Scenes of a group of gifted musicians and dancers enjoying sudden improvised expression are an increasingly popular sight in films and television. While these scenes thrill viewers, they tend to leave the audience wondering if, in reality, there are artists who can make beautiful music and dance professionally on the spot.
That talent does exist, and it will be seen on the Sam Houston State University campus this weekend.
The Texas Improvisational Dance Festival is a chance to celebrate dance and music and bring the community of improvisational artists together at SHSU and throughout the Huntsville community from Oct. 2 to Oct. 4.
Artists from across the country will attend the three-day event. 20 instructors and performers from Texas, Florida, New York and Washington will join the festival.
“I believe strongly in the importance of dance improvisation and process based art,” Erin Reck, festival coordinator and assistant professor of dance, said. “I became an associate professor here at SHSU last year, and one of my interests was to bring TDIF here at some point. I have been attending the festival for several years, and know the exceptional community that it creates. I was thrilled that it was able to happen this year,”
The festival kicks off with a jam session Thursday night. Ten classes per day are scheduled for the rest of the festival, with performances in the evenings.
The festival will feature performances by Lisa Nelson and the festival faculty Friday and Saturday night.
Nelson is a dance-maker and improvisational dancer. She performs all over the world and developed an approach to spontaneous composition and performance called Tuning Scores.
“It is a beautiful way to connect to your own movement and to the movement of others. It is spontaneous, unpredictable, vulnerable, and exciting,” Reck said.
The event is open to all dancers 18 years and older with an entry fee of $10 and Reck encourages all who are interested to attend. Registration is limited.
For more information, visit the department of dance website or contact Erin Reck, assistant professor of dance, at 936-294-1311