CriticalDance Forum

Hurricane & Aftermath Impact Houston Companies
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Author:  Toba Singer [ Tue Sep 16, 2008 8:41 am ]
Post subject:  Hurricane & Aftermath Impact Houston Companies

[I was in Houston to do two readings from my book First Position, see Onegin and cover the Texas Contemporary Dance Festival for Dance Source Houston, I left the day after I arrived when it became clear that flights would be scarce. Made it back to SF by the skin of my teeth on the next to the last seat on the last flight out. Thought readers might be interested in this roundup from Houston dance critic Nancy Galeota-Wozny:]

Dear Dance Friends,

Thanks for your thoughts. IKE and its evil twin, IKE II, "The aftermath" have taken their toll on the city. One out of four are still without power, many without water, and cell service is spotty. My power returned on Sunday and I am considering turning my home into a Chez Wozny's comfort zone for my neighbors who are still without. Gas, food, and ice are in short supply and if you find them you will also find a long line.

IKE's timing with the dance season could not have been worse, hitting two of the biggest weekends for ballet and contemporary dance. The second week of Onegin and the first week of the mixed rep have been canceled. HB's website lists a performance of Onegin on Sunday. DSH's annual Weekend of Contemporary dance has been postponed along with the big world dance concert and another festival for youngsters. There is talk of Sunday but the Theater is still without power, water, and 100 or so pesky down trees. Dancers are scattered everywhere and unable to take class or rehearse so its an iffy situation on this weekend. Our heavily wooded city has most of its wood lying on the ground or on houses. Many of our lovely oaks are history.

And to think we threw a smashing CLEAR SKIES party with members of the ballet, modern, and world dance community all coming together to bless our city with good weather. My faith in the weather gods is at an all time low.

The city's theaters did well, little damage has been reported. However, Downtown is a mess. Windows blew out on several buildings sucking furniture into the street. Few traffic lights work and there's a 9pm curfew. So far my studio friends seem OK, most are in strip centers without trees. All are closed as are schools.

The death toll stands at 40 as of this minute, which considering the force of the storm surge, is low. News of the hardest hit areas is not in yet. They are reporting, Crystal Beach (the area the right of IKE), as "gone." Galveston is uninhabitable and I doubt that the 40% of the population that stayed will do so again.

That's the news as of this minute. Luckily we are having a cold spell. I'm off to deliver coffee. Keep us in your thoughts.


Author:  LMCtech [ Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:14 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thanks so much for posting this, Toba. I have wondered how the arts community was coping with the aftermath. Please keep us up to date if you can and my thoughts go out to James and his colleagues.

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Tue Sep 16, 2008 2:01 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thank you, Toba. Please keep us advised of the situation in Houston.

Author:  Toba Singer [ Wed Oct 08, 2008 12:23 pm ]
Post subject: 

I've found that Dance Source Houston is a great online resource for the Houston dance scene. Here is an update from them on hurricane aftermath issues related the subject dear to our hearts:

Hurricane Ike Resources from
City of Houston Relief:
AIA Disaster Relief: ... %20AIA.pdf

HAA Reports on Post-Hurricane Assessment Survey. While most of the large arts organizations in Houston sustained little or no damage in the wake of Hurricane Ike, many individual artists and small to mid-sized organizations experienced water, wind, and facility damage which may take months to repair. To read about survey results, go to . HAA has also initiated a hurricane recovery blog for the arts to facilitate communication among individuals and arts organizations (

Americans for the Arts is collecting donations on HAA's behalf. Applications for relief funds will be opened when enough resources have been collected and are available to distribute. To learn more about to make a much needed donation, visit their website at

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