Sunday November 20 at 7 p.m.

 

MICHELE BRANGWEN DANCE & MUSIC ENSEMBLE

 

In Performance at the MATCH

 

Thank you for being here for our return to live performance in Houston!

 

ASA NISI MASA
Choreography & Costumes by Michele Brangwen

Music by Danielle Reich, Tim Hagans & Thomas Helton

With Movement & Music Created Spontaneously In The Moment By All Performers

Lighting Design by Kris Phelps

 

LINDSEY McGILL, CRISTIAN LAVERDE KÖNIG

& MICHELE BRANGWEN dancers

TIM HAGANS trumpet

MICHAEL EATON saxophone

THOMAS HELTON bass
 

Asa Nisi Masa takes its title from the childhood incantation spoken in Federico Fellini's film "8 1/2." The phrase Asa Nisi Masa conjures a beautiful memory for the main character in the film of a time filled with compassion and love.

 

Brief Intermission While Stage Is Reset
 

 

UNENDING

Choreography & Costumes by Michele Brangwen

Music by Tim Hagans

With Movement & Music Created Spontaneously In The Moment By All Performers

Lighting Design by Kris Phelps

 

LINDSEY McGILL, CRISTIAN LAVERDE KÖNIG

& MICHELE BRANGWEN dancers

TIM HAGANS trumpet

MICHAEL EATON saxophone

THOMAS HELTON bass

SAM KNIGHT drums

 

Artists In Tonight’s Performance:
 

Michael Eaton is a Brooklyn, NY based saxophonist, composer, and educator active in contemporary jazz and free improvisation. He embraces a progressive and holistic vision of jazz, cognizant of the music's rich history, while he reaches for a personal outlook with an eye towards future possibilities. He has releases available on Steeplechase, Ropeadope, Dialogical, Mother Brain and Destiny. Mr. Eaton leads Individuation, a jazz ensemble that combines modern jazz with postminimalism, world rhythms, and open improvisation. Their latest album is Dialogical on Destiny Records. JazzTimes writes: "Serious play may be a cliché by now, but it exemplifies the spirit that dances through this set.” Eaton’s next recording is due out in 2023 and features guest artists Tim Hagans and Dave Scott (trumpets) as well as Judi Silvano (voice). 2022 is his first season with the Michele Brangwen Dance & Music Ensemble.
 

Composer and bassist Thomas Helton has received ten commissions from the Michele Brangwen Dance & Music Ensemble and has worked with us as a performer and composer since 2003, performing with us in Houston, New York, Chicago and cities in Sweden. He composed the music for Orchid People in collaboration with Tim Hagans and Anders Mogensen; Asa Nisi Masa in collaboration with Danielle Reich and Tim Hagans; and Dancing The Blue Hour in collaboration with Tim Hagans. Dancing the Blue Hour premiered at the MATCH in July 2019 and received its New York City premiere at the Diego Salazar Artist Studios in NYC and the Jazz Loft in Stony Brook. His What Will You Do When You feel Their Absence was performed at the Mark Morris Dance Center, NYC; the MATCH in Houston and the Jazz Loft in Stony Brook, NY. We commissioned legendary bassist Rufus Reid to compose a work for dancers and two bassists to perform with Mr. Helton; this work premiered at the MATCH in 2016. Desesperados, a suite of tangos we commissioned, is featured on Houston Public Radio’s CD The Best of the Front Row. Thomas Helton performs with his own ensemble, The Core Trio, as well as with many celebrated jazz artists including Tim Hagans, Milt Jackson, Daniel Carter, Monty Alexander, Frank Gratowski and Ernie Watts. He has performed and recorded with Matthew Shipp, Steve Swell and Jamie Branch, appearing in venues throughout Houston and New York. Mr. Helton has received a DiverseWorks artist residency and was a Takt Artist Resident in Berlin. Mr. Helton also leads the Boomtown Brass Band, a performing ensemble specializing in music performing in the style of Hot New Orleans Jazz from the 1920's.

 

Dancer Cristian Laverde König has been working with the Michele Brangwen Dance & Music Ensemble since 2012.  He has performed in the premieres of Asa Nisi Masa, Closeness, In And Out Of The Shadows, What Will You Do When You Feel Their Absence? and Unending at the Mark Morris Dance Center, Diego Salazar Artist Studios and The Jazz Loft. He is also a featured dancer in our films: Orchid People, Asa Nisi Masa, What I'll Tell Her Later Tonight, and To Your Constant Embrace, The Cloud Stream Sways, the latter of which he also contributed film. He is the voice of The River in Rain Girl. Mr. König was born in Cali, Colombia and received his professional training at The Instituto Colombiano de Ballet (Incolballet) and The Escuela Nacional de Ballet de Cuba under a full scholarship. He has been a soloist for The Ballet Nacional de Cuba, Ballet de Cali, Hartford Ballet and Ballet Internationale, and has served as principal dancer for the Maximum Dance Company, the Milwaukee Ballet, the Slovak National Ballet and Armitage Gone! Dance. He has also performed works by world-renowned choreographers such as George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp and Martha Graham. Mr. König has been the recipient of various prestigious national and international awards.

