Photo by Lynn Lane of Open Dance Project's "Flutter: The Monarch Butterfly Project" at Houston Botanic Garden.


Open Dance Project’s distinctive performance style creates memorable, immersive experiences that break down conventional barriers between artists and audience members to make dance more accessible and meaningful for both. Collapsing the distance between the subject and the stage through critically acclaimed immersive performances and a commitment to education, ODP’s programs simultaneously demystify dance and make dance matter.

Since its inception, the company has produced 35 world premieres at venues including The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, MATCH, The Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston and The Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University – and received praise for the boundary breaking nature of its work from The Houston Chronicle, Arts & Culture TX, and The Houston Press. In 2018, just three years into the operation of Open Dance Project Artistic Director Annie Arnoult was recognized as one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch,” with dance critic Nancy Wozny declaring her work “Bout a Stranger” “one of the most fully realized pieces to come out of Houston in decades.”A year later, the National Performance Network awarded ODP a Creation Fund Grant for its immersive dance theater production “All the Devils Are Here: A Tempest in the Galapagos” with co-commissioners in Houston (DiverseWorks) and Chicago (Studio5).

Open Dance Project has been creating art with young people through its classroom dance theater workshops since its inception in 2015. The most important work Open Dance Project does is facilitating empowering connections between one human being and another.  Whether we are in a science classroom helping teach the mechanics of an engine through dance or on a stage performing the story of an exiled artist, ODP students and artists work together, work hard, and work towards a more supportive, connected world.

Open Dance Project has served as a significant contributor to arts equity in Houston. Through its partnerships with Young Audiences, the Houston Arts Access Initiative, the Arts for Learning Lab at University of Houston, Shriner’s Hospital, Memorial Hermann, KIPP Houston, and others, ODP’s classroom residencies and professional development workshops for teachers have helped to ensure that students in underserved communities in Houston have greater access to the arts, and, through that access, a statistically better chance at success in life as defined by data driven research. ODP is on the Texas Commission on the Arts Touring Roster and is a new partner of Arts Connect Houston and Hobby Center’s Discovery Series.


Open Dance Project Leadership and Board Members

Annie Arnoult, Executive Artistic Director

Elissa Turner, Interim Managing Director

Board of Directors:
Linda Rovira, President
Emily Jesse, Vice President
Katherine Douglass, Treasurer
Thomas Folsom
Niki Kasumi Clements
Tara Kelly
Marcus Wade