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Karen Stokes Dance


Karen Stokes Dance (KSD) presents original contemporary dance performance and educational programming under the direction of Karen Stokes. KSD has a strong focus on the vitality of Houston and fosters the development of Houston as an international center for contemporary dance.  KSD is known for its multi-disciplinary approach, combining theatrical and visual elements with dance, and for its emphasis on community as an artistic vision and a daily practice. The company is comprised of 7 dancers, a company manager, an administrative assistant, and the Artistic Director. The Board of Directors is comprised of 10 members. 


KSD has produced 12 evening length projects, four Houston-based site-specific projects, over 15 dance film projects, and over 40 repertory projects. KSD's educational program, “Framing Dance,” serves 2500-3000 students annually at Zilkha Hall.  In 2013, KSD launched an in-school residency based on the Framing Dance educational program.  From 2013-2016, KSD focused on our “DEEP: Seaspace” initiative. Using two iconic Houston industries, sea and space, KSD investigated Houston landscape and architecture through history, location, and folklore. It included site-specific projects, a dance for camera component, and an evening length premiere at the Hobby Center for Performing Arts in 2016.  Partnerships in this project include Buffalo Bayou Partnership, Height 5 Brass, the University of Houston Dance Program, UH Master of Arts in Arts Leadership program, the UH Center for Creative Work, NASA, and composers Brad Sayles and Bill Ryan.  Other projects include installments of our “Gallery Construction” dance for camera series that interact with Houston visual art installations, and a partnership with Discovery Green, now in its third year, to create works in response to DG's landscape and featured artists.

Past Events at MATCH