Drummer Sam Knight has performed with Reggie Workman, John Ellis, Chad Lekowitz-Brown, Gilad Hekselman, and Blue Note Recording artist Aaron Parks. He has also performed for the Romare Bearden Foundation, honoring the nationally renowned artist. Career highlights include a tour of Japan. He loves taking on new musical challenges, paying homage to the jazz masters, whom, have laid the foundation but allowed him to maintain his own unique musical voice. He can be heard performing throughout Houston with many different ensembles. He began his training at Houston’s famed High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. A native Houstonian, he then moved to New York City where he attended the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, graduating with a B.A. in Music Performance. Tonight is his debut performance with the Michele Brangwen Dance & Music Ensemble. 

 

Dancer Lindsey McGill has been performing with the Michele Brangwen Dance & Music Ensemble since 2003. She has danced in the premieres of In And Out Of The Shadows, No Standing Any Time, Get Outside, Sanctuary Moon, Katsu, Checkpoint, Petrified, A Note From Guantanamo, Confusion of Angels, Sweet Land, and Talk to Me. She has performed with the ensemble in works such as Madrid and Desesperados in venues throughout Houston including the Cullen Theater, Wortham Center; Stude Concert Hall, Barnevelder Theater, and Miller Outdoor Theatre; in Chicago in Lutkin Hall; the Village Zendo in New York City; and in cities in Sweden. She has performed in the Michele Brangwen Dance & Music Ensemble's films Confusion of Angels, Sanctuary Moon, Get Outside, and In And Out Of The Shadows. Her choreography is featured in the Quantum Bass episodes of ARTCAST. Ms. McGill won the Buffy award for Houston’s Best Contemporary Dance Artist. She was a performer with Northwest Dance Project, with whom she has debuted at the Joyce Theater and Jacob's Pillow, and Dominic Walsh Dance Theatre. She also performs with Hope Stone and Group Acorde, an experimental collaborative dance group she leads with Roberta Paixao Cortes. Her choreography has been performed by Dominic Walsh Dance Theater at Zilkha Hall in the Hobby Center and at Miller Outdoor Theater, and by Group Acorde in venues throughout Houston.

 

Grammy-nominated Composer and Trumpeter Tim Hagans is one of the most unique and influential modern voices in jazz. Tim Hagans performs and records with the Tim Hagans Quartet. His most recent CD, A  Conversation (Waiting Moon Records 2021) was a DOWNBEAT Critic's pick, and his Faces Under The Influence: A Jazz Tribute To John Cassavetes (Waiting Moon Records 2017) was described by JazzTimes as "defined by moments of sheer chaos and unsullied delicacy, a fitting tribute indeed." The Moon Is Waiting (Palmetto Records, 2011), features his quartet performing all original compositions by Hagans. The Moon Is Waiting has been heralded by JazzTimes as “scrumptious madness,” and Downbeat as “an artistic success,” and described by the Philadelphia Inquirer as “free jazz with constant drive and passion.” The Moon Is Waiting contains 3 tracks originally commissioned by the Michele Brangwen Dance & Music Ensemble. Tim Hagans began collaborating with the Michele Brangwen Dance & Music Ensemble as a composer and performer in 2007. He has received ten commissions from us and performed with us in venues throughout New York City & Houston. His Get Outside a two-part two year collaboration between the Michele Brangwen Dance & Music Ensemble and Norrbotten Big Band featured bassist Thomas Helton and toured cities in Sweden. He has served as the Michele Brangwen Dance & Music Ensemble's music director since 2009. Tim Hagans has performed and recorded with Thad Jones, Ernie Wilkins and Dexter Gordon. Tim Hagans is the featured soloist on the soundtrack by Howard Shore for the movie The Score, starring Robert DeNiro and Marlon Brando.

