Dance

The Dance Salad Festival Turns 20 This Weekend

Now in its 20th year, the Dance Salad Festival continues to draw members of Houston’s diverse international population.

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Dutch dance company Introdans makes its Houston debut this weekend with Jiri Kylian’s Trompe L’Oeil. Photo by Hans Gerritsen.

 

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The Norwegian National Ballet is marking its fifth appearance in DSF with the U.S. premiere of Ibsen’s Ghosts, directed by Marit Moum Aune and choreographed by Cina Espejord. Photo by Erik Berg.

When the Dance Salad Festival came to Houston twenty years ago, Artistic Director Nancy Henderek had a lot of footwork to do.

“So at first, it was trying to find a theater, trying to find the dancers, trying to find the choreographers. And it was much more locally-driven. And it started on the road of becoming an international event.”

Henderek says this as she darts around in the basement of the Wortham Theater, helping dancers, giving advice to the stage techs, and juggling all the other things that come with being an artistic director.

The Dance Salad Festival has bloomed into a “don’t miss” event with Houston’s dance scene. It’s praised for reflecting the city’s diverse international population by introducing companies from across the world and vice versa.

One example is the company from the Netherlands called Introdans.  Artistic Director Roel Voorintholt watches rehearsal from a center row of the theater. He says he’s been wanting to come for a while.

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From Belgium, the Eastman dance company will feature Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s Rigor Mortis. Photo by Filip VanRoe.

“I go to New York often and I work with American choreographers, but never in Houston,” Voorintholt says. “I’m excited. We met several times and we always wanted to do something. It took some time but I’m happy finally we could do it.”

This year’s festival also includes groups from Australia, Norway, Belgium, Germany, South Korea, New York, and even a couple of Houston Ballet’s principal dancers. It runs through Saturday at the Wortham Center.

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