Sunday, December 28, 2008
Washington, D.C. -- Maida Withers
Washington, D.C. – Maida Withers
Maida Withers - dancer, choreographer, filmmaker, producer and teacher, is the founder and artistic director of Maida Withers Dance Construction Company (1974 - present) and a Professor in The George Washington University Department of Theatre and Dance (1965 to present). Maida is the founder and co-curator of the D.C. International Improvisation Festival now in its 14th successful season.
Maida, a powerful and commanding performer, has created a significant and distinctive body of work for her company, over 80 dances of breadth and vision involving a process of experimentation, innovation and collaboration. Withers movements are released, nuanced, dynamic through space, with originality and clarity in form. Her works reveal an ongoing interest in juxtaposing dance and technology such as rotating loudspeakers, laser beams, wireless cameras, video installations, and real-time interaction with cyberworlds - always with “live” music created for the performances. Withers tours extensively internationally engaging in various projects in such diverse places as Guatemala, France, Russia, Poland, The Netherlands, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Korea, Brazil, Finland, Venezuela, Mexico, Germany, and others.
Maida has been honored with many awards: Cultural Diplomat, U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya (2008); Dance Place Lifetime Educator’s Achievement Award (Washington, DC 2007); MetroDC Dance Award Outstanding Overall Production, Thresholds Crossed – Large Venue, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (2006); Washington DC Mayor’s Arts Award Excellence in an Artistic Discipline, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Maida received the distinguished Columbia Professorship Award from GW’s Columbian School of Arts and Sciences (1999).
Maida is very active as a filmmaker since her first 30-minute educational dance film shot in 16mm in 1967. Dance of the Auroras – Fire in the Sky, a thirty-minute documentary television program will premiere January 2009 on cable television. Often her films are presented as part of her live performances. Films/video works have been shown at the IMZ in Austria; at the American Film Institute at the Kennedy Center, DC Independent Film Festival, Wollumbin Festival in Australia; Women in Film, the DC Independent Rosebud Festival; and the DC Environment Film Festival. Many of her works have been shown on Arlington Cable, arts programming by Linda Lewett. Maida interviewed dance artists and manager for Dance, Dance, Dance, a ten-part series on dance for NBC-TV that was broadcast in five major U.S. cities, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City, and St. Louis.
Currently Maida teaches advanced post modern dance technique, choreography, dance and movement improvisation, and trends in performance art in the Department of Theatre and Dance at The George Washington University. Maida directed the former MFA graduate dance program in choreography and performance for over twenty years.