Mixing dance/theater, storytelling, lighting design and original audio scores, Lida Winfield creates IMAGINARY, a quirky, innovative yet socially poignant work that explores perception in relationship to the imagination.
IMAGINARY playfully and directly challenges our expectations and perceptions of ourselves, others and our world. At a time when we are experiencing division, fear, and misinformation, exploring our perceptions around identity is critical. Creativity, and community are deeply needed at this time. IMAGINARY investigates our real and imagined perceptions of each other and the impact these impressions have. What do we have in common? How are we different from each other? How does imagination contribute to our fears?
IMAGINARY brings together the creative capacities of performers Lida Winfield, Ellen Smith Ahern, Maree ReMalia and Joseph Hall, in collaboration with set design by Colin C Boyd, lighting design by Jennifer Ponder and costume design by Mira Veikley. This interdisciplinary full-length performance has received the National Performance Network's Creation and Development Support in partnership with The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, Jacob’s Pillow, Middlebury College, and The Yard. It premiered at The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in February of 2018.
The ensemble has reconvened for residencies at Vermont Performance Lab and Jacob's Pillow. While being supported through the National Performance Network Forth Fund through a residency at Bates Dance Festival, the team reworked parts of the performance, and added a new cast member Matthew Evan Taylor, who created original live music for the piece and became a fully moving member of the ensemble.
MEET THE TEAM
Lida Winfield - Artistic Director
Born in South Korea and raised in the Midwest, Maree ReMalia choreographs dances and facilitates movement experiences with individuals across disciplines, identities, and experience levels to celebrate a range of bodies and expressions. merrygogo is her platform for collaboratively crafting contemporary dance works; her disciplinary mash-ups consider what exists beyond normative categorizations and showcase expressions that are abstract, eccentric, honest, hilarious, pedestrian and virtuosic. Her choreography has been commissioned by Gibney Dance DoublePlus Festival (NY) under the curation of Bebe Miller and has been presented in the U.S. and abroad at venues such as Dance Place (DC), Kelly Strayhorn Theater (PA), and Daegu International Dance Festival (South Korea). She travels frequently facilitating movement experiences in professional, academic, and community settings. From 2015-2017, she worked as the Andrew W. Mellon Interdisciplinary Choreographer through Middlebury College Movement Matters Residency. Maree earned her MFA at The Ohio State University and is a certified Gaga instructor. She is currently adjunct faculty at Point Park University. https://mahiree.wordpress.com | go/movementmatters
Ellen Smith Ahern
Ellen Smith Ahern grew up dancing in Illinois and came east to study at Middlebury College. Since then, she has worked with many artists, including Jane Comfort & Company, Lida Winfield, Kate Elias, Tiffany Rhynard, Polly Motley, David Appel and El Circo Contemporaneo. Thanks to a wide array of supporters and collaborators, Ellen has had the opportunity to dance throughout the world. Based now in Connecticut, she studies community organizing through social work and continues to create, teach and perform as an independent artist. Please visit ellensmithahern.com
Joseph Hall is a black, queer, transracial adoptee, facilitator, podcast lover, creator, critic, and youngest of five. He is Deputy Director at BAAD! Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance as well as a producer, curator, and performer working in NYC and Pittsburgh. He is a Bessie Selection Committee member and co-curator of Pearl Diving Movement Residency at PearlArts Studios in Pittsburgh. Before relocating to New York in 2014, he was Producing Director at Pittsburgh’s Kelly Strayhorn Theater where he created original programs including My People, a film and performance series celebrating the lives of queer people of color, and the residency and showing series Fresh Works. As a performer, Joseph has worked with choreographers Staycee Pearl, Maree ReMalia, and Jasmine Hearn, video artist Suzie Silver, and hosts The Andy Warhol Museum’s annual Trans-Q Live!. IG: pizzatime_usa
Matthew Evan Taylor
Award-winning composer and saxophonist Matthew Evan Taylor (1980) has been hailed as “a promising new voice” (Lawrence Budmen, Miami Herald) and a “risk taker” (Neil De La Flor, Huffington Post) whose music is “insistent and defiant…enveloping hypnotic” (Alan Young, Lucid Culture). His music has been performed across the United States and Europe by such ensembles as the Cleveland Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, the Metropolis Ensemble, the Imani Winds, the Manhattan Girls Chorus and the Frost Symphony Orchestra. He has also collaborated with visual artists and dancers; most recently, Matthew and visual artist Dannielle Tegeder collaborated on a series of graphic scores, premiered at the Carrie Secrist Gallery in Chicago. He has also performed, primarily as an improviser, with Elliott Sharp, Marilyn Crispell, Tatsuya Nakatani, Taylor Ho Bynum, Mary Halvorson, and dancer Katherine Kramer. Matthew is also an avid promoter of living composers. He has been artistic director of such festivals as Vanguard Miami and Counter-Programming. He is also a board member and composer-in-residence with Festival Baltimore. His most recent project, New Century | New Voices, is a concert series in Middlebury, Vermont celebrating the continued contributions of women and composers of color to the classical music canon. This series, which began in January 2019, includes collaborations with composers Carlos Simon, Marcos Balter, and Gabriela Lena Frank, pianists Asiya Korepanova and Redi Llupa and violinist Gary Levinson. Matthew is Assistant Professor of Music at Middlebury College in Vermont. https://www.matthewevantaylor.com/
Colin C Boyd (Set Design)
Colin C Boyd, sculptor, grew up in a family of tinkerers, storytellers, naturalists and historians whom influenced his desire to fabricate objects to tell stories about. Colin continues on this trajectory as he produces installations, mechanizations and videos with intent to explore the nature of things in odd, fanciful and mostly futile ways.
