Mime/dance artist Karen Montanaro will perform Saturday, March 19, at Stonington Opera House. PHOTO COURTESY KAREN MONTANARO

A state of mime and dance: Artist Karen Montanaro to perform at opera house

STONINGTON — Mime artist and award-winning choreographer Karen Montanaro, who combines mime and dance with physical and emotional prowess, will perform her show “Tanzspiel 2022” at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 19, at the Stonington Opera House.

Montanaro, who has taught around the world with her late husband and mime master Tony Montanaro, is known as the innovator of “mimedance,” a fusion of two classical art forms.

“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.

A “Live! for $5” event, “Tanzspiel 2022” may include original pieces by Montanaro, Tony Montanaro and Clay Taliaferro, Louis Gervais and classical ballet variations. In the one-woman show, the internationally known mime and dancer fluidly moves in and out of wide-ranging roles from an old gunslinger reminiscing about his youth to an entire baseball team.

In addition, Montanaro will host a dance workshop for the community from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 19, at the opera house. Titled “Expressive Movement — Dance for Everyone,” the workshop is geared to ages 18 and up. The cost is $20 per adult and $15 for students. The 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. Montanaro will introduce students to the basics of mime and dance and the fusion of both. Participants will learn some of the most popular mime illusions such as “the box” and the “moonwalk.” They also assume different characters including animals. They may even learn how to walk through a wall! No prior experience in either mime or dance is required.

Montanaro studied ballet at the Cantarella School of Dance in Pittsfield, Mass., Maine’s Ram Island Dance Center and on scholarship with the Joffrey Ballet School in New York. She danced professionally with the Ohio Ballet and the Darmstadt Opera Ballet in Germany. Upon moving back to the United States, she also danced principal roles with the Portland Ballet Company.

Montanaro’s performance is 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.

Upon entering the opera house, the public must show proof of full vaccination and is required to wear a facemask while indoors. Facemasks are available at the door.

To purchase tickets, visit operahousearts.org. To learn more about the featured artist, visit mimedance.com.



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