Maida Withers, USA – Annika B. Lewis, Denmark
Couch Conversation and Performance: Dance and Politics
Arts Club of Washington, DC
February 28, 2016 at 1:30 pm $20 general admission; $10 students
Irreverent and outspoken performance artists join in this event with audience intervention.
New Media Caucus Showcase, College Arts Association Conference
Corcoran Armand Hammer Auditorium, February 4, 2016 8:00 pm
Maida Withers, presents insight into MindFluctuations with Dance Construction Company dancers, Anthony Gongora, Felicia Avalos and the documentary trailer of the Lisner Auditorium performance, March 19, 2015.
Date: April 8, 2015
Time: 12:00 noon until 12:45 pm
Location: GW’s Textile Museum, 701 21st Street NW, Washington, DC
Description: Maida Withers, Founding Artistic Director, Maida Withers Dance Construction Company, and Professor of Dance at George Washington University, is a leader in the area of dance and technology, social and political commentary through postmodern performances, and dance on camera. Join Withers as she discusses her most recent project, “MindFluctuations,” a multidisciplinary, international collaboration between dancers and computer science experts that explores neural connections.
GW Arts Initiative Programs explore topics related to art, history, and culture, and connect GW faculty, students, and the public. A collaboration with GW arts and humanities faculty. Free; no reservations required.
March 19, 2015 at 8:00 pm
Dance Company: Maida Withers Dance Construction Company – living archives/timeline
Event: MindFluctuations, a real-time interactive spectacle of dance, 3D projected virtual artworks, the Emotiv neuro headset, and live electronic music.
Date: Thursday, March 19, 2015 at 8:00 pm
Performance Venue: Lisner Auditorium
Tickets: $38 – $25
Contact Venue: 202-994-6800; firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Artists: 202-994-0739; email@example.com
Address: 730 21st Street NW, Washington, DC (Metro GW Foggy Bottom
• John Driscoll, composer and sound artist
• Izzy Einsidler, light designer
• Tania Fraga, Brazilian 3-D computer artist and architect
• Steve Hilmy, electronic musician and composer
• David Page, sculptor
• Maida Withers, choreographer, dancer and the company’s founding artistic director
• Dancers and Guest Artists (GA): Felicia Avalos, Ian Ceccarelli, Alicia Diaz (GA), Anthony Gongora, Mary Heath (Intern), Giselle Ruzany, Sammi Rosenfeld, Matthew Thornton (GA), Maida Withers
• Science: Pedro Garcia, Java consultant programmer. and Mauro Pichiliani, Brain Computer Interface technician and Donizetti Louro, mathematics consultant at the Institute of Mathematics and Art, São Paulo.
Photos by Shaun Schroth
Virtual Art and Video by Tania Fraga
Neuro Headset by Emotiv
Aluminum Mask by David Page
Washington, DC: On March 19, 2015 at 8:00 pm, Lisner Auditorium For its celebratory 40th Anniversary Season, Maida Withers Dance Construction Company, Washington,DC’s bold and techno-savvy dance company with an international footprint, presents the world premiere of MindFluctuations, a real-time interactive spectacle of dance, 3D projected virtual artworks, Emotiv neuro headset, and live electronic music.
Science fiction…NO. Neuroscience…YES! The pairing of Maida Withers latest tantalizing choreographic enterprise with Tania Fraga’s vibrant and colorful 3D virtual artworks makes for a mind-stretching match in the work MindFluctuations, the third international collaboration by the American choreographer and the Brazilian computer artist. For forty years, Withers has taken audiences on highly charged journey’s with the interface of technology connected to the human experience. Her works are always about dance and dancers – their authentic movements – as well as about the here and now – forces that drive our global society. MindFluctuations continues this legacy. Interactive technology (Emotiv neuro headset worn by dancers in performance) provides support for the choreographic commentary. Tania Fraga, Brazilian noted computer artist, has created 10 virtual artworks that follow a loosely constructed narrative that is embellished through Maida Withers choreography for nine dancers that begins with “The EGG” (beginnings) and concludes with “Panspermia “– seeding the universe. Three exotic cyber worlds are built around templates of very unusual street people – a child violinist caught in a world of evil and power manipulation; a street woman walking in the fog in New York City turns her back on society; and the “accordion man” in LA sitting in a self-constructed helmet playing his accordion while Withers performs a solo with accordion man’s attempted contribution of music to the universe.
