THIS WAS MADE FOR WOMEN'S BODIES
Concept/Choreographer: Maia Maiden
Dancers: Veronica DuBose, Susan Leppke, and Keri McWilliams
Lighting Designer: Nate Rockswold
Guest Artists: Ellena Schoop and Cathy Wright
Performances: 8PM Thursday-Sunday, October 11-14, 2012
Tickets: $10 advance, student, senior | $12 door
Inspired by Maya Angelou’s poem Phenomenal Woman, This Was Made for Women's Bodies explores the ways in which a woman's experiences are portrayed through her body. Through dance, music, and words, this performance is a collection of short stories; it places body image and self-esteem on display to celebrate power, strength, and open dialogue; to answer questions, and to show how her body is not just a visual aid, but the carrier of unique histories: past, present, and future. The stories of real women must be told.
People wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size;
... it's in the reach of my arms,
the span of my hips,
the stride of my step,
the curl of my lips.
... it's the fire in my eyes,
and the flash of my teeth,
the swing in my waist,
and the joy in my feet.
... it's in the arch of my back,
the sun of my smile,
the ride of my breasts,
the grace of my style.
... it's in the click of my heels,
the bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand."
- Excerpts from Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou
Watch a special preview of This Was Made for Women's Bodies
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Scientist by day, dancer by night, MAIA MAIDEN has been in the dance community for over 15 years. Born and raised in South Minneapolis, she has studied all genres of dance primarily focusing on West African, Hip Hop, and step. In 1995, she co-created "Infinity", a hip-hop dance troupe at Apple Valley High School (the first of its kind). Since then, she has performed in productions in the Twin Cities, including: Abstraktions: Requiem for a Homegirl (Leah Nelson), BlackArtsFusion (Maia Maiden, Karla Nweje and Ellena Schoop), Festival of Lies (Faustin Linyekula), and Revolutionary Soul Sistas (Roxane Wallace). Her first full length choreographic endeavor and conception, The Foundation, et cetera, premiered at Minneapolis’ renowned Southern Theater (in collaboration with Ellena Schoop) as a part of Momentum: New Dance Works 2008; one of the most popular annual showcases of emerging, under-the-radar choreographic talent in the Twin Cities. It was awarded Outstanding Achievement in Dance Innovation by Lavender Magazine. Her work has also been performed in Washington D.C. at the Hip Hop Theater Festival 2008 and Fringe Festival 2008. In 2010, she was selected as one of four artists to showcase her new work gangED, in the first Snapshots: Reflections of Women; a new annual series presented by the prestige O’Shaughnessy Theater at St. Catherine University in St. Paul. She is the creator/curator of Rooted: Hip Hop Choreographers’ Evening-the first choreographers’ evening dedicated to Hip Hop dance and its’ roots in the Twin Cities, showcasing high school to professional choreographers. In its’ first year (2009), Rooted opened to two sold out shows totaling more than 350 people. She is also the founder/artistic director of Twin Cities’ based ConsciousSpirit,a movement group using dance styles rooted in the African Diaspora. Interweaving Hip Hop and step techniques with traditional West African movements to create work that is community connected (www.consciousspiritmovement.com).
CATHY WRIGHT (choreographer, teacher, performer) found her love of movement as an actor at the Minneapolis Children’s Theater Company at the age of 14. Her next professional performance was in Chuck Davis’s Babus’s Magic at the Walker Art Center at the age of 16. She then went on to the University of Utah for her BFA and MFA pursuit in Modern Dance on a Presidential Scholarship, where she shocked peers with her “sacrilegious” compositions. She is grateful for the support of faculty Abby Fiat, Steve Koester and Ellen Bromberg. After adventures in Utah and upstate New York she returned to the Twin Cities in 2002. She produced her own concertDweller on the Threshold in August 2006 at the Bloomington Center for the Arts. In 2007, her Momentum Dance Series production Return earned her credit in the Minneapolis Star Tribune's Year in Review with a call for “more, please” from local critic Camille LeFevre. Her MN Fringe Festival production Thrower of Light won the 2009 Encore Award at the Ritz Theater. Wright’s additional choreography has been performed in the Twin Cities at the Walker Art Center’s McGuire Theater, the Southern Theater, the Hennepin Center for the Arts, Bryant Lake Bowl, Macalaster College, Patrick’s Cabaret, the MN Zoo, and the Perpich Center for Performing Arts. She has national credits at the University of the Arts and Merriam Theater in Philadelphia, PA, New World School of the Arts and the Gusman Center for Performing Arts in Miami, FL, and at the Rose Wagner Center for Performing Arts, Marriot Center for Dance, and at various art galleries and streets in Salt Lake City, UT. She has also performed in dance works by Trisha Brown, Alwin Nikolais, Steve Koester, Ellen Bromberg, and with Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, Paradigm Dance Project, and Wasatch Dance Collective. She has directed over 30 productions at Apple Valley High School and has taught Pre-K through higher education at various schools across the country. More information can be found at mnartists.org/Cathy_Wright
"Cathy Wright; she's a Minneapolis choreographer whose dark forays into myth and mysticism have the power at once to compel and repel with their raw, no-holds-barred explorations of humanity." - Camille LeFevre, mnartists.org