Saturday, May 26, 2012


There are certain things in life we cannot live without: oxygen, food, water, clothing (debatable...), shelter, etc. I’m going to put therapy and exercise on the list of non-negotiables as well...hugs... Each of these “necessities” has its time and its place, and we humans are not always so astute when it comes to knowing which one or which combination of a few we may need. A possible problem could be that “magic” is not on the list, nor “alchemy;” we identify the “needs” as separate from one another. In order for the ingredients, or “necessities,” to support an actual human life, some kind of alchemical reaction must occur. It’s the kind of magic that turns a house into a home, a plate of food into nourishment, a hug into a sense of belonging. This leads me to my story: I came to class on Wednesday night looking for a way to unwind, to decompress. I felt antsy and scattered and I needed something to get me out of my head, to put me back together. I’m a big believer in sweat as therapy, and when summer hits Freneticore, you can count on a juicy sweat fest- conditions were perfect for my exorcism.

I pulled up to the theater in a rush of emotion, babbling away to Mallory before class. Mallory Horn, B-T-dubs, is fierce in her dancing and passionate in her teaching, and every time I take her class I walk away with something new to work on, a full body, mind, heart, and spirit. She let me vent, gave me a huge hug I didn’t even know I needed, and wasted no time getting to the incredible music and movement I rely on her for. Throughout the class I was able to channel my energy into combinations that gave my mind and body space to move freely, while keeping me accountable to precision and timing. During our final combination, Mall said to me, "You looked genuinely happy during that combination." Well, yeah....I was. Totally, genuinely happy. I could feel myself again. I felt at home.

Dance is the only place to feel the rush of adrenaline, the passion of self-expression, the freedom of creative play and the pleasure of movement. Dance is where my soul sings and my heart rests, my mind melts into the moment and my smile gets to unleash itself on my face. The act of dancing no doubt released the clog from my head/heart, but that wouldn’t have happened without the space of Freneticore. I don’t just mean the four walls and roof, or the red velvet seats and buzzing, multi-colored lights, I mean the space that opens up for me every time I walk through the door- the space to be myself, the people who share my enjoyment, my frustration, my hard work, my terrible’s magic the way these people put up with me. It’s like coming home, and as someone who lives very far away from my immediate family and that place I called “home” for so long, that’s a very special place. Someone said that “home is where they have to let you in.” Well, Rebecca and Robert didn’t HAVE to let me in, but I’m sure glad they did.

P.S. my name is Stacey Ramsower, and I’ve been a company member of Freneticore since 2010!

*Photo by Ed Schipul

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Photo Shoot Madness

                                  Kira Boerkircher, Photo by Robert Thoth 

I'm choreographer and co-founder of FrenetiCore Rebecca French.  Robert Thoth and I started the company in 2003 and opened Frenetic Theater in 2009.  FrenetiCore is my passion, my outlet, my day and night job.

I just got home from an amazing day of taking dance photos on location with Lynn Lane, a prominent and talented Houston photographer.  As I sit here I notice my sunburn deepening, my pointe shoes are a soggy mess in the corner (some of our shots today were taken under a hose spraying at a car wash) and my lower back is feeling the burn of jumping on the concrete at an old silo.  The same question enters my head--the one I ask every time we do a performance or project of any kind: "Why do I need to do this?  Shouldn't I start acting like a responsible adult at some point?"  And the answer I arrive at every time is: I need to do this because dance theatre is magic.
I found dance in college, and realized quickly that it would be a major part of my life.  I had never been an athlete or artist.  As a dancer, I became both.  Going to see touring companies as a young adult showed me how transformational dance could be.  The performances that affected me most were the ones that created a world onstage; a world with characters that I cared about, and a story that showed me a new way to understand life.  Story is powerful.  It's why we read books and watch movies.  It's why we need songs and sitcoms.  Life can be cruel, but stories teach us how to overcome difficulties, understand others better, and grow as human beings.

So how are photos of FrenetiCore dancers doing backbends at an abandoned silo going to teach anyone anything about the human condition?  They may not.  But hopefully, the shots we took today will tell a story of beauty, struggle, strength, and even comedy.  I hope people will look at them and feel moved, or at least transported for a moment.

If you step into our story, we promise to give you some magic.