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Wednesday, October 4, 2023


Performance art gives Coogs inspiration

The cozy house-turned-bar was teeming with life Friday night as performance artists from all over Houston gathered for a night of exploration and community interaction.

The spotlight for the night was centered on Continuum, a local Houston performing arts group that was formed in April 2011. They teamed up with other local artists to share the evening with the Westheimer area.

Continuum held “The Fifth Night”, the fifth installation of the Continuum Live Art series, at AvantGarden. They initiated the series in November 2012, and have held a workshop and performance each month for young artists.

The group started the series to ignite a passion for the performing arts and encourage the exploration of new mediums and modes of communication.

“The purpose of the series is to attract as many emerging artists, which is essentially the purpose of Continuum, and to conquer fears. That is the purpose of performing arts,” said Jonatan Lopez, a head coordinator of Continuum.

Continuum offers artists encouragement, support and a platform on which to perform. The workshops held by the performance group are geared toward helping people break out and connect with other artists.

The bar was packed with 20 musical acts and 12 performances, and there were about 150 people in attendance.

The first performance of the night celebrated UH senior sculpture student Hilary Scullane’s birthday. Scullane has performed several times with Continuum, including the past three performances of the live art series.

She describes herself as a performance artist and sees sculpture as an extension of that, even though people disagree.

“Performance art isn’t supported in the sculpture block,” said Scullane. “Many of the sculpture students had to stop because their grades were being affected.”

Sway Youngston, a UH media production graduate and senior Continuum member, performed one of the highlights of the night.

“Human Origami” was an improvisational performance between Youngston and artists Margee Deneen and Scoot Gergoly. It incorporated dance as the artists intertwined, folded and separated. As the performance came to a close, they invited the audience to join in. It quickly erupted into a flurry of dancing that blurred the line between performer and audience.

Texas Christian University Political science senior Matt Dietrichson, a friend of Deneen, was one of the many drawn into the “Human Origami”.

“First I was confused, then I was excited. Everyone there was part of the performance,” Dietrichson said.

Almost everyone in attendance seemed to agree.

“I thought tonight was the most happening thing I’ve ever experienced at this particular venue,” said Wesley Degroot, a former member of the local Houston band The Roosevelt’s. “I want more!”

Even those that had never been to a performance art show were astounded by what they saw.

“The most striking to me was the lack of any judgment from any direction. It’s just crazy that there are human beings that think differently, and then they all cluster together. And that just blows my mind,” said communication senior Christian Osorio

A steady stream of support for the performing arts is definitely there, and people are taking notice.

“I love Continuum. I love this group, I love (how the performances) pushing boundaries. It’s perfect for this venue. It’s AvantGarden and it’s avant-garde art, and I think it’s beautiful,” said attendee Jeff Hunter.

Continuum plans on hosting their final workshop on April 19 and a finale performance on May 3. Both will be hosted at AvantGarden.

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