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Created and Performed by Lida Winfield and Christal Brown

Offering digital, live performances and workshops.


In 2016 Christal Brown and Lida Winfield were teaching at the Bates Young Dancers Festival. Although they had mingled in many professional circles; they didn't know each other very well. After watching Lida interact with the students and our colleagues, Christal began to notice how alike they were. She approached Lida, and in a flippant and visionary tone said; "We should make a piece called Same But Different that highlights our similarities but because of what we look like the world may never connect the dots." Subsequently, Lida and Christal became colleagues at Middlebury College and the hustle and bustle of academia and artistry put this idea on hold. In January of 2020, Lida and Christal began devising a rehearsal and collaboration schedule for "Same But Different". Covid moved them out of the studio and into Christal’s garage and instead of an in person premiere the sharing of this work became digital. In 2022 they crafted this work for the in-person stage as well. They now offer live Q and A and workshops of all kinds in partnership with the performance.  



Composers: Philippe Bronchtein and Farai Malianga
Director of photography: Sam Kann (of digital performance)
Assistant camera: Matteo Moretti (of digital performance)
Dramaturg: Michole Biancosino
Lighting designer: Jennifer Ponder (of digital performance)
Costume design: Carol Wood


Same but Different is a collaboration between Christal Brown and Lida Winfield, exploring their similarities and differences in a cultural commentary on race, age, and gender. 44 years young and recently orphaned, Lida grew up in the North, Christal grew up in the South, both of them grew up inhabiting small towns. Lida is white, Christal is black. As children, Christal was considered a genius and Lida was labeled dumb. At this point in their lives, Lida and Christal have both lived the rigors of being artists, professors, educators, and survivors of life.

Same but Different runs a half hour, following the show there will be a question-and-answer session with the artists. 


Same But Different was created with support from Middlebury Performing Arts Series, The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts and the National Performance Network. 


Christal Brown is the Founder of INSPIRIT and Project:BECOMING, the creator of the Liquid Strength training module for dance, an Associate Professor of Dance at Middlebury College and the CVO of Steps and Stages Coaching, LLC. Brown received a BFA in Dance and a minor in Business from UNCG and her MFA in New Media Art and Technology from LIU. Brown is a native of Kinston, NC where while serving as her mother’s sidekick, she learned the mechanisms of cultural organizing and the organic synthesis of art and activism. Her path of self-discovery has been influenced by trailblazers such as Chuck Davis, Bill T. Jones, Andrea E. Woods, Liz Lerman, Bebe Miller, Penny Campbell and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar. Brown is a mover and a warrior of change and transformation. Brown combines her athleticism, creativity, love for people, and passion for teaching into a dynamic life of making meaning and sustaining change. She was recently honored with the 2022 Walter Cerf Medal for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts.  For more information



With the support of The Yard and their fabulous interns Garrett Parker and Jace Arouet. Christal and Lida were able to record 15 episodes that illuminate stories of their past, present, and future. LISTEN HERE >



Below are two workshops Lida and Christal have been offering connected to Same but Different.  Custom designed workshops are also available based on what you think is best for your community. 


What’s your story?

Explore how your personal history can be used as inspiration to make your own original choreography. In this workshop Christal Brown and Lida Winfield will explore the techniques of visual storytelling, embodied truth and personal narrative. All bodies, backgrounds and abilities welcome.


A Body of Knowledge for Educators: 

In this workshop Christal Brown and Lida Winfield will guide participants through an experiential investigation of identity through movement, writing and reflection. The goals of this hands-on workshop will include assessing bias and intercultural histories as well as practical tools for kinesthetic classroom engagement.


While many patrons of the arts admire and enjoy engaging with performance on a visceral level, the connection between the art and the audience is secondary to the process of creation. The journey from inception to creation of a dance work requires space, 100s of hours of rehearsal, bodies willing to submit to the whim of imagination, saturation in conceptual liminality, trust, reverence, sweat, and release. As the landscape of art and art-making evolves, Christal and Lida wanted to create an opportunity for patrons to engage in the process. This desire prompted them to create the Process Pass.   

The Process Pass allowed patrons to support the creation of Same But Different. In 2020, while theaters remained closed, Christal and Lida continued to create and document their conversations, rehearsals, creative epiphanies, and failures. Patrons who purchased a Process Pass gained a front row seat to the creative process in all its manifestations from solo improvisations, to musical composition sessions, artists interviews and more. While obtaining this backstage pass to the process, patrons were able to ensure the creation of this work by contributing to the costs of creation. The funds generated from the Process Pass paid for rehearsal fees, space rentals, video editing, lighting equipment, streaming services, and digital storage. 

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