Maida Withers Dance Construction Company

Inspiring!

The Maida Withers Dance Construction Company, a not-for-profit, federally tax-exempt performing arts organization based out of Washington, DC, focus on dance through international, sight-specific, and multimedia innovative/daring projects.

Operating as usual

Photos from Maida Withers Dance Construction Company's post 01/21/2024

Friends - Today I want to share my love and admiration with the Jones and Berta Benally family, Klee, Jeneda, and Clayson, as we mourn the recent passing of Klee, age 48, a remarkable and fierce political figure and musician, founder of Blackfire, a punk rock group promoting anti-establishment and anti-authoritarian themes.
Klee was an amazing composer/musician and a force with the depth of his understanding of the human race and preservation of the sacred earth. His voice of activism will be greatly missed.
Jones, a noted Navajo medicine man and hoop dancer/singer, Berta, folk singer and activist, and their children are known world wide for the spirituality and power of their music and their sustained activism in Arizona for the Navajo Nation. Visit http://blackfire.net to listen to music by Klee (Blackfire).
In summer of 2023, Jones, Jeneda and Clayson performed at the Kennedy Center Millennium stage under the current band, Sihasin. I met the Benally family during a special Mother's Day celebration in Utah in the early 1990s when I was creating the Utah Project: Utah: Spirit Place, Spirit Planet, Tukuhnikivatz. The photo of Jones and Maida was taken following the Kennedy Center show in July 2023. Bless. Maida Withers

10/14/2022

Join us this Saturday (10/15) for a tour of LEGACY: 50 Years Dance on the Edge with Maida Withers!

Where: Corcoran School of the Arts and Design 500 17th Street NW, Washington, DC.
When: 1:00pm

NO RSVP required. Come. ENJOY!

Photos courtesy of the Corcoran School of Arts and Design

09/25/2022

LEGACY: 50 Years of Dance on the Edge is now officially open!

Now until December 10, stop by the Corcoran School of Arts and Design's Flagg Building to see the wonderful exhibition.

A big thank you to Megan Thompson, Jen Stone, and Anton Ovchinnikov for their inspiring performances on Friday.

Come see more performances and discussions at our Gala Celebration on October 7th and 8th. Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/legacy-celebration-performances-legacy-fifty-years-of-dance-on-the-edge-tickets-407490885207

Photos from Maida Withers Dance Construction Company's post 09/22/2022

LEGACY: 50 Years of Dance on the Edge opens tomorrow September 23rd at 5:30pm!

Featuring performances of Beauty of the Beast by Anton Ovchinnikov and a duet by Megan Thompson and Jennifer Stone and more!

Followed by a panel of artists discussing 50 Years of Dance in D.C. and a reception in the Flagg Building.

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/opening-performance-panel-event-legacy-fifty-years-of-dance-on-the-edge-tickets-406825214167?fbclid=IwAR2HUGdaAm2qXzXGfAjJEq8jOU3-2K5Yy7HGYf9aCl5WvM1S7eFUMxNU43E

09/12/2022

LEGACY: 50 Years of Dance on the Edge presents an exhibition of visionary works by Maida Withers, celebrated choreographer and GW professor, via a visual retrospective that premieres an immersive installation with guerilla artist/political projectionist Robin Bell. LEGACY unfolds throughout the atrium galleries of the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design, drawing viewers into the bold, witty, and sometimes weighty world of Withers’ dance. From September 23 to December 10, LEGACY merges dance films and archival recordings to envelop viewers in five decades of dance on the edge.

PROGRAMS:
Opening Performances & Panel Discussion: 50 Years of Dance on the Edge in DC
September 23 | 5:30–8 PM | 6:30–7:30 Panel Discussion | RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/opening-performance-panel-event-legacy-fifty-years-of-dance-on-the-edge-tickets-406825214167

Legacy Celebration & Performances
October 7 | 6–9 PM | RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/legacy-celebration-performances-legacy-fifty-years-of-dance-on-the-edge-tickets-407490885207

Visiting Artist Discussion & Presentation
October 8 | 2–5 PM | (Live & Online) RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/artist-talk-legacy-fifty-years-of-dance-on-the-edge-tickets-407512941177

LEGACY ... Dance in the Museum! 07/27/2022

We need YOUR help. ONLY 14 DAYS LEFT in our fundraising campaign!

Raised=$7,321 / $15,000

Click through to read more about LEGACY: 50 Years of Dance on the Edge

Your contribution will support visiting artists, an enhanced level of technology, and outreach programming to the community. Join us for a GALA celebration October 7, 2022!

