Karen Montanaro comes to perform, hold workshop at Stonington Opera House

Thu, 03/10/2022 - 3:30pm

    STONINGTON – Opera House Arts is pleased to welcome Karen Montanaro, world renowned mimedancer and award-winning choreographer, to the historic Stonington Opera House stage Saturday, March 19 at 7 p.m. to perform “Tanzspiel 2022.”

    This is a “Live! for $5” event, sponsored in part by the W.F. Whitman Family Foundation in honor of Maia Aprahamian, with additional support from the Margaret E Burnham Charitable Trust.

    Tanzspiel (German for "dance-play") is a one-woman tour de force and a triumph of athleticism, artistry and imagination. Karen blends the art forms of mime and dance to create theater with rare physical and emotional power. One moment an old gunslinger reminisces about his youth, the next an entire baseball game plays out in front of you with Karen playing all the roles, including the avid baseball fan, the patient catcher, and an incredibly flexible pitcher. In addition to original works by Karen, a full evening concert may include original works by Tony Montanaro, Clay Taliaferro and Louis Gervais, as well as traditional classical ballet variations.

    While in town, Karen is also hosting a dance workshop for the community on Saturday, March 19 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Stonington Opera House. Titled “Expressive Movement - Dance for Everyone," the workshop is geared toward those aged 18 and up. The cost to participate is $20, or $15 for students. This workshop is an adventure in expressive movement. Participants will move in a wide variety of ways — from low-energy/low-impact movements to high-energy/percussive movements and everything in between. Karen will introduce students to the rudiments of mime and dance and the fusion of both. No previous experience in either mime or dance is necessary to attend.

    To purchase tickets, visit operahousearts.org. All patrons must show proof of full vaccination at time of entry. Face masks are available at the door for those who wish to wear them.

    "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," said Donna McNeil, former director of the Maine Arts Commission.

    Karen is a solo performer, an award-winning choreographer, and the innovator of "mimedance" (the fusion of two classical art forms). Karen 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. Upon moving back to the United States, Karen also danced principal roles with the Portland Ballet Company. For more than a decade, Karen toured and taught internationally with mime master, Tony Montanaro. She currently tours the world with her one-woman show entitled "Tanzspiel."

    Ms. Montanaro is a teaching artist and offers residencies in movement, mime and dance in public and private schools throughout the United States.

    As part of the Opera House Arts Community Engagement and Learning initiatives, Karen will also be hosting workshops for the Deer Isle-Stonington Elementary School students in grades K-2 on Thursday, March 17 at the REACH Performing Arts Center.

    Opera House Arts (OHA) was founded in 1999 to restore the 1912 Stonington Opera House, on the National Register of Historic Places, to its original role as a center for performance and a community gathering space. The non-profit organization just completed its 22nd consecutive season of programming live theater, music and dance, as well as movies, educational experiences, and community events at the Opera House. The Opera House is normally open 52 weeks a year with a full schedule of film, community events and exciting original performances that serve local audiences of all ages. With a community-based mission, OHA uses the performing arts to foster and promote excellence in all the ways we perform our lives: Incite Art, Create Community.