HOUSTON, TX - The next Dance Salad Festival performances are scheduled for March 28, 29 and 30, 2013, 7:30 PM at the Wortham Center, Cullen Theater. Now celebrating the 18th anniversary season in Houston and the 21st season since its inception in Brussels, Belgium, Dance Salad Festival promises another gathering of world-class performers. Famous in their own countries, the dance companies/dancers have won praise from critics and audiences wherever they have toured. To download photos, for more information, and to buy and print tickets, $20-$50, go to: www.dancesalad.org.

1) Polish National Ballet/Teatr Wielki, Warsaw, the major ballet company in Poland, will come to the US for the first time since 1980. They will only be performing in Houston bringing four works to be presented at Dance Salad Festival. Since March 2009, PNB has been under the directorial leadership of internationally acclaimed choreographer, Krzysztof Pastor, who is also resident choreographer at the Dutch National Ballet as well as ballet director of the Lithuanian National Opera, Ballet.

DSF audiences will see three US Premieres of Pastor’s iconic work: a section of And The Rain Will Pass…, created in 2011 to the moving and dramatic music of Polish composer, Henryk Górecki; Moving Rooms, created by Pastor for the Dutch National Ballet in 2008 andrecently premiered by Teatr Wielki in Warsaw, set to music by Alfred Schnittke and Henryk Górecki; and Kurt Weill Suite,created in 2001 for the Dutch National Ballet. DSF presented a pas de deux from this major work in 2003. This year, Houston audiences will see three different major sections of this work. Rubi Pronk, an internationally acclaimed dancer will be featured in two different works by Krzysztof Pastor. Also, we are excited to premiere a beautiful selection from the full length Personacreated by Robert Bondara, a dancer and a rising choreographer of the PNB.

Krzysztof Pastor’s ballet And the Rain Will Pass... is his very personal artistic statement. After a long stay abroad, he saw more scars and evidence of suffering in Warsaw than in any other city. He was inspired by images from literature and films showing traumatic moments in Polish history. Most importantly, however... he chose the moving and dramatic music of Beatus Vir, Quasi una fantasia, and Kleines Requiem für eine Polka by Górecki. The world premiere received a lot of publicity in Poland and internationally. www.teatrwielki.pl

“This is a work of major importance: a fusion of dance, music and drama that marks a coming of age for the company…With this new ballet Krzysztof Pastor has given his homeland a precious gift: an epic ballet indelibly stamped with a Polish identity…. Situated between the ideological power blocks of fascism and communism, Poland has endured more than its fair share of tragedy. Pastor marks the recent modern history in ways that are subtle yet unmistakable and never didactic,” writes Maggie Foyer, Senior dance critic of Dance Europe, 2011.

“Rain is like compassion -- it wipes everything away: the blood from the battlefield, and people, and the air petrified with fear…” writes Krzysztof Kamil Baczy?ski, the poet-insurgent, in his poem Deszcze [Rain] which Pastor used as an inspiration for his work.

Moving Rooms was created in 2008 for the Dutch National Ballet. The world premiere, performed as part of the prestigious Holland Festival, was highly praised by Dutch critics and audiences. Pastor describes: “[Moving Rooms] refers to moving changing spaces...legibly defined by light. It affects the relationships between the dancers, creates their emotions. This play of light and movement within a changing space is the essence of my ballet…it is a pure play of moods and emotions in a dynamic composition of lights.”  New York Times Dance Critic Roslyn Sulcas writes, “Dark, literally and imaginatively…The mostly overhead lighting, by Bert Dalhuysen, alternately imprisons the dancers in brilliant cages, or swallows them in blackness, adding greatly to the enigmatic world that Mr. Pastor has created onstage.”

In Kurt Weill Suite, Pastor “…produced a multimedia show in the form of a collage of dance images. Taking the music of Kurt Weill, he has created a vibrant ballet fresco, inspiring in its dance expressiveness, diversity of musical forms and vocal hits, encouraging reflection on the social experience of the composer’s times, the changeable fate of artists, symptoms of intolerance, and constant longing for love." www.teatrwielki.pl. In Houston, two sections of this work will be accompanied by a live music performance of an opera singer from Houston Grand Opera Studios working with musicians from the Shepherd School of Music, Rice University.