LEGACY ... Dance in the Museum! A Moving Exhibition and Immersive Installation Celebrating Maida Withers and the Dance Construction Company     We Need Your Support! Maida Withers with Robin Bell announce a NEW Dance Exhibition and

LEGACY: 50 Years Dance on the Edge 07/12/2022

We are excited to share with you an upcoming exhibition and performed installation, LEGACY | 50 Years Dance on the Edge at the Corcoran Flagg Galleries, Washington, D.C. Robin Bell, political projection artist, and I will be creating a new immersive installation for the exhibit.

Your contribution will support visiting artists, an enhanced level of technology, and outreach programming to the community. Join us for a GALA celebration October 7, 2022!

LEGACY: 50 Years Dance on the Edge An exhibition and immersive installation drawn from comprehensive digital archives of Maida Withers Dance Construction Company.

Photos from Maida Withers Dance Construction Company's post 12/08/2021

Thresholds Crossed

2006

A fusion of East and West that explores the events, ideology and humanistic issues that link the U.S. with the former Soviet Union and contemporary Russia. Colored by the implied humor of propaganda art, old scars of the Russian gulag system, and our war on terror, Thresholds Crossed actively explores moments when society crosses the line.

Concept/Choreographer/Dancer: Maida Withers
Music: Audrey Chen, Steve Hilmy
Video Installation: Linda Lewett
Dancers: Anastasia Oleynik, Anthony Gongora, Dan Joyce, Ekaterina Zharinova, Jennifer Clark Stone, Konstantin Grouss, Megan Thompson, Nikolai Shchetnev, Bettmann, Vitalii Sozoniuk, Wendall Cooper
Light Design: Bill Demull
Sculptures: Frank Williams
TsEKh: Elena Tupysev
Technical Advisor: Carl Gudenius
Producers: Luba Kusovnikova, MWDCCo

12/07/2021

Naked Truth
2012

Tzveta Kassabova performs a solo from the stage work, Naked Truth The films presented side by side on stage are part of Maida Withers Dance Portraits on Screen Series: TZVETA I (Edited by Anthony Gongora) and TZVETA II (Edited by Ayo Okunseinde), based on the stage performance. Original music composed and performed live by electronic musician/composer, Steve Hilmy. Naked Truth is a trio created by Maida Withers. The solo for Tzveta Kassabova became part of Withers’ Dance Portraits on Screen where the essence of the dancer (style, physicality, emotion) is the subject for dance. The TZVETA films further explore aspects of the performing artist as a subject.

Photos from Maida Withers Dance Construction Company's post 11/30/2021

Laser Dance (Fairfax Cable, FCAC-TV)
1985

“The space odyssey was one of several works that reveal my curiosity about man/woman on planet earth, but more about life in ‘the universe.’ Laser is a myth of sorts where dancers come from someplace and occupy the ‘installation’ and exit. The FDA spent almost 6 hours the day of performance approving the laser installation. It was important to ensure that no beams would impact (eyes) dancers or the audience. As dancers, we covered our bodies with costumes and shoes and we wore protective goggles. This was an extraordinary “mythic” existence.”

Choreography: Maida Withers
Laser Sculptor: Rockne Krebs
Stilts: Brook Andrews and Rockne Krebs
Synclavier II Composer: Bob Boilen
Producer: District Curators
Premiere: Lisner Auditorium, Washington, DC. June 6 & 7, 1985

Photos from Maida Withers Dance Construction Company's post 11/11/2021

Hekuras - Spirits of the Rainforest
2010

This piece was first created in São Paulo, Brazil in 2002 with Brazilian dancers during a three-week residency. The version presented in Washington, DC maintained some of the thematic movement materials, the music and several of the virtual worlds from the residency in Brazil. This performance is a shortened version of aspects of the previous work. Hekuras – Spirits of the Rainforest (USA) was performed by six GW dancers for DanceWorks performance April 15, 2010 in Dorothy Betts Marvin Theatre in downtown Washington, DC. Hekuras – Spirits of the Rainforest was a commission to Tania Fraga to participate in an international congress in Africa. The Brazilian plan for participation was cancelled so the work remained as a work-in-progress, only.

Choreography: Maida Withers
Computer Art: Tania Fraga
Lighting Design: Derek Jones
Dancers: Annika Moller, Carolina Leon, Jennifer Sansome, Justin Balsamo, Maggie Gomez- Madonia, Sarah Wilson

Photos from Maida Withers Dance Construction Company's post 11/09/2021

Catching Butterflies and Other Things That Move
1979

The choreography for this piece originated out of movements from Phase Tracing II – a phrase created by Brook Andrews that moves horizontally across the space. This cast featured Brook Andrews, John Bailey, Maida Withers, JoAnn Sellars, Betty Tittsworth

The idea is that all movements are equal in value. The “dance” movement interrupted by someone grabbing an arm and the grabbing gesture all have equal value as dance and can be danced independent of the function of interruption. The movements required to interrupt and stop a dancer became movements in the choreography when they did not interrupt a dancer.

