Freneticore and Frenetic Theater October  NEXT OPENING ??

Frenetic Theater






August 22, 23, 2014 —-Welcome to The Houston Critic’s coverage of Freneticore!   I have to give a BIG THANK-YOU to Rebecca French, the Artistic Director and a Founder of Freneticore.  I’ve been proposing a method of criticism for, especially, student dance shows.  Ms. French has given me permission to demonstrate the viability of that way of communicating with the student dancers, the producing agencies, and the Houston audience so that The Houston Critic’s primary goals of Honesty, Integrity, and Fairness are accomplished with CONSTRUCTIVE criticism achieved in an attempt to make the Houston cultural community even better than it already is.


What I propose is the taking of a flat single camera videotape of the performance and allowing me to cut out the most impressive parts of the performance.  It is my contention that students might get sensory overload, trying to learn from performance of their student dances, that they FEEL when things go amazingly right, when it all comes together, but that it would be nice to reinforce that feeling of ‘it worked’, usually for those few minutes or sec0nds, but ‘it worked’ like the magic and wonder that it is to have something really, really come together in performance, live.


I realize that the highlighting of The Houston Critic’s preferences in performance is what this may be mostly about, that producing agencies often present still photography or even video which shows highlights THEY want the potential audience to know about and focus upon.  The fact is, though, that it is very hard to be fair to people who are trying to consider whether or not to attend subsequent performances, especially, of student shows and, at the same time, not to be unkind to students. This method of portraying what we were impressed by seems to resolve that issue.


PLEASE KNOW THAT FRENETICORE IS NOT A STUDENT ORGANIZATION, they are mostly professional, or at least MFA in dance graduates.  These real dancers have allowed us to try to prove the viability of the above method of criticism.  NORMALLY, THERE WOULD NOT BE POSTED A TAPE OF THE WHOLE SHOW.  We are just including the tape of the show as a proof of and a request for permissions from other producing agencies to do more of this method of constructive criticism.

7375_765827853481871_4296899483276318156_n 14957_765829480148375_5709714994892673371_n 1380638_765828020148521_8476670114281230291_n 1394012_765830560148267_2430860798189712248_n 1535403_765830470148276_529017810479817023_n 1606858_765828410148482_6777284376028618482_n 1610806_765828070148516_6308793669685307101_n 1620975_765830393481617_7255948705296742158_n 10351160_765828043481852_8281313370025849415_n 10390054_765830530148270_8474038331118742879_n 10394560_765828736815116_2663069787351591848_n 10409220_765828396815150_6115223281464355953_n 10427298_765829756815014_2783994020310688986_n 10431670_765829250148398_8952237469186467027_n 10453332_765830606814929_4212676202111058437_n 10475831_765829186815071_6786443524717077046_n 10489655_765830586814931_3709055198638660741_n 10501587_765828536815136_6344796315497312281_n 10514579_765828653481791_266884183711435802_n 10561684_765828000148523_5877490344278412688_n 10565111_765830010148322_6540052504035136565_n 10565251_765830503481606_2152098217948167941_n 10568897_765827970148526_1367800308872937273_n 10569049_765828770148446_7207352295535559195_n 10570483_765829580148365_8526882834283478557_n 10574225_765830366814953_5409923391344980305_n 10574377_765828606815129_3847535443443562553_n 10577216_765827860148537_4089751152532943755_n 10580250_765830536814936_21888213578079922_n 10590538_765829563481700_7496984477736259761_n 10592896_765830253481631_3279227506736985108_n 10599217_765830573481599_996316079282101172_n 10600474_765827866815203_4391793640069668783_n 10603362_765830360148287_6138272850793199919_n 10606221_765829170148406_3751712040599207987_n 10609468_765828103481846_6359962912132219219_n 10612642_765830476814942_7323559665610085837_n 10612654_765828030148520_8035245998735752386_n 10612762_765829766815013_2467710954540653851_n 10612802_765828950148428_2891082491976816410_n 10612879_765829813481675_3383633000481074927_n 10612894_765829116815078_2091271287235127634_n 10612989_765828200148503_7573890833915879282_n 10614159_765827966815193_3620336052987565343_n 10615515_765829663481690_8141429515390040826_n 10616335_765827950148528_8441190641413574257_n 10616581_765829933481663_3252439837827769016_n 10620718_765830286814961_1805389029450021148_n 10624601_765827756815214_2460120087304900142_n 10624601_765828293481827_8133242578183021583_n 10628156_765828240148499_4607894445396275307_n 10628373_765828806815109_4780016952040371801_n 10628396_765830160148307_7844007231046349701_n 10628584_765828976815092_9168627191782960301_n 10629712_765827760148547_6690463711459561082_n 10629844_765829960148327_3486231959263280696_n 10635811_765829020148421_556542984400442068_n 10635829_765827763481880_1089873005563189248_n 10635889_765828890148434_1448487991558755231_n 10635974_765830163481640_3792532505875237321_n 10641186_765830306814959_6714946303303606189_n 10644834_765829420148381_1921080487245099695_n 10645314_765828626815127_3737541772714452895_n

The above are press release photos from Freneticore.

My original coverage for August 22, 2014’s Quench included exposition of my insecurities about people making faces just after I speak with them.