“…Kurt Weill attracted international attention and was nominated in three categories for the prestigious international dance award Benois de la Danse. The work takes one on a journey through the astonishing diversity of Weill’s oeuvre, ranging from orchestral to chamber music, from art song to Broadway musical. Pastor’s work is non-narrative; instead, it tellingly captures the atmosphere of the various different compositions, creating a beautiful balance between serenity and theatricality. Some of the solos and duets, in particular, are quite simply magnificent. In total, the piece is an excitingly rich choreographic invention coupled with an unaffected eloquence,” Roslyn Sulcas, The New York Times, 2012.

Born in 1956, Krzysztof Pastor began his ballet training with the Polish National Ballet School in his home town of Gdansk. In 1983 Pastor became a soloist with Le Ballet de l’Opéra of Lyon in France. From 1985 to 1995, he danced with the Dutch National Ballet. After creating several ballets for the Dutch National Ballet’s workshop programs, in 1992 he was asked to choreograph a ballet for the company’s main program: the successful Shostakovich Chamber Symphony. Pastor has since then gained considerable recognition as an international choreographer, creating nearly fifty ballets to date including the highly acclaimed Do not go gentle …; In Light and Shadow, the large-scale, full-length production Kurt Weil, Tristan, Don Giovanni as well as Symphony Fantastic for the Australian Ballet.

In 2003, Pastor was appointed resident choreographer of the Dutch National Ballet. Pastor has created ballets for many companies abroad such as the National Ballet of Lithuania, The Washington Ballet, West Australian Ballet, Royal New Zealand Ballet, The National Ballet of Latvia, Polish National Ballet, Ballet Opera Dresden, The Israel Ballet, Royal Flemish Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, among others. In 1995, Pastor’s ballet Detail IV won the Gold Choreography Prize of the Helsinki International Ballet Competition. In 2000 he was awarded the Medal of Merit by the Polish Ministry of Culture. In March 2009 Pastor was appointed director to the Polish National Ballet. Meanwhile, he continues as resident choreographer to the Dutch National Ballet. www.teatrwielki.pl 

In Persona, set to musicbyArvo Pärt, choreographer Robert Bondara questions the social autonomy of being human and existing. “To be a man means never to be oneself, claimed Gombrowicz. These words define the path that Robert Bondara tries to follow in Persona…” The choreographer explains: “Human existence is inextricably linked to functioning within certain sociocultural norms. This makes it necessary to adjust to existing models, which allows people to avoid conflicts and gain benefits in the form of a sense of being accepted. Thus, people put on masks, trying to play different roles, adapting to the attitudes and behaviors expected of them. Jung called this phenomenon the persona.” www.teatrwielki.pl 

Robert Bondara is a dancer, choreographer, and teacher - an artist of the Polish National Ballet. He is a graduate of the Feliks Parnell State Ballet School in Lód? (2002). At first he appeared at the local musical theatre, and then moved to the Teatr Wielki in Pozna?. Finally, in September 2005, he joined the ballet company of the Teatr Wielki - Polish National Opera in Warsaw. He has been a coryphée of the Polish National Ballet since 2009. Bondara has choreographed several works for the PNB; Krzysztof Pastor wants him to create additional work for the company. 

“[Polish National Ballet/ Teatr Wielki] has existed, in one form or another since 1785 when King Stanislaus Augustus formed the 30-strong group of His Majesty’s National Dancers. In the 19th century, the company ranked high among European troupes (both Filippo Taglioni and Enrico Cecchetti were directors), but Poland’s traumatic 20th century wars and their consequences for the country have meant a low artistic profile on the dance front — and, for the most part, modest artistic ambitions. Yet how quickly things can change. Two decades after the end of Communism, and eight years after joining the European Union, the Polish National Ballet is performing a program as international and as challenging as any major company today,” summarizes Roslyn Sulcas, The New York Times, 2012.


2) The Compañía Nacional de Danza/ National Ballet of Spain from Madrid will premiere in the USA, In Transit, newly created in January 2012, by one of DSF’s favorite choreographers, widely acclaimed and remarkably resourceful, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa. Set to music by Olafur Arnalds and Max Richter, this is Annabelle’s fifth work presented in the Dance Salad Festival.

