Rolling Thunder – Transformation, DC

Original Performance on February 7, 1992

1992 – “Rolling Thunder intricately weaves rich and layered movement materials in a ritualistic contemporary dance narrative, a new world myth.  The gift, the knowledge of the earth, is brought forth. Those who hear the message change – transforming themselves with the Earth.”  Maida Withers, Program, 1992.

Rolling Thunder “Transformation” is the fourth part of the larger work that includes “Messenger Eagle,” “Spirit Figures,” “Still Rush,” and “Transformation.”  The total performance can be viewed on Dance for the Earth. Rolling Thunder “Transformation”  was presented at Thomas Jefferson Community Theater in Arlington, Virginia, February 7 & 8, 1992.

Rolling Thunder was created to be part of performances by MWDCCo for the United Nation’s Earth Summit (Eco ’92)  in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  Rolling Thunder was staged in Brazil for Eco ’92 with four American dancers (original cast) and five Brazilian dancers who performed on stage in a park designated for events related to Eco ’92 and sponsored by the City of Rio de Janeiro.

MWDCCo cooperated with 100 international Artists for Ecology and 60 Brazilian artists for ecology in Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro over a five-week period teaching workshops, creating site events, and performing.
Group semi-circle, pipes on head, Dana center Sm Braz RollingGroup face left, 2nd position uga buga
Group Dana Burgess Eagle Center72.Rio de Janeiro Eco92TIF
each Stage Performance in Rio de Janeiro, United Nation’s Eco ’92 Events

Rolling Thunder was part of an evening titled, Dance for the Earth. Images from three dances, including Rolling Thunder, are below.
Collage Dance for the Earth72



What the press is saying

Several years ago in New Mexico, choreographer Maida Withers was developing a new "eco-active" dance by exploring the White Sand Dunes near the Mexico border. But to her dismay, she found that her access to the dunes was limited. each morning she was not permitted to enter the area until 9:30 am because the U.S. military was testing SKUD missiles that were later used against Iraq. Withers sandy endeavors may not have helped Kuwait, but she hopes they will help the environment. "The work I'm doing at these sites in a way is a statement of preservation-it's a commitment to the beauty of these wilderness sites." Kim Friedman

Artists and Collaborators
Concept / Choreographer
Costumes and Body Paint
Set (large puppets from recycles materials)
Other Performances
  • Rio de Janeiro Outdoor Stage for Eco '92 in the parque(map) on June 6, 1992
  • Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre(map) on February 7, 1992