Sunday, January 23, 2011


More news from Maya who graduated from GMU's School of Dance last year and who has been traveling the world meeting artists, training, performing, and auditioning. Here is her update and more:

"I came into London at the end of December and took classes at Greenwich Dance Academy with Ben Ash. Also took classes at The Place, Pineapple, and yes even the Central School of Ballet. I recognized a bunch of people and ran into some friends from Impulstanz which was great. The dance scene in London was interesting but was not as exciting as Brussels. Next I went to Paris to work with the same woman I worked with at PAF and we are hopefully going to have a showing in October at Studio Regard Du Cygne in Paris and we were asked to perform in Switzerland this August so I'm looking forward to that! I went to Barcelona and took some wild classes with Bebeto Cidra. I also saw Thierry De Mey perform Light Music. I have been really intrigued with all of his videos ever since we saw one in Kate's Dance History class and it was great seeing him live. Now I am here in Munich (see photo), I got workstudy for this contact-tango workshop. Today was my first day and it was very physical and wonderful. One of the dancers invited me to a contact-tango jam tonight so I am on my way. I am here until Tuesday with the workshop then I decided to check out Berlin for a couple of days. I have heard such fantastic things about the dance and art world there so I'm going. I'm really excited. Then I head back to Brussels, my friend from this summer found me a really great and cheap apartment in the center. I will be going to auditions in Amsterdam and Antwerp and pursue other projects in Brussels....."

In her message Maya asked about recommendations of places to visit in Berlin. Here are my suggestions, and if you are reading this and have been in Berlin recently please add a comment with more ideas: Dock 11, Tanzfabrik, and Radial System V. If you have never seen Thierry de Mey's creations, he is the director and composer who collaborated with William Forsythe on the film "One Flat Thing Reproduced"

Thinking about Maya's adventures and her curiosity and courage, I am reminded of another GMU graduate, Kalynn Frome, who I saw on stage recently in a new creation by Susan Shields and Heather McDonald called "Stay." It was performed at the Woolly Mammoth Theater in DC and Kalynn was stunning - her lush dancing exuding a wide range of emotions. It was breathtaking to see her take so many risks, and I love how her performance stays fresh in my memory weeks after it happened. Sometimes it is not necessary to get on plane to explore a world of possibilities.

One of the things I admire most about GMU is how the School of Dance equips its graduates for so many different paths - from traveling abroad to investigating interdisciplinary creations. As a new semester starts tomorrow, I am looking forward to meeting students, watching their artistry develop, and seeing how they thrive.

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