Simple, High-Quality & Joyful Study of Dance


Salon Performance a Success

Last Thursday’s Salon Performance was a triumph. On September 29, 2022 at 7:00 pm an audience of just over ninety gathered at The Trolley Barn in Atlanta, Georgia for an evening of dance and conversation. The evening include a visual art exhibition of works that were catalysts for dances presented during the evening or works created during the project. After the performance of the dances, audience members offered questions for the artists to answer and discuss. Photographs from the evening can be seen here.

The visual art exhibition included work by three artists, Margaret Katz Nodine (1956-2015), Abraham Walkowitz (1878-1965) and John Ramspott. Three by Margaret Katz Nodine a four by five foot, oil on canvas was presented and is the image which inspired Carolyn Stine McLaughlin’s dance, Beauty Through Mattus. Two reprints, Isadora Duncan, in Green, Dancing and Woman in Red Dancing by Abraham Walkowitz were on display. Douglas Scott’s dance, You Were Once Wild Here, was in part a reaction to works by Walkowitz. The last groups of visual art pieces displayed were by photographer John Ramspott. They included a group from the Olmstead Linear Park Series and a selection of three images from the Inman Park Dance Festival Series.

The dancing of the evening began with Isadora Duncan’s Narcissus performed by Ashlee Jo Ramsey-Borunov. This work is from Duncan’s Dramatic period and dates from 1904. It was danced with skill and grace by Ms. Ramsey-Borunov.

The second offering of the evening was a suite from José Limón’s Dances for Isadora (1971). Each dance in this work represents a different period in Duncan’s life. Primavera which was danced by Mercy Matthews represents Duncan’s early years and the idea of Spring. It is a joyful dance which has direct echoes of Duncan’s Narcissus. This was followed by Maenad performed by Andie Knudson. Maenads are female followers of Dionysus and were said to perform frenzied, ecstatic dances and have super human strength during these episodes. The dance represents the period of Duncan’s life when she was in her full feminine power. Last of the suite presented was Niobe which was performed by Julianna Feracota. This solo based on the Greek myth of the same name, represents the tragic period in Duncan’s life when her children and their nanny’s carriage fell in to the Sein river in Paris and they all drowned. All three dances were performed by the same dancers at the Inman Park Dance Festival in April of 2022, the benefit of being able to perform these works again was apparent in the depth of the performance.

The next selection on the program was Carolyn Stine McLaughlin’s Beauty Through Mattus. This dance, like the prior selections on the program, was set to music by Chopin. The trio was danced by Charlotte Angermeier, Jenna Latham and Meagan Novoa. The contrasts of adagio and allegro in the music were reflected in the movement as the piece brought to life the figures in Nodine’s painting Three. The artists conveyed through the work the feelings of awe and joy.

The final work on the evening program was by Douglas Scott and was performed by the eight dancers of Full Radius Dance; AK Bayer, Vic Davis, Julianna Feracota, Jodie Jernigan, Courtney Michell McClendon, Ashlee Jo Ramsey-Borunov, Matthew Smith and Peter L. Trojic. The work included the intricate partnering which the company is known for. The lines of Walkowitz’s drawings could be seen in the lines of the dancers’ arms and in the contrapasso pose of a dancer in the later part of the work.

During the intermission, the audience was invited to give questions for discussion by the artists. The questions offered ranged from the practical; “How long did it take to learn the dances?” and “How do the dancers not breakdown and cry when the dance give so much emotion?”, to the cerebral; “How has being involved in this project affected you as a person?” and “What should the youth of today glean from Isadora’s transformation of modern dance?”

Many thoughtful responses were given by the artists, including a serendipitous one by John Ramspott, the project photographer. After first shooting the Limón masterclass and reconstruction in early April, he took a deeper dive into the life of Duncan and read her auto biography My Life. After reading this, he came to the idea that seeing Duncan’s work in a natural setting would be fitting and he began to look for sites to propose for a photoshoot. The one that he was drawn to was the Olmstead Linear Parks which are along Ponce de Leon Avenue. It turns out that the seed for the project came from this same site. More than a decade ago, with a Volvo full of children for carpool, the project director Carolyn Stine McLaughlin was stuck in traffic on Ponce de Leon Avenue at the Olmstead Linear Parks. As she was waiting, she look over at the beautiful rolling terrain of the park and immediately saw dancers moving with the buoyant and upward gestures of Duncan’s vocabulary.


2022-2023 Season Schedule and Programs

The 2022-2023 Season for Movement Arts Atlanta will begin on Tuesday, August 9, 2022. The season will offer classes in Kinderdance, Ballet for children and adults and Modern. There will also be the continuation of MAA’s first major arts project, A Time with Isadora, with the presentation of a performance and documentary film. MAA is also looking forward to developing its Outreach Performance Program with community performances.

Class registration will be open by the end of July. Several benefits of MAA’s classes include professional instruction, small class size and all-inclusive pricing. MAA’s director, Carolyn Stine McLaughlin, has more than 25 years of experience teaching and managing arts projects. The majority of MAA’s classes are limited to six students, well below the area average enrollment. All-inclusive pricing is unique. Registration, tuition and participation in the Annual Student Recital (costumes, tickets, etc.) are included in the annual tuition rate which is payable in two instalments.

A Time with Isadora, which examines the way one artist influences many, will present an evening of dance and discussion on Thursday, September 29, 7:00 pm at The Trolley Barn. The evening will include an historic Ducan, and Limón works and premiers by Atlanta area choreographers; Carolyn Stine McLaughlin, Douglas Scott and George Staib. Later in the fall, there will be a screening of the documentary made about the project.

The Outreach Performance Program gives the students of MAA’s class to go out into the community to perform. MAA is in the process of working with Jewish Home Life to organize fall performances for the residents of their community.


