Thursday, December 22, 2011

"I would like to thank the academy..."

This past year has been another interesting one, and again within the framework of HIO. It continues to be a metamorphic entity, switching direction and alluding accurate prediction of where we will head next. The year of the ensemble's genesis (2009) was one in which Hentai Improvising Orchestra truly felt like a symphony, as its ranks swelled into the double digits playing cacophonies that sounded like baroque gone horribly wrong. 2010 saw us playing to students, garnering a toehold in the local art community (FWCAC and ArtsGoggle), and steadily "shrinking our waistlines" down to a core of three. Praise be to Captain Horn, the heading of HMS Boing-Boing-Scratch-Scratch-Ping-Ping in 2011 was a surprise, making an unexpected port call in the land of dance.

We were in Denton one Saturday in April for HIO alumni Michael Briggs' Violitionist Sessions podcast. A pit stop at Hooligans for a couple pints after recording led to witnessing people in pastels on the courthouse grounds across the road acting in a manner which, for some reason, conjured visions of the Manson Family... except more colourful and less murder-y. Terry's face-to-face encounter with the performers as we were leaving the pub left him feeling unnerved yet intrigued. The following week he reached out on Facebook and asked if any dancers would be interested in collaborating with our pokey little group. Sarah Gamblin, an Associate Professor of Dance at TWU, warmly responded. Through her we were introduced to the "Manson Family": Big Rig Dance Collective. Thus began a partnership with some of the nicest and most talented people that I had the pleasure of meeting.

From the inaugural collaboration at ArtsGoggle in May to the Black Box Theatre performances this past weekend, JAM! sessions and Houston Fringe Festival with Sarah, it has been a memorable and fun year. Where next, Captain? Silly question...

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