Houston band Acorde will merge dance and visual arts in weekend performances


Houston’s Acorde group in a multimedia performance

Photo: Lynn Lane

As galleries across the city champion the art of printmaking with the return of PrintHouston, members of the interdisciplinary quartet Group Acorde have discovered a new stage, a stage they hope will further unite art forms. and fanatics.

This weekend, the artists – dancers Roberta Paixão Cortes and Lindsey McGill with jazz musicians Seth Paynter and Thomas Helton – will share the spotlight with a rich collection of works by nine local printmakers, as they bring their collaborative style at Archway Gallery for the first time.

Blending contemporary movement and experimental music, the performance will take place during the venue’s “Ink & Image 2022” exhibit, held in conjunction with PrintMatters Houston’s eighth biennial PrintHouston Celebration, which runs throughout June. The site-specific program, while rooted in structured improvisation, will draw inspiration from the variety of original prints adorning the gallery walls and the techniques used to create such pieces. In order to give an overview of their artistic approach and to encourage greater dialogue with the community, the members of Groupe Acorde will lead a discussion after the two evenings.

“We’ve always wanted to collaborate with the visual arts,” said Paixão Cortes, who left his native Brazil in the early 2000s to participate in a year-long au pair cultural exchange program in Houston. After a brief trip home, she returned to Bayou City to pursue a career as a professional dancer, and has since worked with numerous independent choreographers and local companies. She befriended McGill while performing with Hope Stone Dance and later met Paynter and Helton as a performer with the Michele Brangwen Dance Ensemble.

In 2016, the colleagues created their own company under the name Group Acorde, selecting the Portuguese word “acorde” – which means “wake up” as well as “chord”, or a combination of musical notes sounded simultaneously – for embody the spirit of collaboration. which is at the heart of every one-night show they produce.

“One of the things we really believe in is how much better artistic mediums can get when we come together, and often times even the environment is like a character in what we do,” Peaceão continued. Cortes, before detailing the intimate and immersive. nature of their future performance. “We’re not just sharing with a different group of people, hopefully, but also showing how different the setting can be for them to enjoy live art.”

Weaving through the crowd, Paixão Cortes and McGill will explore in each of their movements the fluctuating forms, sounds and space that surround them. Informed by the creativity of artists like Donna E. Perkins, who has been collaborating with dancers for some time, they invite open conversation with the audience and seek to inspire illuminating moments in which the interaction of the arts of stage and visual arts leads to new interpretations. or prospects.

More information

Accord Group

When: 7:30 p.m. on June 17 and 18

Where: Archway Gallery, 2305 Dunlavy St.

Details: Pay what you can; groupacorde.org, archwaygallery.com, printmattershouston.org; Archway Gallery opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Primarily an abstract painter, Perkins joined Archway Gallery in 2008 after teaching art in public schools for two decades. The venue, one of the oldest artist-owned and operated galleries in the country, features a selection of high-quality artwork in a variety of media and styles. As a sponsor and exhibitor at PrintHouston, Archway has dedicated its front space to a curated exhibit featuring printmaking by seven of its more than 30 members. In addition to monotypes by Perkins, who uses metallic acrylic paint sometimes supplemented with drawing, pieces by Mary Lee Gray, Blaine Davis, Shirl Riccetti, John Slaby, Liz Conces Spencer and Robert L. Straight as well as guests are on display . artists Alexander Squier and Molly Koehn.

Merging art forms on occasions like this only expands the possibilities for greater communication and connection within the community, but Perkins simply finds joy in supporting his fellow artists, no matter what. either the chosen way of artistic expression.

“It gets even hardcore music fans who don’t usually watch art to get involved,” Perkins said of this weekend’s program. “You’re in space, this place, where you have all this art, as you sit there, there’s so much to look at, and I can’t help but think it enriches the rest of the experience.”

Lawrence Elizabeth Knox is a Houston-based writer.


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