“In her new work, the choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa explores the state of mind that inhabits people while in an undefined public space of transit. She displays multiple characters facing their capacity and incapacity to communicate with honesty while interacting with strangers. Confronted with constrained and sometimes unexpected encounters, the dancers get caught in an unavoidable whirlwind of discomfort, impatience, loneliness, fear, whimsicality, audacity and desire.” http://cndanza.mcu.es/

The half-Colombian, half-Belgian, Ochoa completed her dance education at the Royal Ballet Academy of Antwerp in Belgium. After a 12-year-long professional dance career where she danced as a soloist for the Scapino Ballet Rotterdam, she decided in 2003 to focus her creative energies entirely on choreography. Annabelle has so far created works for the Scapino Ballet Rotterdam, Dutch National Ballet, Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève, The Royal Ballet of Flanders, the Gothenburg Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, BalletX, BJM-Danse Montreal, Ballet National de Marseille, Saarbrucken Ballet, Jacoby & Pronk, Ballet Hispanico, Pacific Northwest Ballet and Finnish National Ballet. In the fall of 2007 she was invited to participate in the prestigious New York Choreographic Institute.

“The Compañía Nacional de Danza, Spain, was founded in 1979 under the name of Ballet Clásico Nacional, and its first Director was Víctor Ullate. In 1983 the Direction of the Ballets Nacionales-Español y Clásico was put under the direction of María de Avila, who systematized the internal work of the Ballet and placed special emphasis on opening its doors to such choreographers as George Balanchine and Anthony Tudor.

"In December 1987, Maya Plisetskaya, the extraordinary Russian dancer, was appointed the ballet's Artistic Director. The appointment of renowned dancer and choreographer Nacho Duato as Artistic Director of Compañía Nacional de Danza in June 1990 meant an innovative change in the company's history. Duato contributed to the Compañía Nacional de Danza with 45 of his works as a choreographer, praised by critics all over the world and awarded with many top prizes. On December 2010 the Spanish Ministry of Culture named José Carlos Martínez, renowned dancer from the Paris Opera Ballet, the new director of Compañía Nacional de Danza.” www.cndanza.mcu.es

3) Eastman, Antwerp, Belgium, a company founded and led by the prolific and creative choreographer, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, is highly anticipated for DSF once again. Cherkaoui is an artist of the world who is constantly being inspired by cultural diversity around the globe. This year Eastman will present a Premiere of a specially curated version for DSF of Cherkaoui’s recently created PUZ/ZLE as well as Larbi’s dance film Valtari. PUZ/ZLE was commissioned, co-produced, and premiered at the Festival d’Avignon, France, in July, 2012, at the Carrière de Boulbon. This theater’s natural rock quarry was instrumental in inspiring Cherkaoui to create PUZ/ZLE where he used rocks on the stage and set pieces made of quarry images and specific lighting on the actual quarry as a backdrop for the choreography.

Our audiences will hear live music performed by internationally famous Lebanese singer Fadia Tomb El-Hage, Japanese flutist and drummer Kazunari Abe, contemporary violinist Olga Wojciechowska and Japanese koto player Tsubasa Hori, added specifically for DSF, along with the recording of beautiful sounds by the famous Corsican a capella male chorus, A Filetta. “Larbi’s choice of music helps us to explore how a song, a composition, can have various sources all at once, religious and secular, Christian and Muslim, and how traditions that we so easily name European or Oriental are never that easily definable and monolithic…” www.east-man.be

In PUZ/ZLE, “Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui questions and highlights the puzzles that lie behind human relations (emotional, intellectual, sexual), the morphology of the body, and intangibles like musical traditions inspired by and woven together from separate and multiple strands and traditions. Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui salutes the delightful impurity that constitutes our lives and our planet…[He] returns in a more abstract fashion to the notion of multiplicity rooted in our thought processes and the added question of how things fit together to create a new and distinct identity (like a jigsaw puzzle). Cherkaoui is intrigued by why certain connections succeed in coming together as an organic whole while others fail. And whether they actually fail or if the failure lies in our perception of order and disorder. He aims then to question the seeming importance of order and linearity and to explore if there can be more than one way of solving a puzzle, of telling a tale, of living time…” www.east-man.be

Valtari, film, was the name of Sigur Rós's last album as a four-member group.  The album was an elegiac work. The band didn't feel much like talking about the album, so instead, they asked talented directors to do their speaking for them. Fourteen filmmakers were given the same modest budget and were told to create whatever came into their heads when they listened to songs from Valtari. The idea was to bypass the usual artistic approval process and allow these individuals the utmost creative freedom.  The end result was sixteen films. Sad, funny, beautiful, and occasionally plain bewildering, the films represented just some of the emotional responses to this most contemplative musical work. Sigur Rós commented on issuing the endeavor, “We never meant our music to come with a pre-programmed emotional response. We don’t want to tell anyone how to feel and what to take from it.” Larbi’s film is a result of this process. He took the movement from his work Faun, presented in DSF 2011, and revised it in an industrial site with the help of the film director Christian Larson.