MindFluctuations, an evening-length work, continues pioneering choreographer Maida Withers’ lifelong fascination with the connection of the human body and mind to innovative technology. Withers performs a fascinating solo in this evening-length work. Tania Fraga, computer artist, São Paulo, Brazil creates immersive visual environments that are projected on stage. Dancers wear a brain-wave detecting headset in performance that allows their human emotions and expressive states to influence and transform, in real time, these vibrant 3D virtual artworks. Composer and sound artist John Driscoll and electronic composer/musician Steve Hilmy create a compelling music score through a live interactive process with the dancers to complete the multi-sensory world, the hallmark of Withers’ work for four decades. David Page, sculptor, Izzy Einsidler, light designer, and seven distinctive Dance Construction Company dancers and two guest artists complete the collaborative team for this thought-provoking performance (artist bios).
Commitment to multidisciplinary collaboration, live music and pushing the boundaries of dance by this new work, in celebration of 40 years of the Company’s history, builds on MWDCCo’s previous, path breaking interactive works with rotating loudspeakers, laser beams, wireless cameras, interactive cyber worlds, and video installations, always with original music created and performed live. These works have generally been driven by social and political consciousness and created through a unique process of collaboration that has been a driving force in Artistic Director’s Maida Withers’ multidisciplinary work for over four decades. Withers acclaimed Living Archives and unique Timeline are available at http://maidadance.com.
MindFluctuations reveals the emotions of the nine dancers through dramatic choreography but goes one giant step further to reveal the emotions of the dancers wearing a neuro headset in performance that transmits the dancer’s digitized feelings to interface and influence the virtual art in the computer that is then projected on stage. We see the emotion of the dancer through the physical choreography but we also see the impact of the dancer’s expressive feelings through the headset. We are watching in dance what Neuro science has made possible.
In celebration of the 40th anniversary, Withers has selected phrases from historic works and included short segments seamlessly in the performance along with new choreography. Phrases and gestures are from Pillow Talk (2012), Utah * Spirit Place * Spirit Planet * Tukuhnikivatz (1996), Yesterday’s Garlands and Yesterday’s Kisses (1974), State of the Art (1986) , and others.
MindFluctuations was created through residencies in São Paulo, Brazil and Washington, D.C. which enabled an international collaboration between Maida Withers and Tania Fraga, a Brazilian computer artist, Pedro Garcia, Java consultant programmer. and Mauro Pichiliani, Brain Computer Interface technician and Donizetti Louro, mathematics consultant at the Institute of Mathematics and Art, São Paulo. After a successful history of international collaborations and site-specific performances, MWDCCo is excited to first present the world premiere of MindFluctuations in their home community in the heart of downtown Washington, DC at Lisner Auditorium before returning to São Paulo at Paco das Artes museum for additional performances in July 2015.
Maida Withers Dance Construction Company is a 501(c) 3 federally tax exempt cultural arts organization founded in 1974 in Washington, DC. The Company is a vibrant artist-driven organization that mixes dance and performance with technology and media to create thought-provoking works for stage, museums, site, and film in a collaborative process with artists, scientists and others committed to a process of experimentation. The Company’s archives and timeline feature four decades of choreography and artistic projects through International tours in over 18 countries including Russia, Poland, France, Germany, UK, Croatia, Brazil, Mexico, and Venezuela and site specific work at home in the Washington, DC metropolitan area at notable cultural institutions such as the Smithsonian (Air and Space Museum, International Gallery, Natural History Museum, Renwick Gallery of Art), Corcoran Gallery of Art, Art Museum of the Americas, Arlington Art Center, Kennedy Center, Lisner Auditorium, Warner Theatre, Dance Place, Joe’s Emporium, others. Dance films featuring the Company have been viewed at film festivals in Turkey, France, Brazil, Mexico, and stateside in California, Utah, Virginia, and Washington, DC. For fourteen years between 1995 and 2009, MWDCCo curated the International Improvisation Plus+ Festival in Washington, DC.95. Maida Withers and the Dance Construction Company are the recipients of honors including the DC Mayor’s Arts Award (2001 and 2014), Dance Place Education Award, Columbian Professorship Award, 2001 Pola Nirenska Award, and others.
The concert bore her unmistakable stamp, a kind of aesthetic aroma compounded of equal parts wit, iconoclasm, and inventive curiosity. What binds together Withers’ choreography is not stories, romance, sex, or sociology, but the sheer exhilaration and imaginative fallout of movement ‑‑ movement interpreted in the widest and most liberated sense.” Alan M. Kriegsman, The Washington Post
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December 15 to 4:30 pm January 23,2015 _ KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN
IT’S HAPPENING! Maida Withers Dance Construction Company (MWDCCo) is celebrating its 40th Anniversary Season with the World Premiere of MindFluctuations, an amazing night of dance and technological innovation in Washington, DC’s Lisner Auditorium on March 19, 2015 at 8:00 pm.
