Obsession – America’s Obsession with Sex

Original Performance on April 24, 1987

1987 – This evening-length performance is a commentary on the sexual revolution starting with Elvis Presley. “Made in the USA” view of sex created by Maida Withers is performed by Maida Withers Dance Construction Company and Nuvieux Music Ensemble. Obsession occurs in two diverse sections.  The first half is about Elvis Presley as the bridge for men and women to more openly expression their views about sex.  Part II is somewhat more abstract with less obvious music and dance topics.  The final segment, starting with the male duet through the end of the performance with the cleansing with water, is about compassion and caring during the AIDS epidemic. (See notes in MWDCCo files for male duet, minister’s script)

Sequence of Choreography:
(Simione, Harling, Koob, Strum)
Yield (Cervantes, Strum, Schaeffer-Merkert, Harling, Simione, Wade)
Exposed (Harling and the Company)Sell (Koob, Schaeffer Merkert, Wade)
Intimate Touch (Harling and Simione)
Purification (The Company)

In November 1987, Obsession toured in three cities in Mexico sponsored by the Government of Mexico.  Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes International Office of Public Relations organized and assisted with the two performances in Mexico City, Teatro de la Pax in San Luis Potosi, and  in the University Theatre in Queretaro, Mexico.  News coverage was excellent.

Mexico City, Mexico (November 19 – 26, 1987
Instituto Nacionale de Bellas Artes International Office of Public Relations
MWDCCo toured three cities in Mexico
▪   Perform: Obsession: A “Made in the USA” look at sex; Mexico City (November 21, 22).
▪   Perform: Instituto Potosino de Bellas ARtes, San Luis Potosi, S.L.P. , Teatro de la Paz; San Luis Potosi,  (find VHS) (est November 23, 24)
▪   Workshops in technique and improvisation; public discussion in Spanish and English

(Notes in a journal indicate we performed in Queretaro, Mexico but we have not records)

Guatemala City, Guatemala (November 26- 30, 1987)
MWDCCo performance at Teatro Obril  (sponsored by First Lady Raquel Cerezo for two performances in an unusual city-run theatre (nudes painted on the entire ceiling)
▪   Perform: Obsession: A “Made in the USA” look at sex
▪   Workshop: Teatro Nacional

In  Guatemala, First Lady Raquel Blandónv Cerezo sponsored the Company’s presentations. Guatemala was at war in the countryside when we were there .  Raquel was the wife of  then President of Guatemala, Vinicio Cerezo.  The First Lady introduced the Company and translated introductory remarks by Maida prior to each performance.  A reception at the Teatro Nacional, television interviews, a special tour to Antigua, a workshop for the National Folkloric Company were highlights.  Maida and the Company felt honored to have such a distinguished and gracious sponsor as First Lady Raquel Raquel Blandón Cerezo.

San Jose, Costa Rica (December 1 – 7, 1987) Sponsored by United States Information Agency; National Festival of Choreography
▪   Workshops: daily for 3 hours at the historic Teatro Nacional, San Jose,  Costa Rica

Participation in the National Festival of Choreography at the historic Teatro Nacional in Costa Rica was the last leg of the tour.  Maida’s travel in San Jose was furnished by the United States Information Service.

Taxco, Mexico (December 7- 10, 1987)
▪   International Conference on Dance II, participant

Obsession was performed in Washington, DC at the Publick Playhouse in Prince George’s County with Maida Withers as the Elvis figure (see video)

Interview: Maida Withers is interviewed about Obsession for Fairfax Cable  Access Corporation, Channel 10, Fairfax, Virginia. See Obsession:  Interview by Maida Withers
Sm ObsessionGreg Simione Elvis rock forward on footGreg SimeoneSm ObsessionGreg with knees bendChair4.
nnetta WadeSm Obsession3 women Elvis trioAnnetta Wade, Lorena Cervantes, Taffy Schaeffer Merkert
Sm Obsession Scat - trio for scat 2woman 1 manSCAT: Annetta Wade, Michael Koob, Taffy Schaeffe MerkertTrioScatFloor4.
Scat Trio4.
Sm Obsession. Greg liftedGreg Simeone and Tim Harling
Maida Suite Elvis4. Maida Sweet Elvis Lunge4.
Maida Withers  in the “Elvis” role in “Suite Elvis” 2nd PerformanceBodyPartsPromotionalFlyer4.
romotional Flyer


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