Drop that long face. Come on. Have your fling.
Why keep nursing the blues?
Life is short. We're growing older.
Don't you be an also ran.
You've got to dance, little lady. Dance, little man.
Dance whenever you can.
-- Fred Astaire in Shall We Dance?
“Dancers have a strength of community that they are not
aware of and that consists of the human interest of the people who have been involved in it, or whose lives have been in someway touched. Despite being ignored, we have made a forceful and handsome art
come alive. The American dance has brought glory to this country around the world.” – Merce Cunningham
We very much need your support for new dances that will be created and presented by Farrell Dyde Dance Theatre in the upcoming year at theatres to be announced. There are a number of solo
and group dance projects in various stages of planning and development -- but the ultimate size and scope of these works is largely dependent upon you as a contributor.
Chances are good that you have not seen a larger work of mine in Houston for quite a number of years. That is because what work I have done has been produced out of
And quite honestly, in the early 1990’s I grew tired of fighting the rising tide of opposition in a down spiraling economy. Houston has never been an easy place to make challenging contemporary dance works, but it grew more difficult after the big boom years. It does not necessarily look to be any easier, but I am dedicated to continuing the work that I have devoted my life to and since most of the work I have created is inevitably linked with Houston, it seems quite natural -- if not particularly simple – to be doing it here.
Most recently the company has presented four solo dance theatre projects: (1) the full evening Persona Non Gratis
at Movement Arts Center in July, 2006 and (2) the site specific work, Corrective Measures presented behind the old company studio at 3221 Milam Street in March, 2005 (3) An Anatomy of the Night
(2008) at Houston Met Dance Center and (4) DKX09 (2009) as part of the multimedia event produced by FDDT: Aerial Views, Grids & Excursions. All of these concerts have helped to
reestablish the company here in Houston and to lay the groundwork for more ambitious efforts involving a larger company of dancers.
That means that greater sums of money must be raised – to
cover the cost of dancers salaries, rehearsal and theatre space, promotion, marketing and day to day administrative expenses. These costs mount up. Recently, a doctor friend of mine attending an opening at the Menil asked me how much it costs. I told him $50,000 to produce one concert, minimum. He said, “Oh, come on surely you can do it for less.” “Yes,” I said, “but at what real cost to the quality of the project?”
“Like it or not, though, money to a very large extent determines the nature of any art community. The amount of funding not only affects how many events a company can mount, but what dancers it
attracts, what kind of space it can rent and for how long, publicity levels, costumes, lighting, live musicians, and the possibility of touring. Houston has a better track record than many cities in this regard,
thanks to years of oil money.” -- Rosemary Ponnekanti, ArtsHouston March 2003
The fact is it does cost a lot of money to do things right, even as we know that a lot of money can be thrown at something and even then it may not be any good. But, I like to think that
most of the time I produce good work and that my track record will match that claim. “In pieces like Desire in the Hinterlands and the solo, Havana
– both ironic examinations of love lost and regained, of meeting and parting – he opened a window on dance that revealed a panorama wider and grander than the views offered by many better known modern practitioners of movement.” – Elizabeth Elam, Houston Home & Garden
The New dances under consideration will be set to primarily new music (Gavin Bryars, Steve Martland and Andrew Poppy) with one work set to recordings of George Gershwin music from the
1920’s. These works are in a constant state of assessment and evolution and will reach an ultimate form only after the rehearsal period has been completed: “The kinesthetic sense is a separate and fortunate
behavior. It allows the experience of doing to be part of all of us… but clarity is the lowest form of poetry and language, like all else, in our lives is changing. Our emotions are constantly being
propelled by some new face in the sky, some new rocket to the moon, some new sound in the ear, but they are the same emotions.” – Merce Cunningham
The important process of building a new board of directors -- as well as an advisory board -- has begun. Soon, a new executive director
will be hired along with other staff and many volunteers will be recruited. There is much work to be done and things to be paid for.
The position of dance -- especially post modern dance – in today’s world is highly precarious. For as George Balanchine so aptly put it: “We dare to go into the world where there are no
names for anything…we get our hands into that just a little bit.” And why Deborah Jowitt, dance critic, for The Village Voice announced: “Perhaps this is why dance is at the bottom of the cultural totem
pole: the unnamable can be terrifying.”
That is why we need enlightened support from people like you who care deeply about the arts and their survival.
We are asking you to join us in this new effort because the time has come -- for Houston, for FDDT and for the audience to have a dance company and a dance scene that has the same level of significance and sophistication as Houston’s vibrant visual arts scene.
Did you know that a recent Arts Council report in England cited contemporary dance as the fastest-growing art form in Britain, while here in
the USA we are in danger of losing our hard won perch at the top of the international dance ladder as we see our dollars going elsewhere?
You can make a tremendous difference if you are able to make a contribution now at any level that is agreeable to you.
All contributions are tax deductible to the extent the law.
Suggested levels can be found on the enclosed form (all contributors are listed in our programs and on our website unless they do not wish to be). Checks should be made payable to Farrell Dyde Dance Theatre and sent to 815 Stuart Street, Suite 4, Houston, Texas 77006. For further information or to make a contribution using Paypal or your credit card, please visit our website at http://farrelldyde.org/Support/support.html.
I thank you in advance for your contribution as well as your time and consideration. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me by phone, email or letter. I
look forward to hearing from you. Have a great holiday season!