Recent exhibitions include “Masters of War” (2017) Albany Center Gallery, “Out of Site” (2017) Contemporary Sculpture at Chesterwood, Stockbridge, MA., “The Mechanical Bear and Thunderbird’s Wilderness Dream” (2017) Yeah Maybe Artist Residency in Minneapolis, MN., “Future Perfect: Picturing the Anthropocene” (2016) Artist in Residence, University at Albany Museum of Art. “Abecedarious: 26+1 works by Colin C Boyd and Michael Oatman” (2014) The Art Center of the Capital Region Troy, NY, as well as other group exhibits at the Opalka Gallery at Sage College in Albany, College of William and Mary, Union College, Salem Art Works, Albany Institute of History and Art and Kidspace at Mass MoCA.
Colin studied Studio Arts at Munson Williams Proctor Institute School of Fine Art (AS, 1999), the College of Saint Rose (BFA, 2002) and the University at Albany (MFA, 2008). He currently works in the Studio Art Program at Middlebury College and is co-founder/board member of a non-profit arts organization, Collar Works Art Space in Troy, NY.
Laurel Jenkins (Original Performer)
Laurel Jenkins’ choreography has been presented by REDCAT, Automata, the Getty Center, Show Box LA, Danspace, Berlin’s Performing Presence Festival, and Tokyo’s Sezane Gallery. She choreographed MASS conducted by Gustavo Dudamel for the LA Phil at Disney Hall, and in July 2018, MASS will be at Lincoln Center. In addition she has choreographed for LACDC and The Wooden Floor. Jenkins was a member of the Trisha Brown Dance Company from 2007-2012, dances with Vicky Shick, and performed the role of Ismene in Peter Sellars’ staging of Oedipus Rex conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen. Jenkins is the recipient of an Asian Cultural Council Grant, holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence, and an MFA from UCLA. She is currently an Assistant Professor at Middlebury College in Vermont. http://laureljenkins.com
Peter Jones (Original Music)
Peter Jones is a composer, multi-instrumentalist and improviser with a wide stylistic range. He has been an active musician in the dance field for over thirty years as composer, performer, educator and accompanist. He has created numerous scores for choreographers including, “Viscous Beauties” for Kevin Wynn, “21stCentury Stride” for Danny Buraczeski’s Jazzdance and “The Metal Garden” for Sean Curran. All of these pieces premiered at The Joyce Theater in New York. Most recently he created the score for “Village of Waltz” for the Houston Dance company, Hope Stone and a score for the New Mexico Ariel Dance Company Project Motion. He has released nine CDs of music on his own recording label, Joneschord Music and has been in residence at the Bates Dance Festival for twenty-two years. Currently he is musical director for the dance program at Mount Holyoke College. http://joneschord.com
Jennifer Ponder (Lighting Design)
Jennifer Ponder has been the Lighting Designer and Technical Director for the Middlebury College dance program since 1997. She has designed lighting (both pre-meditated and improvised) for theatre and dance in the US and abroad including Flynnspace, Shadowland Theatre, SUNY New Paltz, Bennington College, the Yard on Martha’s Vineyard, the Kennedy Center, the Dallas Theatre Center, Glimmerglass Opera, the American Dance Festival, Cuba, the Czech Republic, the Dominican Republic and various tiny theatres in NYC. She holds an MFA from Southern Methodist University.
Mira Veikley (Costume Design)
Mira Veikley is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre at Middlebury College where she teaches classes in costume design, creativity, and fashion history. She splits her time between Vermont and New York City, where she often travels for work and to visit family. NYC design credits include Arcadia (PTP/NYC), the Choreographic Institute Fall 2014 (American Ballet Theater), and Ugly Lies the Bone (Fordham University). Regional credits include Around the World in 80 Days (Hangar Theatre) and Figaro (Curtain Call Theater). Credits for film include One Trick Deiter (Manhattan Film Festival), and Little Revolutions (Edinburgh Film Festival). Mira has assistant designed productions at major venues all over NYC, including The Public Theater, Playwrights Horizons, Lincoln Center, and Second Stage Theatre. Mira has a BS from Cornell University and an MFA from New York University, and is a member of United Scenic Artists Local 829. http://designsbymira.com/