Choreography – Maida Withers
Dancers - Dan Joyce, Anthony Gongora, Rob Bettmann, Mare Hieronimus, Megan Thompson, and Maida Withers (USA), and Nikolai Schetnev, Anastasia Oleynik, Konstantin Grouss, Ekaterina Zharinova (Russia); Vitalii Sozoniuk (Ukraine).
Composer/Musicians Steve Hilmy, electronic music, and Audrey Chen, cellist / vocals
Visual Installation – Linda Lewett, filmmaker; Concept, Maida Withers
Light Design – William DeMull
Costume Design – Anthony Gongora and Maida Withers
Thresholds Crossed is an evening-length multi media dance work, a kinetic fusion of East and West, that fearlessly explores the events, ideology and humanistic issues that link the US with the former Soviet Union and contemporary Russia. A bold and ground breaking work, Thresholds Crossed celebrates the bond between Russia and America, world super powers. Russian and American dancers share the stage in a highly charged interactive performance about our shared experiences with love of country, violence of war, sorrow for loss, and passion for life. Thresholds Crossed was created in the capital cities of Moscow (2005) and in Washington, DC (2006). Maida Withers and the Company have toured and been engaged in many projects in Russia since 1997 (see listing of projects below). Thresholds Crossed toured in Russia, under the sponsorship of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, in the cities of Arkhangelsk, Moscow, and Krasnoyarsk, in April/May 2007.
With this international project, the DC-based Dance Construction Company celebrated its 30th anniversary.
Press Reviews, Thresholds Crossed, April 2006, Washington, DC
• ...in its 30th year, a remarkable achievement for the rather low-profile group that has fearlessly tackled political and societal issues, incorporated laser and computer technology and brought modern dance to underserved corners of the world." Sarah Kaufman, The Washington Post.
• Thresholds Crossed ...She (Maida) remains a force of nature, a strong presence with her powerful body and white hair flying. The ambitious work is the culmination of decades Miss Withers has spent creating conceptual works that tussle with large ideas and themes, often drawing on collaborations that reach across international boundaries. Jean Battey Lewis, Washington Times
• ... sounds of relentlessly discomfort and underwear clad dancers repeatedly collapsing - these were moments that seared the senses during the first half of "Thresholds Crossed," a four-part fusion of movement, music, and visual imagery directed by Maida Withers. Kate Mattingly, The Washington Post
Thresholds Crossed, a four-part dance theatre work, features the original music by award winning electronic composer/musician, Steven Hilmy (Washington, DC), and Audrey Chen's original vocals and cello (Baltimore). The new music score, created in sonic blocks and performed live to heighten the interactive aspect, references Russian Civil War and patriotic songs as well as contemporary pop and classical music.
The performance includes a captivating video, concept by Maida Withers, by filmmaker, Linda Lewett (New York City) that is projected as a full backdrop on the stage. The visual installation features footage shot on Solovki Islands, Russia; animated propaganda poster art; memorials to war in Russia and America; historical quotations; colorful graffiti art, and images from pop culture in Russia and America today. The drama of the work is enhanced by the light design of William DeMull (North Carolina).
Thresholds Crossed is made possible by the establishment of contemporary dance in Russia following perestroika in 1991 and is a direct result of eleven tours and residencies by Maida Withers and the Dance Construction Company in Russia since 1997. Important for the development of Thresholds Crossed was the Company’s performance for the 5th OPEN LOOK International Festival during the 300th anniversary celebration of the founding of St. Petersburg in 2003, the performance residency in Solovki Islands for Art Angar "Solosphere" Festival, the site of the first Soviet Era gulag in 2004, the creation of LENIN for the Lenin Museum in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Russia in 2005, and the three-week choreographic residency co-sponsored by TSEH in Moscow in the summer of 2005. Thresholds Crossed has been generously supported by the Trust for Mutual Understanding, by the Ford Foundation in Russia, TSEH, Dallas Morse Coors Foundation, the DC Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet the Composer, The Dance Construction Company, Equity Focus Group, Alpina Springs, among others.
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