Choreographed by Maida Withers, recipient of this year’s 29th Annual Washington DC Mayor’s Special Recognition Arts Award,
MindFluctuations is the cornerstone of the 40th Anniversary of Maida Withers Dance Construction Company. MindFluctuations is a unique work involving dancers wearing an Emotiv neuro headset, which uses their brain waves to influence computer art. This creates a startling interactive experience combining dance, projected 3D visual animation by computer artist Tania Fraga and live electronic muric by composers Steve Hilmy and John Driscoll.
We now need your help! MWDCCo has a minimum goal to raise $5,000 through Kickstarter. Along with this base goal, we need to raise an additional $13,000 to fully fund MindFluctuations ($18,000 total funds needed of the $26,000 project budget). With the essential support of individuals like you, you will make possible the groundbreaking performance of MindFluctuations.
2014 Recent Performances
Chain of Events …sheer imaginative fallout of movement
Presented by Kennedy Center Millennium Stage
Date/Time: December 8, 2014 at 6:00 to 6:50 pm, FREE
Location: Kennedy Center Theatre Lab; 2700 F Street, NW Washington, DC
Photo by Shaun Schroth: Photo of Giselle Ruzany
Maida Withers Dance Construction Company, “iconoclast of Washington Dance,” presents Chain of Events for their 40th anniversary celebration performance at the Kennedy Center Theatre Lab. Chain of Events offers a rare opportunity to experience a collection of selected excerpts from Wither’s “thought provoking” choreography in the past (Stall and Time Dance), present (Collision Course – a.k.a. Pillow Talk) and future (MindFluctuations). Live electronic music is by Steve Hilmy and John Driscoll with light design by Enoch Chan. Selected dance segments are presented as a continuous uninterrupted stream of dance movement stripped down to the stark and beautiful choreography performed by members of Maida Withers Dance Construction Company.
“The concert bore her unmistakable stamp, a kind of aesthetic aroma compounded of equal parts wit, iconoclasm, and inventive curiosity. What binds together Withers’ choreography is not stories, romance, sex, or sociology, but the sheer exhilaration and imaginative fallout of movement, movement interpreted in the widest and most liberated sense.”
Alan Michael Kriegsman – Washington Post
MWDCCo 40th Anniversary Celebration
Presented by Art Whino
Date/Time: November 8, 2014 – 8:00 pm to midnight
Location: Blind Whino: SW Arts Club; 700 Delaware Avenue SW, Washington, DC
(metro stations within four blocks)
Tickets: Advance tickets available at $30 HERE; $60 at the door
Ticket price includes a complimentary Jack Daniels Cocktail
Billy Andrews; firstname.lastname@example.org; 202-994-0739
Shane Pomojambo email@example.com; 703-462-4135
In celebration of Maida Withers’ Dance Company’s 40th anniversary, Art Whino is throwing a masquerade ball full of mystery and surprise. This full sensory experience will combine performance art with experimental dance, live music, and a silent art auction where artist will paint Masquerade masks the audience will wear in this moving art exhibit. Embracing the spirit of the night’s ambiance, dress code will require masquerade masks along with your most eclectic outfit to impress. Once you enter Blind Whino you will become a part of an ongoing performance as members of the audience will have the dance company interweaved in it who will break into spontaneous dance before your eyes throughout all the spaces in the building. As performers and guests mingle in anonymity, the silent auction masks will take life as they move throughout the building as people wear them. This night of celebration will be complete with live music sets and drinks that will compliment the unique immersive experience.
On Sight / Insight
Wednesday, September 17at 7:30pm
Joe’s Movement Emporium: 3309 Bunker Hill Rd, Mount Rainier, Maryland 20712
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC WITH ARTIST PRESENTATION BY MAIDA WITHERS.
Maida discusses her historic site-based works and presents films and photographs of works that took place locally and internationally inside and outside of buildings, at galleries and museums, earth sites, National Parks, and other non-traditional spaces. Withers gives context to the role and place of space in the creation and performance of dances for “live audiences” and on dance films shot on location.
Saturday, September 20at 8:30pm
The New Art Works Now: 4800 Rhode Island Ave, Hyattsville MD 20781
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC WITH ARTIST PRESENTATION BY MAIDA WITHERS DANCE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY
MWDCCo will be joined by electronic musician/composer Steve Hilmy on September 20th at 8:30 pm in Art Works Now’s new location. Lighting will be designed by Enoch Chan of Deviated Theater. Withers, a pioneer and innovator of site-specific work in the world of dance, proposed a concept to the Art Lives Here partners back in January that would engage audiences with the questions, “does art live here?” and “what does it mean if art lives here?” The piece, entitled “Trans Action” allows the audience to decide if “art”(one female dancer) can survive the onslaught of seven dancers in business suits attempting to dominate and suppress her artistic passion.
Photo Gallery – Trans Action
Photo credit: Shaun Schroth
Photo of Giselle Ruzany
Photo of Sammi Rosenfeld (left), Giselle Ruzany; Anthony Gongora; John Moletress