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Mimedancer Karen Montanaro to perform Tanzspiel

Friday, 24 April 2009

A world renowned mimedancer is coming to northern Maine to offer a one-night performance at the University of Maine at Presque Isle in May.

Karen Montanaro will present Tanzspiel on Saturday, May 2 at 7:30 p.m. in Wieden Auditorium. Tanzspiel (German for "dance play") is a one-woman tour de force celebrating the expressive potential of the human body: one moment an old gunslinger reminisces about his youth, the next an entire baseball game plays out in front of you. Montanaro blends the arts of mime and dance to create theater with rare physical and emotional power.

The full evening concert includes original works by Karen Montanaro, by mime master Tony Montanaro, and by renowned dancers and choreographers Louis Gervais and Clay Taliaferro.

Montanaro is a world-renowned dancer and mime artist, an award-winning choreographer, and the innovator of "mimedance" (the fusion of two classical art forms). In fact, in 2008, she was recognized by the Maine Arts Commission as the originator of a new art form: MimeDance.

Montanaro studied ballet at the Cantarella School of Dance, the Ram Island Dance Center and on scholarship with the Joffrey Ballet School. She danced professionally with the Ohio Ballet and the Darmstadt Opera Ballet in Germany. For more than a decade, she toured and taught internationally with mime master Tony Montanaro. Over the years, she has danced and offered workshops on stages across the U.S. and in Germany, Aruba, Israel, and Spain.

Montanaro was recently awarded the 2008 Individual Artist Fellowship grant from the Maine Arts Commission. Donna McNeil, director of the MAC, wrote of her: "Our distinguished panel of judges was impressed with Karen's phenomenal technique and control but most importantly they recognized that Karen has fused her prodigious skill in both mime and dance into a new art form, using the body as a descriptive tool -- painterly, narrative and lyrical."

During her week-long stay in northern Maine, Montanaro will take time out to host workshops for SAD 1 students and for Upward Bound students. The Aroostook Partners in the Arts is helping to sponsor Montanaro's visit to local schools.

Tickets for the show are $10 for adults, $2 for students and free to UMPI, NMCC and SAGE students with proper ID. For more information about this event, contact Carol Ayoob at 768-9462. For more information about the dance performance, visit www.mimetheatre.com.