NobleMotion Dance (NMD) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization incorporated in 2009. For nearly 20 years, the artistic directors, Andy and Dionne Noble, have collaborated creatively to produce many evening length works. Their repertory includes over 90 creative works ranging in themes from interpersonal dynamics to social commentary. Known for integrating theater and technology, their work has toured nationally and received critical acclaim.
The collaboration first began in 1997, when Andy Noble received grants from the Hillsborough County Arts Council and the Tampa Jewish Federation to create his first full length evening entitled Timepiece: An Intergenerational Dance Project. Andy Noble and Dionne Sparkman, along with five other dancers, provided eight weeks of movement workshops for the elderly residents of Weinberg Village in Tampa, FL. Inspired by conversations, movement studies, and the time spent with the participants, Andy, Dionne and the dancers developed an evening of dance that was performed at the Jewish Community Center for the residents and public. A highlight of the evening was a duet performed by Andy and his then 84 year-old grandmother, Frances Noble. This project was the first for Andy Noble & Dancers and the first in a long line of collaborations between Andy and Dionne.
Andy and Dionne moved to Salt Lake City, UT to work with Repertory Dance Theatre in 1998. In 1999 they met Michael Moonbird and Victoria Lyons, directors of Bad Dog Rediscovers America, an after-school youth arts program for children from diverse cultures. Andy and Dionne approached Bad Dog with a proposal to create an evening inspired by their students based upon discourse of modern family life. Together they formed a partnership entitled “Treehouse Art Exchange” and from workshops with the students developed a high caliber production incorporating visual art, dance, and music as an expressive means of communication. The culmination of their efforts, “…To The Rescue: A Dance of Comic Book Theatre,” was sponsored by the RDT LINK Series, played to sold out houses, and included performances by highly talented professional dancers, actors and artists as well as appearances by the students and their inspiring artwork.
Andy Noble & Dancers’ resume includes performances at Seattle’s Northwest New Works series and the Western Washington Performing Arts Series. They were invited to perform in New York City by Astrid Von Ussar for the show “The Dance Gallery – Intimate” as part of The Performance Project @ University Settlement. In 2006, they were a featured company at the Northwest Regional American College Dance Festival and again in 2008 were selected to perform at the Southeast Regional ACDF for The A.W.A.R.D. Show! Florida Edition.
After settling in Texas, Andy and Dionne Noble decided to rename the company NobleMotion Dance (NMD) and incorporate as a non-for-profit organization. NMD had its debut in Houston’s Big Range Dance Festival in June 2009 and was met with critical success. Critic Neil Ellis Orts stated, “the company exhibits an extraordinary athleticism…NobleMotion Dance is a name to watch.” Invitations to perform as a part of Dance Houston, Weekend of Texas Contemporary Dance, and the JCC’s Triple Focus followed shortly after. Critic Nancy Wozny hailed, “NobleMotion emerged as the company to gush about” in her 2010 year in review.
Since NMD places a great emphasis on integrating technology with dance, the company’s early work focused on collaborations with light artists Jeremy Choate and David Deveau. In the fall of 2011, NMD and Jeremy Choate presented an evening comprised of nine light installations where the dancers fully interacted with the technology. Splitting Night: An Evening of Dance Light was named by Critic Theodor Bale as the “don’t miss it” dance event of the season. The fall of 2012 NMD presented Spitting Ether: A Reality Bending Dance, a collaborative evening with David J Deveau that integrated projection design into the live performance space.
Continuing with NMD’s spirit of collaboration, the Fall 2013 NMD evening featured collaborations with Austin band My Education, another collaboration with David J Deveau, and a dynamic all male work featuring guest dancers from other Houston-based dance companies. This evening was presented in downtown Houston at The Hobby Center’s Zilkha Hall. Notably, the company nearly sold out the venue – a feat rarely accomplished by hometown contemporary dance companies. The company also expanded the season in 2013/14 to include a second production that they titled Unplugged, focusing on subtle dance works bare of technology – just to show they can do it all.
The 2014-15 season brings fresh collaborations with new technology artists for the evening Dark Matter: Evidence of Things Unseen, and collaborations with the Houston’s contemporary music group Musiqa in Tonal Impact, which will feature a full evening of live music and dance. NMD will also premiere their new outreach program called the Next Step Series that aims to present the next wave of Houston choreographers.
Today, NMD is recognized as one of Houston’s hottest up and coming dance companies. Recently NMD was featured in AAA Texas Journal, a publication of one million, as one of three contemporary dance companies making their mark to help Houston become “The Big Apple of the South.” Currently NMD employs ten dancers of varying styles from culturally diverse backgrounds. The company has a broad repertory and remains focused on creating new work that challenges the status quo of dance.