To cap off a series of Houston-landmark-linked performances carried out over the past few years, Karen Stoke’s dance company will put on bayou-and-space-themed DEEP: Seaspace at Hobby Center the weekend after next (that’s October 20th through 22nd). Stokes, whose previous work includes that well-timed dance about flooding in Discovery Green right after Memorial Day last year, tells Swamplot she has been mulling over appropriately grand Ship Channel choreographies since at least 2003, when she cut a related section from her piece Hometown with plans to tackle the topic later in greater depth.
On the list of historical places given a nod in the choreography (or in the short film to be shown during the live performance): Ship-Channel-side spots like the site of Santa Anna’s capture near the San Jacinto battlegrounds (the historical marker for which is located along Federal Rd. where the Washburn Tunnel crosses under the waterway); Allen’s Landing in Downtown; and the area around the former Willow St. Pump Station (just north of where White Oak Bayou meets Buffalo, by the Harris County Jail) — that spot is shown below, with dancers placed for atmosphere:
NASA also makes the list of referenced landmarks, and the upcoming show is split thematically between bayou history and Houston’s role in space exploration. Stokes says the ideas of “launching and landing” figure heavily into the piece — whether by ships, by Mission Control types, or by actual dancers.
- DEEP: Seaspace [Hobby Center]
- A History of Willow Street [UHD Archives blog]
- Previously on Swamplot: And Now a Downtown Dance Performance About Flooding
Images: Lynn Lane (1st and 3rd), Karen Stokes Dance (2nd)