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, was born in Antwerp in 1976. Cherkaoui studied contemporary dance at P.A.R.T.S. in Brussels. He also worked with hip-hop and modern jazz dance companies and began to choreograph. Larbi’s work has received acclaim in major dance companies throughout Europe with numerous awards and commissions. In February 2009, he received the Kairos European Cultural Prize praised by the jury “because he raises fundamental questions about human existence through movement and because of the connections he makes between elements of different cultures”. Described as one of Europe’s undisputed rising stars, Cherkaoui examines the animal nature of human movement and the power of mythology in Faun, which was commissioned by Sadler’s Wells as part of a tribute to the ground-breaking work of Sergei Diaghilev and Les Ballet Russes which was performed in DSF 2011. 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. 2010 marked a watershed year in the trajectory of Cherkaoui: the launch of Eastman, his own company.

"An international reputation for [Cherkaoui’s] silky intermingling of hybrid movement forms an emotionally intense theatre," Roslyn Sulcas, New York Times, 2009. "Part contortionist, part visionary, part poet." Alistair Spalding, director of Sadler's Wells theatre, Telegraph, 2007."Cherkaoui's eye for the singularity of body language is so witty and sharp, that we still end up feeling as if we know a startling amount about these people and the noisy, disjointed world we all inhabit," Judith Mackrell on Rien de Rien, Guardian, 2001.

Some of Cherkaoui’s collaborations include Zero Degrees with Akram Khan (2005), and the monks of the Shaolin Temple and sculptor Antony Gormley for the creation of Sutra (2008). Other collaborations include: Babel (2010), Tezuka (2011) and PUZ/ZLE in 2012. In the same year, Cherkaoui was asked to choreograph the recently premiered film Anna Karenina, a new adaptation of Tolstoy’s classic novel, by well-known British film director Joe Wright starring Jude Law and Keira Knightley.

4) Spellbound Contemporary Ballet (formerly Spellbound Dance Company), Rome, Italy, is performing again in DSF with a US Premiere of the groundbreaking choreography, Dangerous Liasons (Le Relazioni Pericolose) and How To Pray, a beautiful Pas de Deux danced by the company’s lead dancers, choreographed  by Mauro Astolfi, choreographer, Artistic Director and founder of the company.

Mauro writes about his work: “Simply the expression Dangerous Liasons is already seen as dangerous due to the fact that it inexorably conjures up thoughts of the masterpiece by Choderlos de Laclos and triggers an immediate expectation that we are dealing with licentious, intriguing, characters and promiscuous protagonists of violent and passionate love. Our [Dangerous Liaisons] investigates instead an apparent calm, a normal relationship made of meetings, an accidental reading of letters, of messages that may fall into the wrong hands and as in the best epistolary novels, becomes the beginning and end of everything believed to be reality. A strange house is the setting, a place that hosts guests and holds meetings, but where there is no landlord who has invited anyone…Spellbound imagines many smaller, subtle relationships that become dangerous when you do not understand exactly who you are dealing with…The desperate desire to trust someone exponentially increases the risk of a superficial approach…this creates a relationship which, by its very nature, is always the most dangerous.”

Established in 1994 by Director Mauro Astolfi, Spellbound is now one of the most interesting dance companies among the “Made in Italy” trend. Artistic expression and a business model that is creative, dynamic and constantly evolving in tune with the evolution of experiences and influences of the cultural fabric, the company added to its historic name in 2011 the words ‘Contemporary Ballet’. This company performs at the most important festivals in Italy as well as in Spain, Croatia, Serbia, USA, Belarus, North Korea, Germany, Austria, France and Thailand. www.spellboundance.com

5) La Veronal, Barcelona, Spain is an exciting discovery from Spain coming to Dance Salad Festival. The company is founded by Marcos Marou - a highly innovative and multidisciplinary artist with inspiration coming not only from dance but also film, photography and literature. La Veronal will debut in the USA with the combination of one of Marou’s major works, Russia, and its synthesized version, called Moscow set to music by Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky and Angelo Badalamenti.

Marou’s inspiration comes from the work and ideas of the legendary Russian film director, Andrei Tarkovsky who once said: “Our relationships don’t occur because we want them to, but because we wish them to. They do not occur because we want to get pleasure from such relationships. They occur because we are afraid.”

