"Houston Fringe Festival 2012: Cutting Edge & Two More Weekends To Go"
September 4, 2012
Margo Stutts Toombs offered us free bourbon balls and a ride home to get us to stay until the 1 a.m. end of the Saturday portion of Freneticore's Houston Fringe Festival, held Thursday through Sunday at Frenetic Theater, but we didn't need convincing. After the evening's first performance, Out on a Limb Dance Company's The Character: Drive, we knew we were in for a treat -- and there to stay.
(Other Houston Fringe Festival performances were being held at Bohemeo's and Super Happy Fun Land, too but at the advice of Toombs and cofounders Rebecca French and Robert Thoth, we chose to remain at the main spot. Luckily, the festival lasts two more weekends.)...Read the full article here.
"FrenetiCore Dancers Get Deep, Contemplative in Memoriam"
July 16, 2012
FrenetiCore, a dance company known for its experimental and multimedia works, has created a mature movement narrative that's all soul and contemplation in Memoriam. The dance/film hybrid features a young woman as its central subject, a twenty-something urbanite who can't seem to shake the ghosts of her past in order to build a more substantive future. A wrecked specter of her childhood nags her, as does the suicide of a troubled best friend. (Or lover?) On the surface, Memoriam is about what happens when memories become prime movers of the present, but its core examination deals with the dangers of allowing one's being to be shaped by perpetual introspection, a cycle that will never change no matter how many times it's revisited... Read the full article here.
"Poles, Paper Swans, and George Jones"
August 20, 2011
Full of intriguing irony, The All Hands Meeting was a filmed dance from choreographerRebecca French and composer/filmmaker Robert Thoth. There’s a lovely Busby Berkeley moment when we’re overhead looking down on the grey floor, as if seeing through a void. The dancers push themselves across the space as if to say, Office work is such a drudge and so am I.
Untrust Us/Chalk/Calm is one of those titles that can not ever be expressed properly without reams of annotation. Let me describe Rebecca French’s piece. Three couples inhabit three long skirts. The women wear bandeaux tops, the lone male is bare chested. Their arms windmill or undulate...It’s elegant and silly ... Full article here.
"War of the Worlds Is a Zany, Sci-Fi Musical Romp"
February 22, 2011
'Act two opens with the dance of The Red Weed--a noxious Martian plant taking hold on earth. In skintight metallic-red body suits, three dancers excellently interpret this role with the quintessential acro-dance stylings of Rebecca French. With two sizable musical numbers in the second act, we hear strong vocal performances by both Ekanem Ebinne and Robert Thoth.' Full article here.
"FrenetiCore's MKUltra Messes with Minds"
June 8, 2010
"Whether we were supposed to be watching an experiment in progress or a documentary about the experiments is up in the air. The dancers, led in their choreography by the exceptional and possibly mad Rebecca French, guided the audience through the nightmare of their initial exposure, through their development into human weapon, into the horror of becoming living machines, a dissident’s sudden execution, and finally leaving us as exhausted as they when the chemical rollercoaster came to an end." Full article here.
"FrenetiCore's MK Ultra Declassified"
"Choreographer and company director, Rebecca French’s amebic partnering and meditative gesture are effectively hypnotic alongside the electronic score. This dark and mysterious vignette, it’s bookend closer, and a sly and disturbingly humorous rendering of Nine Inch Nail’s Head Like A Hole, are choreographic highlights for the evening. Making appearances onstage, French demonstrates that she is a strong performer. She pairs well with Chadwick Peters in an understated, but certainly coital entanglement, which is interrupted by incoming military aviators. Performers, French and Peters, along with Linda Gomez, Veronica Honstein, Mallory Horn, Stacey Ramsower, and Yahudi Castaneda turn in committed and generally charming performances throughout. As a production and artistic team Robert Thoth and French are on the same page, and there seems no shortage of ideas between them." Full article here.
Loincloths & beams, virginity poems with fishnets: FrenetiCore's Fringe Fest zooms past out there
August 18, 2010
Houston, are you ready for yet another fringe festival? If we can stand two Starbucks across the street from each other, why not have two fringe fests?
FrenetiCore's third annual Houston Fringe Festival gets underway Thursday and runs to September 1 at the Frenetic Theater. The folks at FrenetiCore aim to entertain, thrill and provoke, although not necessarily in that order, but quite possibly all on the same program.
