Lydia graduated from SMU with two degrees in Dance Performance and English Literature.
She was named a recipient of the Meadows School of the Arts Artistic Merit Award and trained at the Taylor School, the Limon Institute, the Graham School, and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. In May of 2010, Lydia founded Frame Dance Productions out of a desire to connect dance to modern culture and facilitate collaborations between artists of varying disciples. Since its creation, Frame Dance Productions has screened works and performed at various venues, theaters and galleries around town, including the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Rice Dance Film Festival and Miller Outdoor Theater.
Lydia and Frame Dance Productions will be unveiling a new show at Fresh Arts August 30-September 2 titled “The Black Space.” The group’s newest performance will deal with the dual concepts of negative energy related to holding grudges and the healthiness of forgiveness.
Though quite busy preparing for her newest endeavor, the lovely Lydia took some time to answer a few questions for me regarding her artistic process and “The Black Space.”
Q: You graduated from SMU with two degrees in Dance Performance and English Literature. Does your background in literature influence your thought process and/or performance?
A: My degree in English Literature has taught me to edit. (Note: you will never attend a Frame Dance show over 75 minutes. Most are 45 minutes to an hour.) It has also taught me to analyze, sift through subjects systematically, organize concepts, and also a lot about deconstruction of material. I think my dance-making process has been crucially impacted by my study of the English language. The really interesting question is whether the resulting artwork is different than it would be without those studies. I guess I’ll never know.
Q: How will your show at Fresh Arts both resemble and differ from your past show "Context" at Winter Street?
A : The show at Fresh Arts, The Black Space, will be similar in that there is no “stage” with the audience on one side, and the performers on another. But The Black Space will be a much more intimate show. The subject matter is much more revealing and penetrative than CONTEXT, which was really about the collaboration of the forms (photography, music, dance, dancers, audience.) Seating will be limited, but we are having four nights of performances. The Black Space is dark, pensive, and pure. There is much more of a set, and the audience will have the opportunity to participate more actively in this show than in past Frame Dance shows. But active participation is always an option. As an introvert, nothing scares me more than being selected to do some unclear thing by myself in a group of strangers. I always keep my fellow introverts in mind when scheming about audience involvement. Holla.
Q: What do you wish to accomplish when performing in front of an audience?
A: My goal is to make audiences think: about themselves more deeply, about the world more deeply, and about those around them more deeply.
Q: What influences/infuses your performances?
A: I am very driven by the aesthetic of what I produce. Not in a perfectionist, anti-post-modern type of way. But, I am very driven by color and texture, which aren’t usually the first two things you hear when talking about dance. I am driven by making art more engaging to my community—what brings audiences in, what makes them stay, what makes them want more, and how can I evolve without letting go of my voice? How can my voice evolve and meet the desire of the community?
Q: How will you engage the audience in your exhibition at Fresh Arts?
A: Well, I can’t give all my secrets away. But the audience does have free reign on where they sit, stand, walk, dance…. There will also be an anonymous confessional element to this show. The Black Space is for the delinquent Catholics. Just kidding.
Q: What is the most challenging part of preparing for this upcoming exhibition? What are you most excited about?
A: The most challenging thing and the most exciting thing are usually the same thing. In The Black Space, I think that would be the use of the space and the audience engagement. I am very excited that we will build the dance in the Fresh Arts Gallery from rehearsal 1, so it will be custom made for that space. That is often a difficult transition for dance. We usually rehearse in a studio and bring it on site the week of the show. This always brings with it changes to the work based on the limits of the space. I am thrilled to have full reign of the space during our performance run, so that we can manipulate the space with set, film projections, collage and sculpture. That is a rarity, and I couldn’t be happier.
For more information about and to purchase tickets to Frame Dance's performance of The Black Space at the Spacetaker Gallery at Fresh Arts (August 30 - September 2 only), visit this exhibition page on our website.