DIGG – a provocative excavation of the current political landscape

Original Performance on February 10, 2018
“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) 

a fiercely intimate multimedia performance experience created and performed by pioneering dance artist Maida Withers – an excavation of the current political landscape revealing a kaleidoscope of emotions, antagonisms, and suspicions. In DIGG there is a union of dance, emphatic gesture, vocal music, video, and text. Experimental vocalists, Audrey Chen (Berlin) and Phil Minton (UK) perform “reality-piercing” vocals. A captivating installation by filmmaker Linda Lewett and photographer Diane Falk features surrealistic footage of dancers shot in the 14th Century Monastery on Solovky Island, Russia coupled with intriguing and provocative photographic creations by Falk. DIGG is framed by  Withers’ many tours and projects in Russia since 1996.

DIGG premiered in Washington DC at Dance  Place, in a joint concert with Maida Withers, DC, and Kei Takei, Tokyo, February 10 & 11, 2018. DIGG is a sequel to Withers’ Thresholds Crossed (2006), a multimedia opus “A fusion of East and West that explores the events, ideology and humanistic issues that engage notions relative to current political climate and conflicts.”



give Maida horse

” … a daring cutting edge artist.”   Carmel Morgan, Critical Dance

” In “DIGG” Withers dives into issues of Russian identity during this moment of political confusion and conflict.”  Washingtonian Magazine


DIGG reflects Maida’s interest in timely and thought-provoking interactive technology.  Dance film footage in DIGG was shot in the Solovky Archipelago and the dungeons and alcoves of the 14th Century Solovetsky Monastery in northern Russia, site of the first Soviet-Era Gulag experiment. Memories of Solovky are sobering, still, as are the unexpected events of politics today.

“There are times when words are inadequate to describe what one has seen. That’s often, if not always, true when it comes describing dance. Encapsulating a dance viewing experience is an incredible challenge. The performance of two powerhouses Maida Rust Withers and Kei Takei defies words. But as I’m limited to words here, I’ll just have it give it my best effort.” Critical Dance, C. Morgan
Maida looking through the key hole Maida T

*Maida Withers – Concept, Choreographer, Performer
**Audrey Chen – Experimental vocals, performer
**Phil Minton – Experimental vocals, performer
Linda Lewett – Filmmaker & Projection Design
Diane Falk – Photographer
Set Design – Lorenzo Cardim
Kristen Lamb – Shadow Figure
Linda Ryan – Shadow Figure
Ben Levine – Lighting Design
Stage Manger – Danny Debner
Communications Director – Billy Andrews

Maida TTT*Maida Withers, a powerful and commanding performer, is known for her daring and innovation in choreography.  Maida has created more than 100 diverse works for stage, site, and film – dances laced with wit, humor and mythic intrigue. Maida and the Dance Construction Company performances include:  Kennedy Center, Washington, DC; Lincoln Center, Great Dance in the Band Shell, NYC; Luna Theatre, Moscow; Beam Theatre, Tokyo; Go Down Center, Kenya: Nordly’s Festivalen– Tromso, Norway; others. Museum projects include: Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, Renwick Gallery, National Building Museum, Washington, DC;  Lenin Museum, Krasnoyarsk, Russia; Museum of Modern Art, Sao Paulo; National Exhibition Center of Ukraine, Kiev, others. As a US State Department envoy and through US Embassies, tours  include Russia, Ukraine, Croatia, Poland, Germany, France, UK, Norway, India, China, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, among others. Withers dance films have been shown in the US, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, and Germany.

Audrey Chen and Phil Minton
Audrey Chen and Phil Minton

For most of the last forty years, Minton has been working as a improvising singer in groups, orchestras and situations, in various locations worldwide. Some composers have written pieces that especially employ his extended vocal techniques and improvisations. Chen’s work delves deeply into her own version of narrative and non-linear storytelling. A large component of her music is improvised and her approach to this is extremely personal and visceral. Her playing explores the combination and layering of the homemade analog synthesizer, preparations and traditional and extended techniques in both the voice and cello. She works to join these elements into a singular ecstatic personal language.

Motion Capture Lab_GW School of Engineering, James Hahn, Director wtih PHD Students

A multidimensional performance, DIGG, is available for touring  in the USA and abroad in 2018 and 2019. DIGG is a series of integrated segments that allow for inserting new segments appropriate to the performance location and updating to the most current global political events.
Maida light bulbs birdsDiane Falk, Photographer

Trump head floats in sludge copy
Maida strange

View Documentary Video
View additional content from DIGG:

Booking Contact
Maida Withers, Artistic Director; m.withers@verizon.net
Billy Andrews, Communications Director; dcco@maidadance.com
USA 703-300-4634 (mobile); 202-994-0739 (office)
Promotional information and photos provided.

Technical Specs
DIGG is comprised of 19 integrated scenes.  The original version of DIGG is 45 minutes in length. The number of scenes can be modified to shorten DIGG for festival settings or shared concerts.
Theatrical lighting Light plot is available.
Projection  QLab is used for the management of the projections comprised of film and animated photographs.
Objects Provided by the artist or purchased on tour.
Experimental Vocals:  Performed live or recording.

IMG_2066DavidRotateDavid Page, Sculptor, Anthony Gongora Aluminum MASKCarmel Morgan Review in Critical Dance”  http://criticaldance.org/kei-takei-maida-withers/;  Kacie Peterson Review in Kacie Peterson Blog

What the press is saying

Artists and Collaborators
Choreographer and Dancer
Music - Extreme Vocals
Dancers - Shadow Figures -
Filmmaker & Projections Design
Set Design
Lighting Design
Stage Manager
Communications Director
Specialists, GW Motion Capture and Analysis Laboratory
Other Performances
  • (map) on January 1, 1970