Visual Design/ Dancer/ Camera/ Editor/ Narrative Designer/ Set Designer/ Costume Designer MWDCCo Film Works: Collision Course a.k.a. Pillow Talk (Film 2012); Maida I (Film 2011); Maida II (Film 2011); Tzveta I (Film 2011); FareWell: Rising Tide (2008-2012); Thresholds Crossed (Film 2006) MWDCCo Dances: All works 2004 – 2014 An interdisciplinary artist who is compelled by driving … Continue reading Anthony Gongora
MindFluctuations Co-Authored by Tania Fraga, computer artist from Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Maida Withers, choreographer and dancer from Washington, DC Good afternoon. Ten years ago I participated in the ART conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil with a live performance, an excerpt of Dance of the Auroras – Fire in the Sky. In this poetic voyage in space from the Sun through Earth’s auroras, a dancer performs while using a wireless mouse to manipulate in real time large-scale projected cyber worlds – 3D virtual art by Tania Fraga, computer artist from Sao Paulo, Brazil. I am honored to be here today for the 16th international conference to present aspects of MindFluctuations, a 90-minute opus, an interactive performance work. This collaboration of dance, neuroscience, 3D projected computer art, and live electronic music continues my lifelong fascination as an artist with the connection of the human body and mind to interactive technology. My dance works rely on the deepest connection of the mind and the body, both in creation and performance. While we are accustomed to engaging with expressive aspects of the performer, MindFluctuations goes further in visualizing the expressive self. Speaking casually, MindFluctuations gets information from inside the dancer’s head as you have seen demonstrated by Tania Fraga here today. Signals from the neural headset, worn by a dancer, interface with the processes of the 3D virtual artworks by Tania Fraga in the computer. The impact of these interactions is projected in real-time into the performance arena, further exposing the performer’s expressive self. In MindFluctuations, nine dancers from Maida Withers Dance Construction Company in Washington, DC performed with eleven virtual worlds created by Tania Fraga. One dancer in each section wore a neuro headset. Two headsets were available to provide for transitions necessary for the computers to recognize the new person wearing the headset. Five of the nine dancers wore a neuro headset during the performance. Before entering on stage, the dancer confirmed that a solid connection had been made with the computer located in the wings. Dancers had rehearsed with the headset and computer during rehearsal so they were recognized by the computer. Careful placement of the neuroheadset was important to the strength of the transmission from each dancer. Some dancers had stronger transmission than others.
MindFluctuations is one hour and 15 minutes in length. I will share with you a six minute video excerpt of the live performance at Lisner Auditorium in Washington, DC on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the founding of Maida Withers Dance Construction Company. The video of last six minutes and 30 seconds and features excerpts of Part I through Part XI. Part I: The Egg, a trio by three women Part II: Blackness / the Underworld, a quartet by two men and two women Part III: Obsess, a light hearted quartet by three women and one man Part IV: Turned Away, a duet by two women Part V: Is Anyone Out There? a trio by two men and one woman Part VI: Trip / Boundaries Drawn by the Company Part VII: Offering, a solo by Maida Withers Part VIII: Monster Within, a solo created and performed by Anthony Gongora with a head piece designed by sculptor David Page Part IX: Virtue Exposed, a quartet by two men and two women Part X: Whiteness / Transcendence by the Company Part XI: Panspermia / Seeding the Universe by the Company The amount of time each dancer used the headset, the computer, and projector seemed to impact on the outcome and effectiveness of that dancer in performance. The decision to create a large-scale production influenced the choice of dancers performing set choreography rather than improvising to interact, perhaps, more authentically, with the virtual worlds. Experimental, interactive artworks such as MindFluctuations are “demanding” as methods and expectations vary in science, art, and technical fields. However, the body, the mind, and technology can find a truly extraordinary symbiosis.
