and public relations rep.
9. Jane Weiner of Hope Stone, Inc.
Photo Courtesy of Hope Stone, Inc. Hope Stone members in i scream
Dedicated to creating work that can be described as "off the wall" and "non-traditional," Jane Weiner has led Hope Stone, Inc. since 1997. Hope Stone serves as a dance company, community art outreach program, dance school and general gathering place for dancers, choreographers and fans that aren't afraid of seeing different sized and shaped bodies on stage. The above photo is from Weiner's 2013 production i scream.
8. Sue Schroeder of CORE Performance Company
Photo by John Ramspott From The Liberated Accident
Sue Schroeder founded Several Dancers Core in 1980. That company became CORE Performance Company. Schroeder makes our list because of her continued collaborations with other choreographers, dancers, musicians and artists. One notable work is an evening-length dance version of Handel's Messiah featuring Houston conductor Antoine Plante and Mercury (formerly Mercury Baroque Ensemble).
Photo by Lynn Lane Rednerrus Feil Rehearsal
Founder/ choreographer for Rednerrus Feil Dance Company, Llanes recently teamed up with jhon r. stronks's "there...in the sunlight" to present Venturing Out, a series informal performances featuring work from Houston area dancemakers and dancers. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master of Fine Arts degree in dance from Sam Houston State University. Llanes explained her company's name and her artistic philosophy during a 2013 interview with Houston Press writer Adam Castañeda. "Rednerrus is surrender spelled backwards and feil is a word scramble for life. As a choreographer, that is exactly what I try to do. My intention is to be completely open, vulnerable and surrendering of my innermost self for the creative process. Most of the works I create stem from a moment, idea or image from my own personal life or the persons immediately surrounding me."