LANDS – Portrait of the City of Houston is a performance and film installation developed by French artists Jocelyn Cottencin and Emmanuelle Huynh.

LANDS examines the past and present of Houston and its growth toward becoming the 4th largest city in the United States and invites audiences to reimagine the city’s possible future. The evening will feature a series of outdoor performances that Cottencin and Huynh choreographed with their Houston-based collaborators: Anthony Almendárez, Liyen Chong, Ayla Davis, Isabella Mireles, Roger Moore, and Henry G. Sanchez, who will then guide the audience from the outdoors into the MATCH theater to experience the film installation.

LANDS expands on ideas of plurality, and the connections or disconnections between personal and cultural memory and local history, braiding together a unique chronology of the city that is part documentary, part poetic narrative, and part futuristic re-imaging of the local geography. The artists invite the audience to ponder how we begin telling a new story about an ever-evolving city.

The project, organized by DiverseWorks Curator Ashley DeHoyos Sauder, was developed through a series of artist site visits, interviews, and workshops with Houstonians from the fall of 2022 through the summer of 2023. The interview transcriptions are the basis of a choreographic vocabulary utilized in the performance and installation. In the film, the perceptions of Houstonians as they correspond with their personal histories, cultures, and beliefs, are shared in a layered and interwoven narrative.

LANDS was commissioned by DiverseWorks beginning in 2020 as part of FUSED (French U.S. Exchange in Dance), a program of Villa Albertine and FACE Foundation in partnership with the French Embassy in the United States. Houston is the fourth city in Cottencin and Huynh’s portrait series following their first collaboration in New York in 2017. The project will travel to Paris as part of the Chaillot Experience weekend dedicated to the United States at the Théâtre National de Chaillot on December 9th, 2023.

Tuesday, November 7 – Thursday, November 9, 2023
6:30 PM, Doors 6 PM

Pay-what-you-wish. $25 suggested.
Reserve Tickets

3400 Main Street, Houston, TX, 77002


Since 2014, Huynh and Cottencin have been developing work at the crossroads of anthropology, documentary, and fiction. Their first project, A taxi driver, an architect, and the High Line, in 2016, created a portrait of the city of New York. They have since collaborated on several film and dance portraits including the 2019 portrait of Saint-Nazaire, We have come from too far to forget who we are, and the 2022 Atravessemos, a portrait of the city of São Paulo in Brazil. 

Emmanuelle Huynh
Emmanuelle Huynh, dancer, choreographer, and teacher, studied dance and philosophy. Her work explores the relationship with literature, music, light, ikebana (Japanese floral art), and architecture. She created, among others, Múa (1995), A Vida Enorme (2002), Cribles (2009), Shinbaï, le Vol de l’âme (2009),  Spiel (2011), Tozaï  !… (2014), Formation (2017) and Nuée (2021). From 2014 to 2016, Emmanuelle Huynh was an associate professor at the National School of Architecture in Nantes. She worked at ENSA Nantes-Mauritius between 2016 and 2021. In September 2016, she was appointed Head of the Dance, Choreography, and Performance Workshop at the Beaux-Arts in Paris. The work of Huynh carried by Platform Múa, a company approved by the DRAC Pays de la Loire – Ministry of Culture and Communication, by the Department of Loire-Atlantique and the city of Saint-Nazaire, is anchored in a broadened vision of dance, producing knowledge, emotions that modify the vision that society can have of itself.

Jocelyn Cottencin
Visual artist, filmmaker, and performer, Jocelyn Cottencin uses a wide variety of media to question the place and status of the sign: in installations, films, performances, or typographic creations, he explores the way images inhabit us, as in the performance Monumental, a score of gestures that activates the memory of certain places or monuments. In particular, he is developing his work on and around notions of community and group, and the end of modernity. Through numerous collaborations with artists from the choreographic field, his work exposes the moving trace of signs and their impact on sensitive experience, as in the cycle of work devoted to the portrait of cities (New York, Saint-Nazaire, Sao Paulo, and Houston) conceived with the choreographer Emmanuelle Huynh. He teaches at various schools in France and abroad (ENSBA/Paris, ENSBA-Dijon, Rietvelt Academie Amsterdam, Uarts Philadelphia, and Ensa Nantes). He is associated with the master exerce (dance and performance) / CCN de Montpellier, notably in a research area that he has developed “Publishing as a performative act.” 


