Arts / Performing Arts

Bringing Live Dance Back to Houston and Austin — Ishida Dance Company and Its Former Prodigy Founder Keep it Creative

Faraway, So Close

BY // 08.05.21

Longing to experience the performing arts in person again? Then you’re in luck. Ishida Dance Company is bringing the thought-provoking Faraway, So Close to Houston and Austin this month.

The Austin contemporary dance company, founded in 2019, focuses on telling a story through dance and building a deep connection with its audience. 

Faraway, So Close features new works. One comes from Ishida artistic director Brett Ishida, a former Batsheva dancer, and USC professor Bret Easterling. The other was created by former Netherlands Dans Theater (NDT) and Houston Ballet principal dancer Danielle Rowe of Australia. 

Ishida is a fourth-generation Japanese American who was reared in the rural community of Porterville, California. Growing up, Ishida escaped the world by dancing and enjoyed performing on her grandparents’ citrus ranch. 

Dance professionals quickly recognized Ishida’s talent. The 15-year-old received a full scholarship to the Kirov Academy and later The School of American Ballet.

Ishida studied literature with an emphasis on creative writing and poetry at UCLA. The poetry that Ishida writes today heavily influences the way she choreographs dance pieces. 

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Faraway, So Close 

Faraway, So Close is a mixed repertoire program of unique works based on original poetic narratives. Each performance poses existential questions and requires the audience to think outside the box. 

“I think we are all looking forward to experiencing live performances again as a community,” Ishida tells PaperCity. “This show will transport the audience to another place that, in a way, will provide a cathartic release we all need after this year.” 

Ishida recruits dancers from all over the world to perform with her company. The 80-minute program will feature renowned international dancers such as Gregory Lau, who was born and raised in Honolulu and trained at Mid-Pacific Institute School of the Arts.

This month Ishida Dance Company, an Austin-based contemporary studio, will be performing in Austin and Houston.
This month Ishida Dance Company, an Austin-based contemporary studio, will be performing in Austin and Houston.

 

Local dancers from all around Texas, such as Austinite Christian Bruse, will also be performing in the show. Bruse is a young prodigy known for creating beautiful lines on stage due to her flexibility. 

Sneak Peak of the Show 

One of the pieces featured in the show, “Longing Floats Around You,” explores the idea of loneliness within intimacy. The choreographers were inspired by their own personal relationships and feelings of isolation during the COVID pandemic. 

Another piece that Ishida has been working on for the show is called “Dream of Black You Come Roaming.” This emotional dance is a cautionary tale about how people deal with their doppelgängers and their own guilt. 

Faraway, So Close will play in Austin at the Dell Fine Arts Center (5901 Southwest Parkway) next Friday and Saturday, August 13 and 14, then in Houston at the Midtown Arts and Theater Center (MATCH) at 3400 Main Street Thursday, Friday and Saturday, August 19, 20 and 21.

All performances start at 8 pm. Tickets are available online on the Ishida Dance Company’s website.

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