FrenetiCore's chiefs, Rebecca French and Robert Thoth, run a diverse festival, with everything from film to dance to theater to hard-to-classify performance art-y stuff. Hybrid forms are welcome and most shows contain more than one discipline.
French finds performance opportunities lacking for independent artists. We all just can't afford to rent the Wortham to put on a show, but The indie Frenetic Theater provides a much needed performance venue for artists both up and coming and more established.
"One of the best moments of the 2009 Fringe for me was when my former director Richard Hubscher performed a gorgeous dance solo wearing a loincloth and a 20-foot-long, eight-by-eight beam on his shoulders," French says. "That kind of magical performance doesn't happen everywhere...Read the full article here.
From "Hippest Houston"
August 31, 2009
"And the show stealer was the highly anticipated "Tetsujin" an amazing piece showcasing amazing dance choreography, film editing, and musical composition. Tetsujin stunned me almost as much as the half naked man in fishnets i met on my way in.
I didn't give my Hometown the credit for its wells of creativity, craftsmanship, and artistic talent to run so deep. Never did the creative drum beat of the city seem to be so alive as it did when Tetsujin was shown. I originally heard of Tetsujin through a segment on Nation Public Radio on my way to work. someone from the Fringe theatre was politely inviting Houstonians to come check it out, and immediately i was enticed after hearing it was inspired by Tetsuo, a character from the story of AKIRA who in the end turns into a machine.
I thought of myself. The everyday i get up to go to work. The mechanical process I go through to get out of bed, brush my teeth, make my pop-tart breakfast and head towards my next nine hours at my little office desk typing reports. And i thought about all the people in the city and cities like mine who must be doing the same mechanical things. "Are we all becoming machines?" I thought, "When do i get my turn to be human?
When do any of us?" And in a city where it is sometimes easy to lose sight of our Human self, and get lost in our day's monotony of machine like motions, Tetsujin came as a exciting awakening, a refreshing wave of water to the mind body and spirit, reminding me that true human expression and experience can and does live even in the most gear grinding industrial cities.
So thank you to all who made the 2nd Annual Houston Fringe Festival possible. Thank you for such a fun weekend. And thank you for giving the city of Houston such Life."
"What Have You Forgotten?"
June 12, 2006
"Perhaps the most engaging character though was Bernie, a man suffering from delusions of grandeur depicted by Danny Magner. His sense of humor/denial of his institutionalization (depending on how you look at it) recalls many “sane” folk I have known who walk the streets freely. Magner’s persona reminds us that the border between freedom and institutionalization is relative, often self-induced, and sometimes comforting.
…choreographer Rebecca French makes creative use of pointe shoes and partner work to create the dingy world of bedlam. Film techniques used by Mr. Thoth contributed to the darkness of the content, including intermittent twitching of movements, rewinding, and the bubbling of the picture, like a rock striking a smooth pool of water.
Bedlam succeeds in constructing a believable darkness that draws the audience in to the possibilities of one’s mind. The narrative further encourages the audience to reflect on the parameters set by both the mind and society. Enter FrenetiCore’s world of bedlam and be prepared to reconsider yours." -J. Ray
The Houston Press
June 12, 2006
"If you tell FrenetiCore that dance is supposed to be pretty, odds are they’ll take your opinion, fling it to the ground and stomp on it with spike heels. For FrenetiCore, dance is the opposite of gauzy pink tutus and a graceful leap into a lover’s arms: It’s a mean to a dark vision- one that’s ultimately much more real than Giselle or Swan Lake." -Julia Ramey
"Big Brother Ballet"
March 24, 2005
“As a nation we essentially rationalize our wars and our actions based on a mixture of fear and bad information,” says Thoth. The ten-member local troupe will interpret Orwell’s bleak “negative utopia” through dance, video, spoken work, and “80’s electro-pop.” French’s choreography has the Thought Police working it like “break-dancing Nazis” in gas masks and “storm trooper apparel” while the forbidden lovers Winston and Julia engage in more traditional ballet and ballroom movement." -Julia Ramey
"Like a Prayer"
August 26, 2004
"Yes, this is a modern dance performance with Christian overtones, but no, it's nothing like Footloose. Rebekah French's choreography and Robert Thoth's score keep the story moving
along gloriously, tacitly teaching the lesson that true symbolism is only conflated by words. If you really want to make a point, all you have to do is dance." - Keith Plocek