MDE: Breath, Rhythm, Flight

MDE: Breath, Rhythm, Flight

Event Attributes



Alvin Mayes

Guest Choreographer: Susan Marshall   Visiting Artist Choreographer: Adriane Fang   Works By: Alvin Mayes, Sharon Mansur, Sara Pearson and Patrik Widrig  Costume Design: Robert Croghan, Kate Fulop, Kelsey Hunt, Maho Nishida, Aryna Petrashenko, Kara Waala   Lighting Design: Paul Jackson   Projection Design: Andrew Kaufman    Sound Design: Jeff Dorfman


This first of two Maryland Dance Ensemble concerts during the season focuses on the cutting-edge visions of dance faculty members Alvin Mayes, Sharon Mansur, Sara Pearson and Patrik Widrig; visiting artist Adriane Fang; and guest choreographer Susan Marshall.

Matinee Performance

Saturday, December 1, 2012 . 2PM

  • Take Me With You – Sara Pearson & Patrik Widrig
  • Be Still My Heart – Sara Pearson & Patrik Widrig
  • Fields of View – Susan Marshall

Evening Performances

Friday, November 30, 2012 & Saturday, December 1, 2012 . 8PM

  • A Time of Confidences – Alvin Mayes
  • While Waiting – Alvin Mayes
  • residue…(engram) – Sharon Mansur
  • Gravity – Adriane Fang
  • Be Still My Heart – Sara Pearson & Patrik Widrig
  • Fields of View – Susan Marshall

A Time of Confidences [Alvin Mayes] is an autobiographical quartet set in the innocence of college life accompanied by folk songs of the 1960s, performed by singer/guitarist Mike Smith and danced by Aaron Jackson, Nicole McClam, Tommy Parlon and Julia Smith.

While Waiting [Alvin Mayes] is a sensitive and moving solo made collaboratively with Adriane Fang. The work takes the dancer artistically through the various stages of grief.  The dance is accompanied by Isiah Johnson performing H. Leslie Adams’ lovely and haunting Etude # 1 in G minor.

Be Still, My Heart [Sara Pearson and Patrik Widrig] is a "going away" gift for Tzveta that grew out of exploring the unknowingness in the state of impending loss, where both hurt and great love resides. Fierce, beautiful, and bittersweet, it is continually testing the edges of containment.
Dancers: Tzveta Kassabova, Raja Feather Kelly

Rich in humor and full of questions perhaps too profound to ask, Take Me With You [Sara Pearson and Patrik Widrig] is a 37 minute poetic exploration of longing for the beloved, of holding on and letting go, of being careful what you wish for.
Dancers: Raja Feather Kelly, Connor Voss, Patrik Widrig, a cast of 16 UMD students and one blue shark

Sharon Mansur is directing and performing in a new dance project occurring in two sections, with Washington, DC area artists Curt Seiss (sound) and Boris Willis (photography), UM MFA student Aryna Petrashenko (costume), and ten UM undergraduate dance majors.  As a prelude to Fall MDE, “ENGRAM” is a two minute looped photo slideshow featured on ten iPads stationed throughout CSPAC’s Grand Pavilion, Friday & Saturday evenings between 7:40-8:00pm.  “residue…(engram)” is an improvisationally-based solo performed live in the Kay Theatre, with spontaneous choices in movement, sound, lighting and costume unfolding each night, creating a unique experience with every viewing.

Gravity [Adriane Fang] explores the motions of stars and black holes and their effects on the dynamics of the space-time fabric. The creative process began with conversations with Professor Cole Miller of the Astronomy Department and has developed further with Doctor Umberto Cannella of the Physics Department. Intensive collaboration with Kate Fulop (costume designer), Andrew Kaufman (interactive projection designer) and Paul D. Jackson (lighting designer) will result in a work that shapes dynamic environment in the theater space.

The dancers are divided into two sections –
Star Cluster: Jennifer Alcott, Chelsea Brown, Christina Camacho, Ellen Clark, Kayla Coutts, Katie Gundlach, Rachael Mucha, Nicole Turchi and Gravity Grads: Robin Neveu-Brown, Erin Crawley-Woods, Jessie Laurita-Spanglet, Nicole Y. McClam, Megan Morse-Jans, Lynne Price.

Our solar system is in a sparsely populated part of our galaxy and thus, fortunately for us, encounters with stars are rare and distant.  However other regions in the Universe, like the center of our galaxy, are more crowded: they are packed with stars that either orbit each other or a central massive black hole.  In the vicinity of heavy objects in fast motion, space and time do not behave in the way we are familiar with; rather, they exhibit collective dynamics such that the fabric of space-time stretches, twists, torques and even vibrates like the membrane of a drum, giving off the "sounds" of the universe in the form of gravitational waves.

Around these subjects of cutting edge research a dialogue has been established between the enthusiastic scientists and the curious inspired community of artists.

"In recent works, however, Susan Marshall has begun to move away from a concentration on a kind of narrative. Fields of View (1994), with its emphasis on swirling movement, visual designs, and compelling music (Philip Glass's Fourth String Quartet), was the first of these. It offered several visually arresting theatrical images, such as dancers walking backwards against falling 'snow'. Marshall provided a context for this piece, though, by pointing out that: at the center of [the] work was the tangled relationship between experience and time ...our interior lives move fluidly through time uninterrupted by barriers...[even] as we live in the present, we revisit and rethink the past. We dream and rearrange the future. This dance unfurled like a scroll containing many smaller dances recurred, advanced, receded and co-existed." Excerpt from Fifty Contemporary Choreographers, by Martha Bremser.
Dancers: Nava Behnam-Shabahang, Emilie Davignon, Chelsea Freeman, Adrian Galvin, Patricia Mullaney-Loss, Gabrielle Meiterman-Rodriguez, Robin Neveu-Brown, Connor Voss.
Covers: Unissa Cruse-Ferguson, Bethany Disque, Madeline Fuller, Elissa Orescan.