“I told her I was confused by what I’d seen and when that happens I often try to find the Director/Choreographer to give him or her a chance to clarify before I write a critical review which speaks of that confusion. She was nice enough to share with this critic who got on stage for the first time when he was 5 years old, that dance and theater are often confusing when people haven’t seen much of it. I asked if her method for choreographing was to herd the troupe, like a shepherd, pushing them into groups but not asking of them any movement that is foreign to them. She told me that sometimes they bring dance and ideas to her and she shapes them and sometimes she gives them ideas and they make movement of the idea. I queried if she was proud of the show by asking if this show was exemplary of the work she presents with Freneticore Dance. She said it was. I asked her what “Frenetic” means to her. She said something like ‘chaotic, fast’ I tried to find out if the chaotic in ‘frenetic’ is what justifies the particular type of order that I saw on stage. She said something like, ‘this show is a slow one’. I asked her if she disliked the ideas and methods of the Alexander Technique. I guess that stuff was too old fashioned for her to have heard of it. I summarized it as “upness” in the motions and postures of the dancers. She said her troupe was definitely “downish”, or something to that effect. I said I noticed a lot of slipping on the wet rubberized floor and an enormous concentration by the dancers on their feet. I asked if they always had so much ‘foot attention’, even when they weren’t slipping on the water”.

I wanted to show that I had given lots of opportunity to explain things I might not have known or noticed.  I continued–

–“This was my first time to go to Frenetic theater. I thought, maybe, it might be wise to ask the managing director of the theater if my car was safe. He said they had never had a break in. The house staff was friendly. They promised me I’d get wet. I sat center, as advised, and watched the 90 or so seat house fill up with audience. What a GREAT idea to do a water show during the Houston summer. I’m not sure it was THAT great of an idea to put water-proofing plastic between the audience and the featured movies on the upstage screen. They looked like they might have been more interesting if I could see more than blurry shapes moving behind the plastic. The music, throughout, was pleasing, original, homemade, good.”

I went on —

— “The dance started. Okay, this show got me trying to refresh, for myself, what I think dance is. Traditionally, one might expect well conditioned, flexible, maybe even gorgeous bodies. It might be too old fashioned to expect those things of a dance show now. Maybe it’s more post modern to let all kinds of shapes and conditions be a part of the dance. There was a member of the audience, well before the show started, who wanted to feel the rubber floor of the open stage, to play Stevie Nicks under the pre-set lights, to extoll the virtues of ‘freedom’ to the audience. She got up and danced impromptu with the talents and movements she knew, those that came easily to her. She was asked to stop and take her seat. Traditionally, one might expect some harmony of motion, some unison movement, some extraordinary exhibitions of balance, grace, shape, composition, interaction. If the show had eshewed all of those, not doing some fun group poses, not manipulating the shape of dancers together somewhat, I might have thought that freneticore was what I witnessed at a point almost to the halfway mark of the show. The movements of the dancers, some graceful and dance-like posers, some plodders, some working in twos, individually were slow, not fast, but there was a frenetic chaos created for my eyes, which darted about to try to see all that was happening on stage. When I questioned the choreographer , she didn’t seem like that’s what she was trying to convey. I had to ask her if the dancers were her students or amateur. I was led to believe that many of them were a part of the troupe and some were brand new. Jaime Garcia made movement and grace a part of his presentation. He was beautiful. I guess slip sliding away wasn’t the only motif for the night. Stacey Ramsower was a CHARACTER which made me wonder why the other dancers weren’t so much CHARACTERS. They seemed to be DANCERS. Some did beautiful dance moves that seemed relatively unrelated to other movement on stage, unless, of course, EVERYTHING is related, if it’s movement, if it’s human, even if it’s disorderly and seemingly unplanned, like the lady doing Stevie Nicks moves and yelling about freedom. If the dances I witnessed weren’t just about the beautiful human body, graceful movement, floating and flying in the air, great composition, balance, character, story, then what was what I saw ‘about’ and what was it for and what was it worth? If I saw so much of the same easy movement from the Stevie lady, why wouldn’t I ask her to come outside and move for me, for free, for freedom? What was more presentable about “Quench”, looking mostly like a brain-storming rehearsal for a high school dance concert, than her interrupted dance?
I was invited to videotape, which is why I’m publishing these words tomorrow with the video of the show.”


OH, MY, WAS I EMBARRASSED TO HAVE WRITTEN THOSE WORDS!!!!  Rebecca French was wonderful to me, allowing the videotaping, acting like a wonderful host to the post production audience.  How could I be fair about my reaction to the show and yet be appreciative of these wonderful people that are Freneticore?  If I had the method available to do the clips of what I thought worked or kind of worked, that would be a nice substitute for the above rambles.

With this clip I could show without saying, that these poses excited me

With this next clip I could highlight what I thought was a beautiful pose


or ,with this one, highlight what I took to be beautiful interaction


A nice moment of ensemble action


a moment of, admittedly derivative, excitement

an interesting moment on stage


and another

a moment of togetherness


a nice dance move



The below was, to me, an impressive moment, where I thought I saw the movement of a river in the same speed-movement of the sliding dancers.

Something sensual, enticing —


I have a thing about just walking on stage, that it must be/have something more


togetherness, kind of —