Dance Salad Festival Performances return March 24, 25, & 26, 2016
Season 2015/2016

Houston International Dance Coalition's

Returns April 13, 14, & 15, 2017
Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 7:30pm
Wortham Center, Cullen Theater
501 Texas Ave. Houston, Texas

DoubleTree by Hilton
Houston Downtown

Official Hotel of
Dance Salad Festival


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Dance Salad Festival 2017

1. Carolyn Carlson Company will have its USA premiere of a curated version of Carlson’s Black over Red (My dialogue with Rothko), a contemplative solo intertwining visual, performing arts and poetry, based on Carlson’s book, Dialogue with Rothko, Untitled: Black, Red over Black on Red (2012), in dedication to American Abstract Expressionist painter Mark Rothko. Originally premiered and performed by Carlson since 2013, set to live, onstage cello played by Jean-Paul Dessy, the solo will mark its 2nd world premiere with a special guest performance by Paris Opera Ballet Etoile, Marie-Agnes Gillot. The solo was passed over to Marie-Agnes Gillot at the special request by Choreographer Carolyn Carlson and DSF Director, Nancy Henderek. Marie-Agnes Gillot performed at DSF 2009 with Carlson’s work L'Esprit du bleu. Fun fact: Marie-Agnes was promoted to the status of Etoile after the performance of Carolyn Carlson's Signes in 2004.

Carolyn Carlson’s pas titled Li, set to music by Aleksi Aubry-Carlson, will be premiered in the USA by two Japanese, Paris based dancers, Chinatsu Kosakatani and Nakata Yutaka. Li was created as a part of Carolyn Carlson’s series of choreographic works under title Short Stories.

« Li » est un idéogramme qui désigne, à l’origine,
le grain dans le jade ou le bois,
le « motif organique » à la base de toutes choses,
quand l’être s’accorde avec le « tao ».
Les transformations de la nature
Le souffle du vent
La pénombre et la lumière
La dualité du yin et du yang
Que l’un devienne l’autre
Sans un mot.

"Li" is an ideogram that means, originally,
the grain in the wood or jade ,
the "organic cause" at the base of all things,
when being accords with the " tao ".
Nature's transformations
The wind
The darkness and the light
The duality of yin and yang
That one becomes the other
Without a word.

2. Susanna Leinonen Company will debut in Houston with a curated version of Romeo & Juliet choreographed by Susanna Leinonen and Jouka Valkama, set to music by Sergei Prokofjev and a contemporary score by Kasperi Laine. The company will also present Susanna Leinonen’s Touch of Gravity, set to music by Kasperi Laine. This Festival’s year will mark the 2nd appearance of Susanna Leinonen’s work in Dance Salad Festival. Her choreography Trickle Green Oak, performed by dancers of the Finish National Ballet, Helsinki, premiered in North America in Dance Salad Festival in 2004.

William Shakespeare’s tragic but timeless love story has touched people’s hearts for centuries. In the hands of choreographers Susanna Leinonen and Jouka Valkama the work gains an interpretation in which two families and two languages of movement meet. Romeo & Juliet, premiered on November 30th, 2012 in Helsinki, was financially supported by National Council for Dance, The City of Helsinki Cultural Office, Ministry of Education and Culture, Kone Foundation, Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation, Finnish Cultural Foundation and Villisilkki

Touch of Gravity, this contemporary dance performance defies the laws of nature. The dancers escape the limits of their physicality with deliberate slow movements emerging from the ground. The moving figures seek their places within a group and attempt to disrupt its balance. The striking visuals give rise to a surreal on stage universe. Touch of Gravity, premiered in Helsinki, on August 21, 2014, was produced in cooperation with Helsinki Festival and Stoa and financially supported by National Council for Dance, National Council for Music and City of Helsinki.

3. Eastman from Antwerp, Belgium will present the Houston Premiere of a curated version of Fractus V choreographed by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Founder and Artistic Director of the company. Fractus V is a creation with five contemporary dancers of different dance backgrounds set to live, collaborative music performance by four musicians from Japan, Korea, India and Congo. “Nine different nationalities and outspoken identities will dialogue to come to an intense, dramatic and fluent whole… Fractus V stands for the natural fractures which are necessary to grow and become stronger.” writes Cherkaoui.

Curated sections of Cherkaoui’s Myth and Origin came to DSF in 2009 and also in 2010, Loin was danced by the Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genéve. In 2011, DSF presented Cherkaoui’s Faun. Petrus (out of PUZ/ZLE) was specially curated from the Avignon Festival’s commissioned PUZ/ZLE, co-produced by Eastman and premiered in DSF 2013. The US Premiere of Cherkaoui’s Embrace (curated version of m¡longa), a Sadler’s Wells production, London, UK, was premiered in the US in Dance Salad Festival 2014. Larbi’s Rigor Mortis created specifically for Dance Salad Festival, premiered in 2015. Royal Ballet of Flanders, Antwerp, Belgium, where Sidi Larbi has been appointed Artistic Director in 2015, presented his Fall in DSF 2016.

4. Norwegian National Ballet, Oslo, will mark its 6th appearance in DSF with the US premiere of a curated version of the solo production, Player, choreographed by Argentinian born, award winning dancer/choreographer Daniel Proietto, danced by American born dancer, Whitney Jensen, set to music by Mikael Karlsson. Player premiered at the Norwegian National Ballet Gala in summer 2016. DSF audiences remember Proietto’s remarkable performance in Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s Faun in DSF 2011, as well as his own choreography Cygne, danced by former Houston Ballet dancer Samantha Lynch in DSF 2014.


Choreographers' Forum – Wednesday, April 12, 7:00 PM @ the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, will be dedicated to the art and work Carolyn Carlson, a major figure of the European contemporary dance scene. Carlson’s career spans more than four decades as dancer, choreographer, instructor, and poet.  Over one hundred creations round out the California-bred, Finnish descendant’s repertoire. She was the first ever choreographer to receive the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale, in 2006, for which she was artistic director of its dance sector from 1999 to 2002. In 2014 she established the Carolyn Carlson Company, touring throughout the world while simultaneously in residence at Théatre National de Chaillot in Paris.
Film version of Carlson's choreography Innana will be presented in its full version as part of the Forum. Also, Paris Opera Etoile, Marie-Agnes Gillot, guest performer of Carolyn Carlson’s solo work Black over Red (My dialogue with Rothko) will share her life long experience of working with the choreographer. Discussion and Q/A will be moderated by Maggie Foyer, dance writer from London, UK. Free event.


Afternoon Student Concert Program
Thursday, April 13, 2017 from 12:30 – 2:00 PM. Designed for middle and high school age students, the Afternoon Student Concert Program combines a short tour of the Wortham Center and a final dress rehearsal performance in the balcony of the Cullen Theater, Wortham Center. Free program.

INFO: More Details on the Afternoon Student Concert Program



Dance Salad Festival 2016

Information regarding the 2016 Festival can now be found on the Concert 2015/2016 page.




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