photo by Les Campbell

Karen Stokes Dance 2017-18 Season Listing

HOUSTON, TX:  Karen Stokes Dance presents its 20th season with a season premieres at Discovery Green®, a repertoire anniversary concert at MATCH, and its acclaimed educational Discovery Series at the Hobby Center  for Performing Arts.


Karen Stokes Dance premieres “Color Remix,” a site-specific performance in response to the art installation, “Arcade,” on October 6, 2017, at 7 p.m. at Discovery Green®, 1500 McKinney St, Houston, TX 77010.  “Arcade,” a series of dynamic streamer sculptures by noted Texas-based artist duo Sunny Sliger and Marianne Newsom of The Color Condition, brings explosive hues and whimsy to Avenida Houston. “Color Remix” will take place in front of the George R. Brown Convention Center on the Avenida des las Americas, under the installation “Double Dutch.”  Inspired by the playfulness and colorful streamers of the installation, Stokes combines rhythms, traditional folk dancing, and her signature quirky style to engage audience members to play and dance with the performers. The performance will be accompanied by live music played by Terrence Karn.  “Color Remix” was developed in a residency at Discovery Green® made possible by a generous grant from The Humphreys Foundation. The performance is free and open to the public. “Arcade” will be on view from August 17 to November 15, 2017. 


In honor of Karen Stokes Dance’s 20th Season, Karen Stokes will discuss the development of her original dance work over the last 20 years during “Review-Preview: X20” on November 6, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. at the MATCH, 3400 Main St, Houston, TX 77002. “Review-Preview: X20” will feature video and discussion of past works from KSD’s extensive repertoire, including audience favorites from “HOMETOWN,” “The Secondary Colors,” and “DEEP:  Seaspace.” “Review-Preview: X20” is free & open to the public.


Karen Stokes Dance celebrates 20 years of original performances in "X20" on November 10 and 11, 2017 at 8 p.m. at the MATCH, 3400 Main St, Houston, TX 77002.  "X20" looks backwards at the work of Karen Stokes over the last 20 years, while moving forward with the premiere of "Mapping & Glaciers." At this 20 year juncture, Stokes views the company at a crossroads: "We are at the center of an X, with our legs firmly planted in the earth, and our arms reaching to the future!" The celebratory performance includes former company members coming in from across the nation, joining current members on stage in a joyful celebration of past, present, and future.  Tickets are $20 Student-Senior / $25 General / $35 Supporter.  Tickets may be purchased at


Karen Stokes Dance presents in 12th Annual “Framing Dance: A Discovery Series” on February 5-8, 2018 at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. at the Hobby Center for Performing Arts, Zilkha Hall, 800 Bagby St, Houston, TX 77002. “Framing Dance” is a field trip experience into the world of contemporary dance, inclusive of in-school workshops and a curriculum packet for teachers.  Created for elementary students as an introduction to dance as a performing art as part of the Hobby Center’s Discovery Series, “Framing Dance” has been performed for students from across the Greater Houston area for over a decade, often to full houses. It is free and open to schools, but reservations are required. Schools can make reservations at


For more information on Karen Stokes Dance, visit or contact Company Manager, Toni Valle at or 713/409-2838.


Karen Stokes has been choreographing original dance theater since 1988. Stokes has created eight evening length productions in addition to over 35 repertory (short program) works.  Her work emphasizes quirky movement invention, strong rhythmic connections, text, original vocals, and concepts of community.  In the last three years, Stokes has branched out into creating video projection as an integrated part of her live theatrical productions.  Stokes also has created several dance for camera projects, some of which are available online at  Most recently, Stokes has been incorporating site projects into her lexicon. Stokes works strongly within setting a time and place, whether imaginary or real.  In 1997, Stokes co-founded Travesty Dance Group in Ohio with colleagues Kimberly Karpanty & Rebecca Malcolm-Naib.  In 2011, the Travesty Dance Group (under the direction of Stokes) became Karen Stokes Dance.  Stokes resides in Houston with her husband and two cats and is a Professor in the Dance Program at the University of Houston.


Karen Stokes Dance is funded in part by grants from Houston Endowment, the Hamman Foundation, and the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance.

High resolution photos available upon request


Karen Stokes Dance is supported in part by a grant from the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance. Karen Stokes Dance is a participant in the Resident Incubator Program supported by the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance.


“Sunset at Allen’s Landing” is supported through the Innovation Grants program of the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, which is funded in part by Houston Endowment, Inc.

KSD is a 501c3 non-profit company, and all donations are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law.

Karen Stokes named

Best Choreographer in Houston by Houston Press in 2014 & 2015.

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© Karen Stokes Dance 2016