Blogs The Green Room Maia Maiden

Scientist by day, dancer by night, Maia Maiden has been in the dance community for more than 15 years. Born and raised in South Minneapolis, she has studied all genres of dance primarily focusing on West African, Hip Hop, and step. In 1995, she co-created Infinity, a hip-hop dance troupe at Apple Valley High School (the first of its kind). Since then, she has performed in productions in the Twin Cities, including: Abstraktions: Requiem for a Homegirl (Leah Nelson), BlackArtsFusion (Maia Maiden, Karla Nweje and Ellena Schoop), Festival of Lies (Faustin Linyekula), and Revolutionary Soul Sistas (Roxane Wallace). Her first full -length choreographic endeavor and conception, The Foundation, et cetera, premiered at Minneapolis’ renowned Southern Theater (in collaboration with Ellena Schoop) as a part of Momentum: New Dance Works 2008, one of the most popular annual showcases of emerging, under-the-radar choreographic talent in the Twin Cities. It was awarded Outstanding Achievement in Dance Innovation by Lavender Magazine. Her work has also been performed in Washington, D.C. at the Hip Hop Theater Festival 2008 and Fringe Festival 2008. In 2010, she was selected as one of four artists and presented gangED, in the first Snapshots: Reflections of Women, a series presented by the prestige O’Shaughnessy Theater at St. Catherine University in St. Paul. In 2012, her latest work, This Was Made for Women’s Bodies, premiered at Intermedia Arts as a part of the Catalyst Series in Minneapolis. She is the creator/curator of ROOTED: Hip Hop Choreographers’ Evening-the first and only choreographers’ evening dedicated to Hip Hop dance and its roots in the Twin Cities, showcasing high school to professional choreographers. With sold-out shows since its inception, and on the Minneapolis City Pages A-List (2009, 2010, and 2014), ROOTED received a Sage Award nomination for Outstanding Performance in 2014. In addition, she is the creator/curator of Sistah Solo, a show which brings women of color together to highlight individuals and celebrate collectively solo works from various performing arts backgrounds. With sold-out shows since its debut, it was featured on the Minneapolis City Pages A-List in 2013. She is also the founder/artistic director of Twin Cities’ based ConsciousSpirit, a movement group using dance styles rooted in the African Diaspora. Interweaving Hip Hop and step techniques with traditional West African movements to create work that is community connected.

By Invitation: Maia Maiden on Scaffold Room

To spark discussion, the Walker invites local artists and critics to write overnight reviews of our performances. The ongoing Re:View Series shares a diverse array of independent voices and opinions; it doesn’t reflect the views or opinions of the Walker or its curators. Today, Twin Cities dance artist Maia Maiden shares her perspective on Ralph Lemon’s Scaffold Room. Agree […]

Okwui Okpokwasili, during an Open Rehearsal of Scaffold Room at the Walker. Photo: Gene Pittman

Okwui Okpokwasili during an open rehearsal of Scaffold Room at the Walker. Photo: Gene Pittman

To spark discussion, the Walker invites local artists and critics to write overnight reviews of our performances. The ongoing Re:View Series shares a diverse array of independent voices and opinions; it doesn’t reflect the views or opinions of the Walker or its curators. Today, Twin Cities dance artist Maia Maiden shares her perspective on Ralph Lemon’s Scaffold Room. Agree or disagree? Feel free to share your thoughts in comments.

Some of you may need an invitation for this, some of us won’t. Or some of us may need an invitation for this, some of you won’t. Whatever box you may fit into, check that one and move into the box of the Scaffold Room. Enter black art in a white space. Now take away the undertones and hidden messages of what that could mean and deconstruct. Literally, black art: black creator, black artists, black content, black structure (physical and mental). Literally, white space: white walls, white floors, white lights, white box. With permission and without definition, Ralph Lemon enters the space to tell a story of blackness. From his own mouth, he discovered something… This is why it is partially a lecture and a musical. From the lens of a black man enters the presentation of a black woman to the world. Unapologetic for his experiences and outlook, the connections between literature, music, radical politics, sexual exploration, and Beyoncé will make you question your opinions on how you entered the white space. Tap into what you know (well, maybe). Ask questions about what you don’t know (well, maybe not). Find your box… by invitation.

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