2012 – Tzveta Kassabova performs with Film Installation of Tzveta dancing her solo from Naked Truth as part of Involuntary Encounters Event in Dorothy Betts Marvin Center: An evening of dance by dance artists, friends and former dancers with MWDCCo. 2012 – Tzveta Kassabovam member of Maida Withers Dance Construction Company, performed a solo from … Continue reading Naked Truth – Tzveta Solo With Film Installation
Monster Man (7:29) (See MindFluctuations) Excerpt of dance from MindFluctuations, evening-length work co-authored by Maida Withers, choreographer and artistic director (Washington, DC), and Tania Fraga, 3D computer artist (Sao Paulo, Brazil) MindFluctuations: Monster Man Choreography and performance by Anthony Gongora. Costume by Maida Withers Sculpture/Mask by David Page
2010 – May 10, 17, & 24, 2010: Re-Re Voltaire (Cabaret Voltaire) WPA sponsored a site event on H Street in celebration of their 35th Anniversary that take place in a vacant lot next to Gallery O/H at 1354 H Street NE, WDC. These event were to celebrate their 35th anniversary and also recognize the … Continue reading Re-Re Voltaire – WPA 35th Anniversary – H Street Revitalization
2011 Anthony Gongora and Tzveta Kasabova, MWDCCo dancers, danced throughout American University’s Katzen Center for the Arts, Washington, DC while taking clothes off and putting clothes on (no nudity) while doing a complex male/female duet for the Washington Project for the Arts 30th Anniversary Celebration. Dancers related to the exhibitions and the people sometimes blocking … Continue reading Catalyst (Un-Dress)
TACIT ENGAGEMENT IN THE DIGITAL AGE A joint conference by the ‘Re-‘ Interdisciplinary Network, CRASSH (Center for Research in the arts, Social Services & Humanities and AI (Artificial Intelligence) & Society Journal CAMBRIDGE, UK June 26-28, 2019 MINDFLUCTUATIONS Maida Withers “CONSIDERATION OF A GROUNDBREAKING DANCE SPECTACLE EXPLORING NEURAL CONNECTIONS” MINDFLUCTUATIONS, a bold interactive virtual journey … Continue reading MindFluctuations-AI-performance-talk/
“Withers has created a work that spans the human experience of witnessing modern American politics: anxiety, fear, anger, nervous laughter and resilient hope.” Cassie Patterson (2018) “Withers is a dance legend.” Carmel Morgan (2018) View Documentary Video View additional content from DIGG: https://vimeo.com/264311935http://vimeo.com/261358654 https://vimeo.com/258150770 https://vimeo.com/234202626 https://vimeo.com/258212453 https://vimeo.com/390858979 DIGG – a fiercely intimate multimedia performance experience created and performed … Continue reading DIGG – a provocative excavation of the current political landscape
MAIDA WITHERS and the DANCE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY RUSSIAN TOURS AND PROJECTS, 1997 to 2016 Yekaterinburg, Russia (August 26-28, 2016) Small-format Contemporary Dance Festival curated by Ekaterina Zharinova, Director. Maida Withers performs ICEBERGS: Fault Line; original music by Steve Hilmy; poetry by David McAleavey and Alex Caldiero. http://maidadance.com/works/fault-line/ ▪ Yekaterinburg History Museum Moscow, Krasnoyarsk, Arkhangelsk, Russia … Continue reading Russian Tours and Projects, 1997-2016
ICEBERGS National Building Museum Washington, DC presents GLACIAL DRIFT – PREMIERE Cool Evening with ICEBERGS Dance, Music, and Poetry in the Surreal Underwater-World of ICEBERGS Promo, teaser videos: https://vimeo.com/390212917; Teaser http://vimeo.com/188004222 (02:21); Teaser Youtube : http://youtube.com/watch?v=EDehEZkThW4&feature=emb_logo *(02:21); Promo (00:39): http://vimeo.com/188015654; GLACIAL DRIFT was one of National Building Museum’s Block Party Late Nights that … Continue reading ICEBERGS: Glacial Drift