11/04/2021

In Winds of Sand
1993

Maida Withers began exploring land sites as a place for healing and to develop artistic work. The Coral Dunes of Utah and the White Sands of New Mexico are the Earth site sources for In Winds of Sand. For Withers, the Coral Sand Dunes are a deep connection to her place of birth in Kanab, Utah. In 1987, Withers began the first of her land site process creations with “Moving Earth/Dunes.” In 1990, Withers and Verabel Call Cluff, studying the life and rituals of Pueblo Native American peoples in New Mexico, initiated the White Sands project, shooting many of the photographs included in the production In Winds of Sand. Withers and Cluff returned to the White Sands and the Coral Dunes in 1991 to shoot the dance video. The performance installation of In Winds of Sand is a large painting, a subtle and shifting space much like the sands, that captures Withers’ experience of working and living with nature.

Photos from Maida Withers Dance Construction Company's post 11/02/2021

February 2003
Maida on Maida in the Universe

Who hasn’t dreamed of traveling into outer space and experiencing the wonders of our universe?

In Maida on Maida in the Universe, Maida juxtaposes her life’s work and the latest theories of the origin and demise of the universe, using images from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope mixed with excerpts of choreography.

The intersections between art, science and technology and our place in the universe are explored in this interactive, one-woman multimedia performance. For all involved, Maida on Maida in the Universe is an interactive performance that may carry us beyond the boundaries of our planet and into our future in the universe.

Watch the full piece here https://vimeo.com/89233884

10/13/2021

Happy Birthday, Maida!

10/12/2021

The countdown to the Toronto International Dance Festival screening of Dance Portraits On Screen continues!

Enjoy this second sneak preview featuring the talented Cate!

Register here: https://tidfcanada.com/event

10/07/2021

Upcoming Event!

Join us on October 17th for a screening of Dance Portraits On Screen at the Toronto International Dance Festival 2021 (Day Two)! Enjoy previews of the film throughout the next week!

Register here: https://tidfcanada.com/event

09/30/2021

Maida
2011

The camera is turned on Maida Withers in this study of motion and the force of nature by Ayo Okunseinde.

Photos from Maida Withers Dance Construction Company's post 09/28/2021

SandS CycleS
1991

Dance and environment film shot on location at White Sands, New Mexico and Coral Dunes, Utah and edited following the Hero’s Journey.

“SandS CycleS is a poetic dance and environment video, a landsite process of creating art for the Earth and ecology. SandS CycleS is the fruit of two women’s quest through the desert – Verabel Call Cluff on camera and Maida Withers as artist/performer. Images of the Innocent, the Orphan, the Martyr, Caretaker, Warrior, Destroyer, Magician, and the Ruler are woven into the structure of SandS CycleS.”

Film Narrative/Camera/Editor: Verabel Call Cluff
Dancer: Maida Withers
Composer/Musician: Alex Caldiero
Costumes/Sand Paintings: Tea Schiano

Watch the full piece here: https://vimeo.com/7692794

Photos from Maida Withers Dance Construction Company's post 09/23/2021

Put on the Music...Let’s Dance
1977

Forty-five minute show piece, a performance based on film dance of 1930s and 1940s. An actress reminisces over memorabilia about her life as a stage dancer/actress of the 1940’s. There are short segments of entertainment type dancing that is loosely based on film character prototypes and show business dancing. The work reflects Maida’s early involvement in tap dancing and musical theater.

The original performance was created for the Washington Project for the Arts in a cabaret-type setting with dancers in period costumes where the dancers engaged more intimately with the audience. The second version was re-created for City Dance performance at Warner Theater, May 7 1977 sponsored by Washington Performing Arts Society.

Photos from Maida Withers Dance Construction Company's post 09/16/2021

Stall.
1981

An evening length collaborative performance of dance, sound sculpture, and music choreographed by Maida Withers, a rotating loudspeaker installation by John Driscoll, composer/sculptor, Phil Edelstein, rotating loudspeaker animation, with dancers from Maida Withers Dance Construction Company.

The performance is a result of a dialogue between art and science, and presents an innovative work integrating art, music, dance, and electronic technology.

The world premiere of Stall. was in Berlin, Germany in May 1981 at the Festival of Pantomime, Music, Dance, and Theater at the Akademie der Künste with the Maida Withers Dance Construction Company, John Driscoll, and Phil Edelstein.