“…Marou has chosen Russia, especially the Baikal lake, in the South of Siberia, where Nureyev was born, to place eight characters that start a journey by car towards this frozen and faraway land,” observes Carmen del Val of El Pais, 2012. “Lake Baikal... is the deepest lake in the world. Such is its volume of water that if you spill it over the Earth’s surface, the planet would be covered by a layer eight inches deep. Russia is a moving picture, a road trip to Lake Baikal. The protagonists are in front of a road that plunges into the forest. There is snow on the road. Russia is large and unknown. They are forced to stay together, locked inside a vehicle. They spend the night listening to radio programs. The road leads them increasingly close to the lake, but they never get to see it. From the beginning, Russia is born with the will of never ending. Choreographer Marcos Marou sees Russia as the geographical representation of fear.” www.laveronal.com

“Marcos Morau circulates between the Lynchian suspense and the Coen brothers’ humor, a surreal paradise aesthetically perfect and deeply disturbing, very close also to the Para theatrical actions by Jan Lauwers. But the youth of this creator from Valencia living in Barcelona is especially noticeable for the energy in every scene and his ability to link unrelated issues that in his hands result in an extremely smooth narration, like the Russian crying icons in a Passion Week image or the gymnasts’ clothing and positions between the dance movements. The role of the eight interpreters, excellent dancers, is to flesh out characters that are pure feeling...That’s why they connect with the public, because they feel...each one of the energetic steps with which the story is intertwined and explained,” writes Barbara Raubert Nonell of AVUI, 2011.This work received the First Prize at the Madrid Choreography Competition; Third Prize at MasDanza/International Contemporary Dance Festival of the Canary Islands and  Third Prize at the Copenhagen International Choreography Competition.

Marcos Marou’s fascination with geography and countries has been a powerful driving force in the creation of most of his works, including Sweden (2008), then Maryland (2009), followed by Finland (2010), then Russia (2011) and Iceland (2012). In 2005 he created La Veronal. This company is formed by artists from dance, film, photography and literature. The artistic team’s purpose lies directly on a constant search for new expressive media, for cultural references – cinema, literature, music and photography. La Veronal is creating a series where each piece’s background takes as a starting point a country or city in the world, creating an analogy between dance and topography. The pieces do not intend to become documentary films that describe the country directly, but make use of the elements that the name provided to carry out the development of an idea or argument.”  www.laveronal.com

6) Rubi Pronk, Company Pronk, Amsterdam, Netherlands, is returning to our Festival as a featured dancer in works by Krzysztof Pastor with the Polish National Ballet as well as with the Houston premiere of the solo L’Effleure, created by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and set to music by Antonio Vivaldi. Annabelle writes about this work: “L'Effleuré has been especially created for Rubinald Pronk. The title means softly touched. Rubinald is an artist known for his strength and forceful dancing. I've known Rubi since he was 14 years old and I have watched him develop into this forceful artist. We have worked together once before and this time I wanted to make a piece that would show his softer, tender side. Like the king of roses.”

Rubinald Rofino Pronk was born in The Hague, Netherlands. He joined the Dutch National Ballet at 16, where he danced as a soloist. Pronk has starred in many international Galas and has guested with Dutch National Ballet, Norwegian National Ballet, Lines Ballet, Teatro Massimo, Polish National Ballet and Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company. In 2006 he joined Complexions Contemporary Ballet in New York City. In 2008 he co-founded his independent partnership, "Jacoby & Pronk", with Drew Jacoby. The duo was featured on the August 2009 cover of Dance Magazine and have received rave reviews in many leading dance publications. They performed in DSF in 2008 with One by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Softly As I Leave You by Lightfoot/Leon in 2010. In July 2010 they premiered their own show at Jacob's Pillow Festival which featured guest dancers from the Netherlands Dance Theatre and American Ballet Theatre. In February 2012 they premiered their latest show at Holland Dance Festival in Pronk's hometown, The Hague, and Belgrade Dance Festival 2012.

7) Fernando Hernando Magadan, The Hague, Netherlands, long time former dancer of Netherlands Dans Theater I and II will be coming to DSF for the second time after a very memorable performance of Shutter Shut by Lightfoot/Leon in 2004. This season Fernando will Premiere in the USA his own solo, Rouse. Fernando writes about his work, “Rouse is the result of an exploration around the idea of self-confrontation and creativity. Psychologist Carl Jung wrote – ‘Everyone carries a shadow…in spite of its function as a reservoir for human darkness—or perhaps because of this—the shadow may be the seat of creativity.’ Any creator is in constant confrontation with his own creativity. This idea about confronting the 'shadow aspects' of oneself, the creativity, and the rouse of the unconscious mind has been the departing points for this solo work.”

