Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for May 13, 2009
Evening multimedia dance performance at third Amazing Earthfest
The third annual Amazing Earthfest presents the internationally renowned modern dance choreographer and Kanab native, Maida Rust Withers, in a live performance of Fare Well, at the Crescent Moon Theater on Friday, May 22. Tickets are available at the door for a nominal $5.00. Local dancers Meghan Quinn and Becka West will open the program for Maida, at 7:00 p.m., with special performances of their own. This evening dance and multimedia show is one you will not want to miss!
Maida Rust Withers was born in Kanab where her pioneer roots reach back to her family’s ownership of the Kaibab Lodge. She is founder of the Maida Withers Dance Construction Company, and is a distinguished professor at George Washington University, in Washington DC. Maida has performed all over the world in 18 countries, including Russia, France, Poland, Brazil, Mexico, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Finland, Norway, China, Hong Kong, and Korea. She is known internationally for her innovative choreography and her intensity as a dancer.
Following opening performances by local dancers, Withers will perform her original work for stage and multimedia entitled: Fare Well. This dance extravaganza brings insight and critique to the contemporary issue of “end time”, Withers term for the world, as we know it. Withers incorporates dance, electronic music, text, and visual installation to make the piece unique and vibrant. In Ballet-Dance Magazine, Carmel Morgan writes, Fare Well is a modern Greek-style tragedy, delivered by a warrior goddess.” (September 2008)
During her long career, Withers created over 80 works for stage, sites, and video. One art video she created recently was filmed in the southern Utah red rock canyons, combining the natural environment with the movement of dancers. A raven soars, dancers balance on rock like birds, a human shadow appears against a petroglyph, the sun glares as dancers traverse a ridge. For works like these and others, Withers received the 2005 Washington DC Mayor’s Arts Award for Excellence in an Artistic Discipline, and the prestigious 2006 DC Metro Dance Award for Outstanding Performance in a Large Venue (1500 seat theater).
In Fare Well, visual poems created by collaborating artist, Ayodamola Okunsiende, project a spectacular immersive environment onto the backdrop and floor of the stage. The dancers perform within the moving images of icebergs, firestorms, draught, tsunamis, volcanoes, animals, human faces, habitats, and other symbols of life on Earth.
Original music for the performance is composed and performed by Steve Hilmy, in what he terms “real-time” interactive electronics. Text, song, and poetry are included as fragments of stories told by Maida.
The third annual Amazing Earthfest is proud to present Maida Withers, a living national treasure in performance art, along with other programs in art, music and culture, plus many fascinating educational and outdoor adventure activities for the benefit of the Kanab community and visitors to the area. Rich Csenge, originator of the Amazing Earthfest, hopes to create opportunities to showcase the spectacular landscapes and welcoming hospitality of our rural community.
For more information, pick up a printed schedule of events at the Kane County Office of Tourism, 78 South, 100 East, in Kanab, or visit www.amazingearthfest.com.