Summer Dance Workshops with innovators

1968 – Maida Withers with Elizabeth Burtner in 1968 established the annual 3-week Summer Dance Workshop offering at George Washington University in Washington, DC  that featured classes and creation of new stage and site works by Maida Withers and out-of-town innovative artists.  Workshops began in Washington, DC in 1968 during the difficult years of the Viet Nam era but also during the time of the revolution of dance to post-modern dance in America.  These workshops lasted for fifteen years during an important period of development of dance.  Maida Withers and the artists taught classes and performed site and stage works.  In addition to Maida Withers, artists included Yvonne Rainer,  Al Huang, Rudy Perez, Annabelle Gamson, Don Redlich, Sara Rudner, Marta Renzi, and many others who played a significant role in the transformation of dance through the transformation of changes in views of the body, the audience, where dance could happen, ideas and values regarding art.  Works were created for various sites in Washington, DC.

In this photo, Maida Withers performs the traditional work, Variations From Day to Day, reconstructed by Normal Walker during the first three-week  Summer Dance workshop, May 1968.

After the first year, 1968, Maida took over the workshops from Elizabeth Burtner and a totally different genre of artists were selected.

As artists, we had a great influence on opening the ideas of the 1960s dance to Washington audiences.


Leave a Reply