One reason Maida Withers just won a "Pola" (D.C.'s dance award named
after the late Pola Nirenska) for outstanding
contribution to dance is that Withers has a Weltanschauung. The
German term for "world view," seems apt because hers is not just a point
of view but a weighty world perspective. She believes that the mechanical
and the natural belong to each other and must be a part of art.
Over the years, Wither's dance works have involved
lasers and computers, deserts and skies, and dozens of other inventions
and environments. She celebrates them, uses, them, and sometimes
reuses them in new ways. This choreographer is committed to being
on the foreftont. George Jackson, Dance Magazine
Art and technology may seem polar opposites, but Thursday night at
Lisner Auditorium they combined in extraordinary ways. While
"interactive" "multimedia" and "online" have very nearly become cliches,
Maida Withers and her Dance Construction Company found avenues to
enliven the art-technology confluence with the 85-minute opus, Aurora/2001:
Dance of the Auroras - Fire in the Sky.
Lisa Traiger, The Washington Post
Utah * Spirit Place * Spirit Planet * Tukuhnikivatz,
a work drawn from the ancient art of American Indians and the rugged
wilderness of Utah ...Withers' piece was ambitious and awesomely complex,
filling the stage of the Damrosch Park bandshell with layer upon layer
of huge video images and photographs projected on rocklike sculptures.
Live bodies moved among them, both dancers and ceremonial figures.
...Evoked a midworld between dreams and everyday reality.
Jennifer Dunning, The New York Times
Maida Steel .Maida Withers depicts primitive terrain. ...The dancers
are in constant action, pushing the boundaries of pure physical dance.
Gia Kourias, Time Out, NYC
The concert bore her unmistakable stamp, a kind of aesthetic aroma
compounded of equal parts wit, iconoclasm, and inventive curiosity.
What binds together Withers' choreography is not stories, romance,
sex, or sociology, but the sheer exhilaration and imaginative fallout
of movement ?? movement interpreted in the widest and most liberated
sense. Alan M. Kriegsman, The Washington Post
Picture the Washington dance scene without Maida Withers...how much
duller, drier, and shorter on surprise the last decade would have
been. Then, as today, she was our prime evangelist of the novel
and strange byways of dance, a tireless advocate of causes, aesthetic
and otherwise, and a human juggernaut in the force of her wit, stamina,
and intelligence. Alan M. Kriegsman, The Washington
In the rehearsal hall of Guangdong Modern Dance Company, I met 57-year-old
Ms. Maida Withers from the United States ... with her golden hair,
the graceful outline of her face, her big-boned frame and her forceful
and brilliant dancing posture... God gave her a perfect figure
to be a dancer. Xu Ling, Guangzhou Youth Daily, Guangdong, China
Maida Withers' love of risk and the unknown has led her and us through
dozens of daring choreographic expeditions over the past decade...less
interested in charming spectators than in prodding them into unexpected
modes of perception, she's always preferred to take a grand leap into
the abyss than an easy swim across the pool. Stall. is challenging
?? no less to the audience than to the dancers; it's also bold in
conception, at once stark and vivid in atmosphere, and mammoth in
dimension. .Though the thread of a distinctive personal vision runs
through all of Withers' works, no two of them are ever quite alike.
Alan M. Kriegsman, The Washington Post
Laser Dance...combines technology and movement in complex
and wondrous ways...beautiful green beams creating a constantly changing
sculpture through which the dancers cavort, both on feet and on stilts...all
makes for one of the more ambitious and original arts events in this
city's recent past. Pamela Sommers, The Washington