 “Fernando belongs to the generation of upcoming choreographers that combine their passion for dancing at a renowned dance company (NDT) while nurturing their choreographic journey.” www.steppinggrounds.com

Fernando Hernando Magadan is a Spanish dancer and choreographer.  He studied at the Royal Conservatory of Dance in Madrid before enrolling in the Central School of Ballet in London.  He went on to join the Nederlands Dans Theater ll in 2001 and was later invited to join the Nederlands Dans Theater l in 2004. 

As a choreographer, Fernando has created several works over the past ten years, including pieces for NDT, the Curve Foundation Dance Company in Scotland, Cross Connection Ballet Company in Copenhagen, Ballet Mainz in Germany, and most recently the Donlon Dance Company in Saarbruecken, Germany.  He also created the choreography for Nierka, a fully-staged multidisciplinary show by visual designer Tupac Martir, which premiered in London, 2012.  Recently, he was invited to present his choreography The Time is a House for the Russian Cultural TV.  Fernando has collaborated with the NDT Education Department, and has coordinated the NDT choreographic workshop Switch.  His new solo piece Rouse was presented at the Étoiles from the Hamburg Ballet performance. 

8) HeadSpaceDance, London, England, Having worked extensively in the UK and internationally, HeadSpaceDance has been associated with inspirational artists such as well-known Swedish choreographer Mats Ek who created Light Beings which will be presented in this year’s Dance Salad Festival.  Producer-performers Christopher Akrill and Charlotte Broom have collaborated to co-found Headspace to create original dance pieces.  Broom and Akrill met while dancing with the Northern Ballet in the 1990s.  Their careers intertwined as they performed with The Cullberg Ballet, dancing in many of Mats Ek’s works.  They also worked together in the production of Caberet; and performances at the Royal Opera House.  Headspace showcased its talents in its debut performance, Three & Four Quarters, at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, to rave reviews in 2012. 

9) TU Dance, St. Paul, Minnesota, was founded by former Alvin Ailey dancers and co-Artistic Directors Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands in 2004.  Modern dance, classical ballet, West-African movement, and street dance are combined in inventive and unpredictable ways through Uri Sand’s choreography.  The Houston premier of his High Heel Blues, a retro-feel piece, acts out the longings of a woman lusting after high heeled shoes, knowing they are not good for her feet. 



Other Important Events in Dance Salad Festival Week

Choreographers’ Forum: A Conversation, Wednesday, March 27, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 7:00 PM, is a special opportunity to glimpse the creative process from some of the Festival’s invited choreographers; to hear their points of view and to see film clips of their work. This highly anticipated event is generously co-sponsored by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (lectures@mfah.org). There will be a reception following the Forum at the MFAH.

The forum will feature Krzysztof Pastor, choreographer and the Artistic Director of the Polish National Ballet who is also a resident choreographer at the Dutch National Ballet and the ballet director at the Lithuanian National Opera, Ballet. This year's festival presents 3 of his works. We will also hear from one of DSF's favorite choreographers, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa whose two pieces will be presented in the festival. Also, you will see a new film choreographed by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui based on his Faun creation presented in DSF 2011.There will be a discussion of his work process with his assistant and one of the dancers, who recently took part in the film Anna Karenina by Joe Wright where Cherkaoui did all the dance choreography and coached the actors.

During the Festival week, Artist to Artist Workshops will be held in various locations throughout the city so that students and professionals can learn from these invited master choreographers.

Classical, modern and contemporary dance share the Dance Salad Festival stage to form a mix of movement and compelling choreographic invention. Members of some of the world’s best dance companies come to the city to participate in this week-long Festival. Each night’s production is uniquely curated and designed as a coherent, expressive performance. To see the full range of the choreography we highly recommend you attend at least two of the three evenings.

This multicultural presentation has received international recognition for its quality and innovativeness and because of the Festival’s broad international nature, it has consistently been a source of cultural pride for many of the expatriate and ethnic communities that reside in Houston. The city's 94 member Consular Corps is a community partner and many foreign members serve as sponsors and hosts. Director Nancy Henderek strongly believes that through the arts, bridges can be built between different countries and cultures.

Dance Salad Festival has been praised by local, national and international publications. Dance Magazine said: “Producer Nancy Henderek’s eye for some of the best international dance is unparalleled.” In a special section of The Houston Chronicle entitled “Houston’s Ultimate People,” Nancy Henderek is described as a “one-woman United Nations.”

PR/Assistant to the Director, Christina Levin: dsfassist@aol.com, Mobile: 832.533.4826.