Liyen Chong
Chong’s art practice is encyclopedic, often folding in elements or languages from different disciplines with an acute awareness of history. Often working in episodes, her artwork has involved deep dives into graphic design, ceramics, embroidery, paper-marbling, and oil painting. Her artworks can be found in prominent public collections such as the National Gallery of Australia and The Chartwell Collection in New Zealand. In 2021, her work was acquired by the City of Houston Airport collection.

Ayla Davis
Davis is a Film student in her final year at Rice University. She specializes in documentary filmmaking and sketch comedy writing. She has done work for a variety of local art-centered entities, including the Houston Cinema Arts Society, the Moody Center for the Arts, and the Deluxe Theater. Over the summer, she worked as a production assistant on the set of LANDS. Now, she has a fellowship at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in the Film Department.

Isabella Mireles
Isabella Vik is a Houston-based movement artist and choreographer with a focus on experimental dance, improvisation, and body ritual. Their professional training has primarily focused on contemporary dance technique and improvisation methods and the intermingling of these subjects in avant-garde performance. Vik has trained with artists such as Francisco Córdova, Horacio Macuacua, Edivaldo Ernesto, Peter Jasko, Lisard Tarnis, and Cree Barnett Williams and continues to train nationally and internationally.

Dr. Roger G. Moore
Moore initiated an independent archeological consulting practice based in Houston, Texas, in 1982. Moore Archeological Consulting, Inc. (MAC) offers its clients comprehensive services in the area of cultural resource management (CRM). Moore is experienced in working as a member of planning and design phase project teams. After retirement, Moore became interested in dance and actively participated in local dance projects. 

Henry G. Sanchez
Sanchez is a Houston-based interdisciplinary social practice artist. His long-term projects concentrate on social and environmental justice and the natural sciences. Sanchez is the founder of the Bio-Art Bayou-torium, a bilingual, socially engaged bio-art project.  In 2015 he established the L.O.C.C.A.: Law Office Center for Citizenship and Art in Houston’s East End. Sanchez earned an M.A. in International Relations at Rutgers University in 2000 and is a 2014 M.F.A. graduate of Art Practice in Interdisciplinary Arts, from the School of Visual Arts. In 2022 he was named the inaugural Artist-in-Residence for the Buffalo Bayou Partnership in Houston, TX.


Lands – Portrait of the City of Houston is a production of Plateforme Múa / Emmanuelle Huynh & Jocelyn Cottencin Studio, commissioned and presented by DiverseWorks, with the support of Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels, as part of FUSED (French U.S. Exchange in Dance), a program of Villa Albertine and FACE Foundation in partnership with the French Embassy in the United States with support from the Florence Gould Foundation, The Ford Foundation, Institut français, the French Ministry of Culture, and private donors. With additional support from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, Texas Commission on the Arts, The Brown Foundation, Inc., Cullen Trust for the Performing Arts, and the Houston Endowment.

The performance-installation of Lands – Portrait of the City of Houston by Jocelyn Cottencin & Emmanuelle Huynh is part of Albertine Dance Season and received support from Villa Albertine.

Plateforme Múa is supported by DRAC Pays de la Loire – French Ministry of Culture and Communication, by the Département de Loire-Atlantique and the city of Saint-Nazaire.

Date & Time

Tuesday, November 7
Wednesday, November 8
Thursday, November 9, 2023
6:30 PM, Doors 6 PM


Reserve Tickets
October 26, 2023


MATCH – Matchbox 2
3400 Main Street
Houston, TX  77002