Michele Brangwen is a dancer, choreographer and filmmaker, whose performing ensemble specializes in dance to live music, the commissioning of new music for dance, and the incorporation of musicians into the visual stage imagery. Her company's 2017 performance at the Mark Morris Dance Center was a Village Voice choice in both the online and print editions. Her most recent dance and music films created during the pandemic have been featured in Broadway World Magazine and as the video of the day on the All About Jazz Website. Ms. Brangwen’s work has been presented in New York City at the Mark Morris Dance Center, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Village Zendo Arts, Shapeshifter Lab & Diego Salazar Artist Studios; in Stony Brook, NY at The Jazz Loft; in Chicago at Lutkin Hall by the International Society of Improvised Music; and in venues throughout Texas, including the Cullen Theater, Wortham Center, Stude Concert Hall, Moores Opera House, DiverseWorks Artspace, MATCH and Barnevelder Theater. Career highlights include Get Outside, a two-part, two year commission created in collaboration with composer Tim Hagans, filmmaker Yunuen Perez Vertti, and the Norrbotten Big Band, that toured cities in Sweden, and five collaborations with FOTOFEST International, including curating a program for their 10th Anniversary Biennial dedicated to the themes of The Earth and Artists Responding to Violence. She curated and produced three seasons of ARTCAST, an Internet TV Series on YouTube that features new dance, music and film from multiple cities. She was on Chamber Music America's panel on interdisciplinary collaboration, designated as one of the top ten choreographers working in Houston by Houston Press and a Dance USA Emerging Leader.

Vocalist and composer Danielle Reich (not in this evening’s performance) has been commissioned by the Michele Brangwen Dance & Music Ensemble to write the Masa movement for Asa Nisi Masa in collaboration with Thomas Helton. She was also commissioned to arrange her composition Come, Come for our new film To Your Constant Embrace, The Cloud Steam Sways, in which she also performs. Ms. Reich has performed with the Michele Brangwen Dance & Music Ensemble in the premieres of Dancing The Blue Hour, Closeness and What Will You Do When You Feel Their Absence? at the Mark Morris Dance Center in New York City, the MATCH in Houston, and at The Jazz Loft in Stony Brook, NY. She has also performed with the Michele Brangwen Dance & Music Ensemble in Checkpoint, a site specific work created for Trinity Church, and with the Tim Hagans Quartet. She is a classically trained jazz vocalist having studied classical vocal performance at Stetson University and the University of Florida. She performed with the Houston Grand Opera Chorus for two seasons before shifting her musical attentions to jazz. She has been performing jazz, gypsy jazz, and her own brand of eclectijazzpop in the Houston areas for the past ten years; her most recent Houston project is gypsy jazz quintet Swing Rendezvous. In 2011 she expanded her repertoire to include French chanson and later co-founded a Western Swing band (Lady Be Good) with Austin/NYC composer/pianist Peggy Stern. She has released two jazz-focused studio albums.

Lighting Designer Kris Phelps has designed lights for the Michele Brangwen Dance Ensemble's In And Out Of The Shadows, No Standing Any Time, Skamato, Unending, Black Rain, Desesperados, Sweet Land, Talk to Me, Madrid, Louie's Key West, Cello Fishing at Antibes, and American Night among many others. Ms. Phelps has designed lights for the Dance Salad Festival and the Annual Weekend of Texas Contemporary Dance, as well as for many dance companies in Houston including the Sandra Organ Dance Company, The Met Dance, and Ad Deum. She has designed for Several Dancers Core in Atlanta, Mexico and Houston, and Fly Dance Company's performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. Also a designer for theater, Ms. Phelps has won five awards for best lighting design from the Ensemble Theater Company of Houston. She has also worked with the Houston Ballet and many independent choreographers including Becky Valls, Priscilla Nathan-Murphy and Leslie Skates.

The Michele Brangwen Dance & Music Ensemble is a contemporary dance & music ensemble that specializes in commissioning new music for dance and incorporating musicians into the visual imagery. Sharing the stage and the focus, our dancers and musicians break the boundaries of traditional ensemble interaction. Performance works include original choreography and music as well as improvisation by all performers, creating a spontaneous performance environment where anything can happen. In 21 years, every performance has included live music and the musicians as integral parts of the visual stage imagery. We believe that the artist’s role in society is to communicate, to challenge, to open a dialogue that can both unite us and inspire meaningful change. Brangwendance.org

Support for our 2022 Season of Performances was provided in part by Dance NYC, New Music USA, Cullen Trust For The Performing Arts, Ivesian Arts & the Houston Arts Alliannce.

Along with our 2022 Season Sponsors Emily Darigan, Joyce M. Freeman, Kevin Hogg, Lynne Normandia, Milan Simich, and Rufus & Doris Reid.

And by donors Sandy Marcello, Yunuen Perez Vertti, Peter Josyph, Lily Hagans, Mike Bodmer, Ërb Cooper, Reynaldo Ochoa, Rebecca Reynolds, and Marlana Doyle.

We are still here making art because of your generous support!

Please consider joining us as a donor: https://www.brangwendance.org/contribute

2. CelloMan Anniversary.jpg