Open Dance Project

Open Dance Project (Houston, TX)is a non-profit, contemporary dance theater company whose highly stylized performance experiences break down conventional barriers between artist and audience to make dance more accessible and meaningful for both. Dynamic, three-dimensional architectural environments and the engagement of interactive technologies collapse the distance between the subject and the stage, live performance and new media, dance and theater. Open Dance Project’s performance and education programs invite the audience to explore dance and dance making from their own self-determined vantage point – simultaneously demystifying dance and making dance matter.

Open Dance Project is under the artistic direction of Annie Arnoult. Arnoult returned to her native Houston from Chicago, where she was the founding artistic director of Striding Lion Performance Group ( and a faculty member of the Dance Program at Northwestern University. She is the director of Hunter Dance Center (, a professional dance training center that opened in Houston in September 2015, is a core faculty member of Now & Next Dance Mentoring Project ( based in Washington, DC, and served as an adjunct faculty member at The School of Theatre and Dance at the University of Houston. She is a recipient of the 2017 Houston Arts Alliance Individual Artist Grant, and her performance and education work with Striding Lion has been supported by City Arts (Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events), The Field Foundation, After School Matters Foundation, Chicago Public Schools, Links Hall, The Illinois Arts Council, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Greater Houston Community Foundation, Arts & Business Council Chicago, The Arts Work Fund and Pinnacle.

Arnoult has been training students and teachers in the collaborative approach to interdisciplinary performance development now being used by Open Dance Project for over 15 years, primarily to underserved and under resourced school communities in Houston through ODP’s Young Audiences partnership and in Chicago through Striding Lion Performance Group. She has presented her work at National Dance Education Organization conferences, the Illinois Migrant Education Association Conference, CPS Office of Arts Education training sessions and many teacher and family workshops at local schools. She has been a guest artist at the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, National High School Institute, Sam Houston State University, Appalachian State University, The University of Alaska at Anchorage, Northwestern University, Southern Methodist University, Western Michigan University, UC Irvine, Louisiana Dance Theater, Alaska Dance Theatre and the Evanston Dance Ensemble. She has an MFA in Dance from The Ohio State University and a BA in Dance and Comparative Literary Studies from Northwestern University.