09/14/2021

Woman See, Interview
1981

An interview in Washington, DC on PBS, WETA-TV, regarding the making of Woman See – a feminist multimedia work in eight parts created by Maida Withers. This work followed five years of involvement by Maida and other Mormon women founders who formed the organization, Mormons for ERA, to assist nationally in the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.

The presentation includes two short duets performed in the small TV studio: Journey in Innocence by Frances Babb and Kim Curtis and Pitfalls and Pedestals by Heather Tuck and Dale Crittenberger.

Maida talks about the meaning of the two sections performed, and general information about her work and views as a creative and performing artist with Maida Withers Dance Construction Company.

Photos from Maida Withers Dance Construction Company's post 09/09/2021

Improvisation - Washington Project for the Arts
1975

1975 Washington Project for the Arts was founded in 1975 by the art impresario Alice Denney, organizer of the legendary NOW Festival in 1966. Artists joined in cleaning out the bird dung in a vacated building that was formerly a building of dentists offices on D Street NW that became the legendary WPA, the first interdisciplinary organization to be funded in the USA by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Maida Withers Dance Construction Company presented many events in the large open performance space on the 3rd floor. Maida served on the Board of Directors for WPA where artists collectively selected the exhibitions and performances. WPA was important in the development of an interdisciplinary approach.

Photos from Maida Withers Dance Construction Company's post 09/07/2021

OPEN
April 2019

OPEN, an installation of lights and projections by artist Robin Bell, is a celebration of transparency, belonging, and accessibility. Bell intends for OPEN to serve as a counterpoint to decisions regarding censorship, erasure, and closure. According to Bell, the decision to be open is not accidental or neutral. When you ask someone to open up, you are asking them to reexamine, rethink, and welcome change.

OPEN is a goal: open borders, open thought, open dialogue. The site-specific exhibition reinforces the fundamental rights of the First Amendment while acknowledging that the Corcoran exists at a cultural nexus across the street from the White House.

09/04/2021

Prologue - Cowboys and Indians Play by Maida Withers
January 12, 1991

I remembered beauty
And I saw it everywhere
I joined in the song of the universe
A song of mourning
A song of healing
A song of my wildness
CUT!

Short solo dance and written text spoken by Maida Withers - a view of the west as a cowgirl and the great granddaughter of pioneering settlers in Utah - a combination of hopefulness and cynicism

Photos from Maida Withers Dance Construction Company's post 08/12/2021

60 MOVES with FUTURE GAZE
July, 2018

60 MOVES with FUTURE GAZE” explores the relationship between architecture and the human body in order to better understand how architecture affects our identity and patterns of behavior

What do we feel today, being surrounded by the ideology of the past – a past deeply embodied in architecture? And who are WE – the people who have lived in times of dramatic change, who are still in the process of self-identification – scattering the ruins of the past for the sake of the future

Concept: Anton Ovchinnikov
Choreography: Maida Withers, Anton Ovchinnikov
Composer/Musician: Steve Hilmy
Dancers: Olexandra Zakharova, Dariya Dintsova, Elizaveta Kovalchuk, Flora Borovik, Olena Chuchko, Iryna Zapolska, Iryna Melnik, Iryna Klymenko, Katya Alyoshina, Kristina Slobodyanyuk, Maksym Omelchenko, Mariya Myasnikova, Olga Kebas, Victoriya Donet, Yana Gumennaya, Anton Ovchinnikov

Photos from Maida Withers Dance Construction Company's post 08/10/2021

Matrimony - To Sink or Swim!
August 3, 2013

Two couples, dressed in full wedding attire, frolic dangerously on the edge of the swimming pool, eventually submerging and reemerging in the passionate wrestle for survival- a metaphor for marriage – to sink or swim! Dancers perform to the Wedding March by Felix Mendelssohn

Concept/Director: Maida Withers
Dancers/Collaborators: Anthony Gongora, Giselle Ruzany, John Moletress, Tatiana Domovidova
Photographs: Shaun Schroth

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Videos (show all)

Naked Truth
The countdown to the Toronto International Dance Festival screening of Dance Portraits On Screen continues! Enjoy this s...
Dance Portraits On Screen
Maida
Woman See, Interview
Prologue - Cowboys and Indians Play by Maida WithersJanuary 12, 1991I remembered beautyAnd I saw it everywhere I joined ...
Iso Solo
Interview: Dance and TechnologyStacy Palatt, GW Dance Alumni, interviews Maida Withers on the relationship of technology...
ICEBERGS: Glacial Drift
TZVETA II (2011)
TZVETA 1 (2011)
Rainforest Awakens

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