Metropolitan Dance Association – Honors

1981 – “Washingtonians partake of “high-caliber dance…her contribution to the artistic community of this city is unrivaled.”

Brook Andrews, founding member of the Dance Construction Company, describes Maida’s unusual accomplishments in a speech at the Renwick Gallery where Maida was being honored by the Metropolitan Dance Association:

“Maida has a direct link to her feelings.  With this rich, immediate source of material –and with boundless fortitude- she has produced an overwhelming amount of powerful, creative work ranging from pure choreography to pure improvisation.  Performers develop myriad ways of solving problems during rehearsals until a final form evolves that answers the needs of the dance.  Remembering movement is never difficult since performers share in the creation and evolution of the work.”
“This Withers methodology was used to create the full-length piece entitled “white Mansions,” which began in improvisations based on the characters and history of the South, and was first performed as part of the inaugural exhibit at the Washington Project for the Arts in 1975, and finally became an environmental work performed at dusk in the Holy Rood Cemetery in Georgetown.  A vibraphone chimed mysteriously in the wind while ashen figures in white conducted rituals and meandered through tombstones.  The setting, sunset, movement, costumes and sounds all worked in beautiful and eerie harmony.  The power of all elements meshing together to create a sum far greater than its parts has become a familiar, yet constantly surprising phenomenon in Maida’s work.”
“Not content to repeat works, she is always starting on the next composition.  She cannot keep herself from altering or reformulating.  One work of hers that has been repeated, reconstructed and restaged several times is her duet, ‘Laser.’  It was based, as its title implies, on the qualities of lasers-narrow, reflected light beams slicing through space.  The choreography consists of dancers in linear configurations of support and release combined with quick, traveling patterns set excitingly in an environment of laser beams built by sculptor Rockne Krebs.”
“Or maybe you remember “Put on the Music…Let’s Dance,” a full evening’s work based on music of the thirties and forties; or three crazy dancers in white crawling through the Iwo Jima monument in Arlington while video cameras recorded it all; or “Yesterday’s Garlands and Yesterday’s Kisses.” wherein zany figures cavort and convulse in dramatic gestures while a woman sings nonsense syllables while suspended in a chair fifteen feet above the stage.”
“As impressive as her choreography is her work with the National Endowment for the Arts as a movement specialist for the “Artist in the Schools” program.  Her enthusiasm and joy make dance come alive for hundreds of children and educators throughout the country.”
“As an educator spreading her love for and commitment to dance; as an incisive choreographer; and an astonishing performer; as an inventive collaborator with artists from many disciplines–sculptors, musicians, poets, singers, painters — in creating a climate for interchange and learning.  Maida has provided Washingtonians countless opportunities to partake of high-caliber dance.  Her contribution to the artistic community of this city is unrivaled.

“And that’s not all.  She’s also a loving and caring wife, and mother of four terrific children; devoted friend; amusing playmate; staunch ERA activist; and inspiring companion.  What an exciting woman.”

Brook Andrews, April 5, 1981, Metropolitan Dance Association