Now playing:  I n s i d e / O u t

A new film created in collaboration with Open Dance Project

Musiqa proudly announces the February 13 premiere of two short dance films – “Moving Pieces” and “Still We Tend” – set to music by Andrew Norman and Hawa Kassé Mady Diabaté. This production features four musicians, twenty dancers, and the creativity of two Houston organizations deeply committed to innovative cross-disciplinary exploration. “Inside/Out” marks their third collaboration in five years and was filmed by Houston artist James Templeton. 
“Inside/Out” is choreographed by Open Dance Project’s Artistic Director Annie Arnoult, who’s 2017 dance ‘Bout a Stranger was deemed one of the “most fully realized pieces to come out of Houston in decades,” by Nancy Wozny in Dance Magazine. ODP’s body of work has been acclaimed since the company’s inception in 2015, with the Houston Chronicle singling them out “…for reminding us that art is essential, not a luxury, to maintaining our humanity.” The score for “Inside/Out” was curated by Musiqa’s composer-led Artistic Board headed by founding Artistic Director Anthony Brandt. The Artistic Board has piloted the organization through nineteen seasons of music-making and collaboration, resulting in two prestigious Awards for Adventurous Programming from Chamber Music America/ASCAP among numerous other accolades. 

Andrew Norman’s “An Index of Particular Strokes” for string quartet is the composer’s attempt “to write the most “un-quartety” quartet” he could imagine. Winner of the Graweyer Award and praised by the New York Times as “one of the most gifted and respected composers of his generation”, Norman conceived of “Index” as an attempt to erase the performers’ individual voices and instead create a “meta-instrument” in which the four voices perform in a highly percussive and driving unison.

Hawa Kassé Mady Diabaté is the daughter of Mali’s greatest traditional singer, and is beloved in her homeland and abroad for her highly acclaimed performances, compositions and recordings. Her 2018 collaboration with Kronos Quartet resulted in “Tegere Tulon”, a series of handclapping songs transcribed and arranged for string quartet by Jacob Garchik. These songs were created to encourage Malians not to abandon this disappearing cultural heritage.

These films were shot at MATCH and the Houston Botanic Garden. Both “Tegere Tulon” and “An Index of Particular Strokes” were performed by longtime Musiqa artists Jackson Guillén (violin), Jacob Schafer (violin), Sergein Yap (viola) and Mayara Velasquez (cello). Audio was recorded by well-known Houston recording engineer Andy Bradley, a local institution who has worked with everyone from Willie Nelson to Itzhak Pearlman.

The Open Dance Project company of dancers was joined on film by ODP2, Open Dance Project’s company of young dancers who range in age from 12 through 18, and take part in a rigorous schedule of ballet and modern dance courses under the guidance of Artistic Director Arnoult. “Inside/Out” provided them the opportunity to work and train in building a new contemporary modern dance from the ground up.