A Time with Isadora: Update

A Time with Isadora, Movement Arts Atlanta’s (MAA) current major project, is making progress! Following are several updates, information about performances and what to look forward to next.

Since March 3, A Time with Isadora has raised $5,435 towards the first phase goal of $6,000. We hope to meet this goal by April 30. This first phase includes supporting the reconstruction of excepts from José Limón’s Dances for Isadora and the performance of these three dances during the Inman Park Dance Festival. After April 30, fundraising for the second phase of the project will begin. For this phase the goal is $9,000 which will support the reconstruction of an original Isadora Duncan work, commissions for three new dances by Atlanta choreographers and the performance of all of these dances on September 29 at the Trolley Barn.

From April 1 through April 4, Movement Arts Director, Carolyn Stine McLaughlin, hosted Natalie Desch the Limón Foundation Reconstructor. She worked with three Atlanta based artists, Julie Feracota, Andie Knudson, and Mercy Matthews, who learn the solos, Primavera, Maenad and Niobe, which are three of the five dances of Limón’s Dances for Isadora. In addition to teaching these solos, Ms. Desch also taught two masterclasses which were attended by dancers from ages 10 to 75. The work of the weekend was joyful and engaging. These events were documented with photographs taken by John Ramspott. Here is a gallery of some of the reconstruction rehearsals and here is a gallery of one of the master classes.

During the last month, the three choreographers for the commissioned works have been confirmed. New works based on the theme of A Time with Isadora, how one artist influences many, will be made by: Carolyn Stine McLaughlin, Director of Movement Arts Atlanta; Douglas Scott, Artistic/Executive Director of Full Radius Dance; and, George Staib, Artistic Director of Staib Dance.

The first performance of the project will be the presentation of the three solos from Dances for Isadora at the Inman Park Dance Festival (IPDF). IPDF will celebrate it 20th anniversary during two free performances on Saturday, April 23 and Sunday, April 24 at 4:00 pm in the Trolley Barn, 963 Edgewood Avenue, 30307. MAA along with Atlanta Historic Dance, Ballethnic, Full Radius Dance, the Georgia Ballet, and ImmerseATL will perform works spanning 350 years of concert dance; Baroque, ballet and modern.

Next steps for A Time with Isadora are exciting and numerous. Details about a documentary film are just around the corner. There will be more fundraising with solicitation of donations and sponsorships, a raffle and perhaps a champaign (Isadora’s favorite drink) tasting. There will be the reconstruction of an original Isadora Duncan work. Support will be provided to the commissioned artists as they make the new works for the project. And of course, all the details will need to be managed for the major performance of the project in September at the Trolley Barn.


Elevate 2020: Not That Far Away

Movement Arts Atlanta is pleased to announce that Not That Far Away  will be included in Elevate 2020. Elevate 2020, from October 4-10, is a temporary public art program hosted by the City of Atlanta, Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, that seeks to invigorate the Atlanta area through visual art, performances, and cultural events. Curator, Leatrice Ellzy Wright has selected Not That Far Away for the Tuesday, October 6 section of the festival entitled Quarantined, Masked and Socially Distanced. The majority of this year’s festival programs will take place virtually.

Not That Far Away was created during the summer of 2020 as a part of the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs’ PANDEMIC ATLANTA. MAA’s director Carolyn Stine McLaughlin directed the project and choreographed. The work was performed by Evelyn McLaughlin, Margot McLaughlin and Mia Prausnitz-Weinbaum. Andrew Choe was the composer and the film was created by Carrie and Colleen Miller.

 

 


Not That Far Away

Over the months of June, July and August, Movement Arts Atlanta’s Director, Carolyn Stine McLaughlin completed a commission from the City of Atlanta, Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs to create a work in response to the pandemic. The outcome of this commission was a site specific performance and a dance film.

The five minuet work with original music by Andrew Choe, used movement to illustrate the needs of the primal brain for information as we interact. These needs have been impacted by the pandemic. Brains look for signs of ease and friendship in the other person and the environment of fear and the unknown created by the pandemic make these affirming signs less prevalent.

The work was performed by Mia Prausnitz-Weinbaum, Margot McLaughlin and Evelyn McLaughlin. The film was made by Carrie Miller with the assistance of Colleen Miller.

The live performance took place on Saturday, August 1, 2020 in Freedom Park between Euclid Avenue and Austin Avenue. There were showings at 10:00 am and 10:30 am. It was attended Inman Park neighbors, and friends and family of the artists. The film was shot in three locations; Freedom Park, the BeltLine skate park and Piedmont Park.

The film can be view here. The work is available for performance, please contact Ms. McLaughlin at movementartsatl@gmail.com for details.

Funding provided by the City of Atlanta, Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs


Unseen Layers: the many roles of women

On October 20, 2019 at 5:00 pm, Movements Arts Atlanta Director, Carolyn Stine McLaughlin and MAA student, Evelyn McLaughlin, will appear as part of Unseen Layers: the many roles of women. This theater-in-the-round dance event is presented by TTM Dance Collective and will take place in the TULA Arts Center Atrium, 75 Bennett Street NW, Atlanta Georgia 30309.

The McLaughlins will perform Isolation by Gail Mingledorff. The work, set to the music of Jim Cappell, depicts the first injury which causes an individual to set up emotional barriers. Intimate gestures, sweeping spirals and the effective use of a prop communicate joy, hesitation, control, confusion and defiance.

Gail Mingledorff and Carolyn Stine McLaughlin both danced with Southern Ballet of Atlanta during their early careers. In the 1980’s McLaughlin appeared in two ballets created by Mingledorff for the company; Pachabel and The Almost Original Recipe. The first, an abstract ballet to Pachabel’s iconic Cannon in D, and the latter a comedic ballet about the interactions of chickens.