Maria Bauman & Nicholas Powers
Sun, February 15 from 1-5pm at the New Museum
Excavating Muscle Memory as Source and Research is a generative workshop for beginning and experienced choreographers, novice and experienced writers, and those who seek to nurture themselves and explore their own histories in written and embodied form. We all stash positive and negative emotions and experiences in our bodies but rarely give ourselves the time and attention to go back to those stashed energy stores. Maria Bauman and Nicholas Powers are facilitating time a guided process to embrace those energy stores as generative spaces from which to create. Rather than using a lecture or purely discussion format, the four-hour process is experiential; Powers and Bauman lead participants in sourcing that is alternately written and danced, purposely transitioning back and forth between left- and right-brain processes to foster holism, creativity, specificity, and nuance. While we prepare the body with the particulars of contemporary dance practice, including improvisation, the session quickly moves into a more exploratory space where the participants’ stories and artistic voices are primary, with Bauman coaching each person’s investigation of his/her/their particular movement signature and embodied history. Powers guides attendees to find the words that have injured them and the words that have healed them, in their bodies and to vocalize them in physical motion. And then meditate followed by a quiet writing time in which people can readjust their self-image through memoir practice. The workshop ends with thirty minutes of partner stretching and tension release. In this practice, participants relieve tension and take in the positive energy of the group, while soothing and closing raw or vulnerable doors they opened during the course of the workshop. This practice also offers tools for muscle ease and lengthening, literally and figuratively leaning on our community members for support and for greater release.
Maria Bauman is an artist, community organizer and founder of MBDance. She creates duets & small group dances from a sense of physical & emotional power, a desire for equity, and a fascination with intimacy & relationship. For that work she has been honored by GO! Magazine and showcased at Harlem Stage, 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Center, Dixon Place, the Kumble Theater, SummerStage NYC and the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (BAAD!) among others. Bauman is currently in residence at Brooklyn College, creating a new work as part of the 2015 CUNY Dance Initiative. She is also a contemporary dance guest artist this semester at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Bauman has danced with Urban Bush Women, originating several roles, and was its Associate Artistic Director. She is an annual faculty member for the American Dance Festival Winter Intensive and Urban Bush Women’s Summer Leadership Institute, and has been an adjunct professor of dance at Hunter College. Bauman recently returned from China where she was teaching contemporary dance with the American Dance Festival.
As a cultural organizer, Bauman works closely with the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond on Understanding and Undoing Racism workshops for arts communities, is a WOW Café Theatre collective member (theater space by and for women and transgender artists), and is on the Laundromat Project’s Artists + Community Council. Bauman is a founding member of the Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts Working Group (NOCD-NY), and is part of the Downtown Brooklyn Arts Alliance.
Dr. Nicholas Powers is the author of Theater of War and The Ground Below Zero: 9/11 to Burning Man, New Orleans to Darfur, Haiti to Occupy Wall Street both released by Upset Press. His writings have appeared in Truth-Out, Vibe.com, Alternet and The Indypendent. Authors like Naomi Klein have cited them in their work. He won the 2005 Ippie word for best editorial and is a current co-host for the New York College Slam at the Nuryorican Poets Cafe.
He is an associate professor of English at SUNY Old Westbury where he teaches literature. His focus is on the African-American canon, Marxism and Queer Theory, Cultural Studies and Composition. As a scholar, his writings on Hip-Hop and President Obama have published in peer-reviewed journals.
About their Collaboration
Bauman and Powers bring two healing traditions together, generative movement that opens up the body to its own hidden energy and autobiography as a realignment of one’s truth with one’s self-image. In addition to co-facilitation, they are currently working on a mixed genre duet, fusing poetry and dance into a mythic-narrative on the experience of birth.
Teaching at BRAZIL
sat march 27 :: 2PM - 4PM
sat april 3 :: 2PM - 4PM
Partner Stretch and Release
Level: Open to All
Do you have sore muscles, or wish that you were a bit more flexible? Give yourself the gift of being comfortable in your own body.
We will start with a light warm-up so that the muscles can open and release safely. Then we will partner up to use the contact and weight of another person to support deeper opening and relaxation than we can achieve while stretching on our own. Finally, we will use balls and other props to facilitate release.
Maria is offering tricks and tools for muscle recovery and lengthening that she learned as a touring dancer on the road. She teaches in an affirming and light-hearted way!
No need to bring a partner.
All body types and levels of experience are welcome.
Maria Bauman just finished her seventh season with acclaimed contemporary dance company Urban Bush Women. She originated roles in "Walking with Pearl: Africa Diaries," "Walking with Pearl: Southern Diaries," and in guest choreographer Bridget Moore's "Sacred Vessel." Recently, Maria traveled to Senegal to participate in a collaboration between Urban Bush Women and contemporary African dance company, JANT-BI. She was also Urban Bush Women’s Associate Artistic Director for Community Engagement, co-facilitating workshops on pairing arts and activism, organizing Community Engagement activities in various cities, and writing curriculum.
Now, Maria travels throughout the United States as a freelance choreographer and teacher, and has created dances for Spelman College, Virginia Commonwealth University, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, and New Jersey Governor’s School for the Arts, among others. In New York, her work has been showcased multiple times at the Kumble Theater, as well as at the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (BAAD!), WOW Café Theater, New 42nd Street Studios, BRICstudios, and as part of an installation at Dance Theater Workshop. In addition to presenting her own work, Maria dances with Nia Love/Blacksmith’s Daughter.
She just presented The Gratitude Project for two sold-out nights at WOW Café Theatre. Her other current projects are “50 Ways to Say…” Bauman’s duet piece based on the murder of Sean Bell by police officers in Queens, New York (premiered 2009, Kumble Theater) and “Touch Me,” a collaboration with Anna Halprin dancer Terre Parker, based on sensory exploration and tactile sensation (premiered in Berkeley, CA 2009).
Maria has also danced with Adele Myers and Dancers, and apprenticed with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. She graduated cum laude with a B.F.A. in Dance and English from the Florida State University and is also trained in the art of capoeira, a Brazilian martial art which employs dance. You may learn more about Maria Bauman at www.mbdance.org.