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METdance stretches its celebrated brand to Humble

November 9, 2018

The next stop in METdance’s mission to reach out — Humble.

Starting at 7 p.m. Friday at the Charles Bender Performing Arts Center, the Houston-based dance company will perform “Reaching Out!,” a show it bills as an effort to have its shows, talents and prestige vault beyond familiar territories and toward surrounding communities.

Marlana Doyle, METdance’s artistic director since 2012 said the initiative unfurled in the company’s 20th season, or the fall of 2015-2016.

“The idea is to spread the wealth a little bit and also to go beyond I-610,” she said. “It’s really about reaching a new set of friends, new corners and audience members.”

She credited “lover of dance” Jennifer Wooden, the director of Charles Bender Performing Arts Center and Humble Civic Center, for giving METdance a stage to the north of town.

“We’re on the touring roster, which means if you have a theater and you want to bring in METdance you can apply for funding to help support that,” Doyle said. “Which she did, which is great.”

Wooden got to choose which dance pieces will be featured in the show. One of them will be “When We Take Flight” from New York City-based choreographer Kyle Abraham. “Reaching Out!” will be the first time the company performs the show, which won’t have its full debut until 7:30 p.m. next Thursday at Midtown Arts and Theatre Complex (MATCH).

“METdance is probably one of the most respected dance companies in the city of Houston,” Wooden said last Saturday.

Risa D’Souza, who’s been a company member for five years, hopes that people will fill all the seats and ignite an interest in METdance.

“I hope that they enjoy [the show] as much as us,” she said. “It’s always good to support the arts no matter where you are.”

Prior to coming to the Lake Houston area, “Reaching Out!” had been performed at San Jacinto College, Sam Houston State University, Berry Center in Cypress and near Pasadena.

Being a repertory company, she said, METdance would bring in artists from all over the country to create works for the dancers and then put on a show. This enables diversity to be fused into both the moves and those who move.

She also sees a great future for the initiative. Should “Reaching Out!” be a hit in Humble it will definitely make an encore and have other areas in mind.

“There are little gems of theaters like Charles Bender that we could be in,” she said.

Tickets for the upcoming show are currently available to purchase for $15. For more on METdance, visit www.metdance.org. For a list of shows coming to Charles Bender, visit www.humblepac.com/upcoming-events.

nguyen.le@chron.com

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