Sunday, February 22, 2015

Company E Presents: The Butterfly's Burden at Montgomery Cultural Arts Center

From our friends at the Montgomery College Department of Visual and Performing Arts...

The Montgomery College Department of Visual and Performing Arts - Takoma/Silver Spring is proud to present the world premiere of Company E’s poetry, music and dance inspired performance The Butterfly’s Burden on March 6-8 and 13-15, 2015 at the Cultural Arts Center. The performance is part of the Montgomery College, Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus Performing Arts Showcase Series. David Rothman is the producer.

Poetry, written by a master, becomes a window into the soul of a people, a time, a place in the world. That’s true of Robert Frost’s America. True of Pushkin’s Russia. So, too, is it true of Mahmoud Darweish, the Palestinian poet who, through his words, created a unique insight into the Palestinian experience. Words of deep passion and eloquence, of love bound and unbound, realized and denied.

Over two weekends in March, Company E presents the World Premiere of an evening-length work built on the language of Darweish’s collection, “The Butterfly’s Burden.” Created for Theater Two at Montgomery College’s Cultural Arts Center, the work is based on collaboration between all the artists of the Company, and centers on an original score by company member Gavin Stewart.

“I came upon Darweish’s poetry when we were preparing for our first trip to the Middle East,” notes Company E Co-Founder and Director Paul Gordon Emerson. “His poetry is the kind which fills you heart and mind at the same time. And that’s in translation. We had his work spoken live onstage in Arabic during our performances in the Middle East and it transformed the dancers, the dancing and the concert experience. I have wanted for the last five years to return to his language, and our engagement at Montgomery College is the perfect opportunity for us to do so. Theater Two is intimate and yet expansive, able to absorb many ideas and emotions.”

“There is no actual poem in the collection called ‘The Butterfly’s Burden,’” said Kathryn Sydell Pilkington, Company E’s Co-Artistic Director. “But the phrase itself carries so much depth and meaning. The news is filled with stories now of the plight of Monarch Butterflies, with reports that our pesticides and milkweed eradication programs have cost the lives of almost a billion of them in just the last few years. Monarchs make a journey of thousands of miles, from Canada to Mexico each year. It takes several generations of them just to complete that migration. They are incredibly strong. Yet, if you put your hands on their wings you can destroy them with a touch. That’s a profound metaphor for our times, and an inspiration for our work.”

The Seven Member troupe is creating a moveable set within the boundaries of Theater Two to replicate aspect of a house, filled with windows and portals, changing sight lines and vantage points, providing insight into lives and at the same time obstructions from them.

“We have a unique opportunity in Theater Two to design set pieces which are normally impossible for a dance troupe. It evokes an entirely new level of possibility and creativity, and allows dance to transform from one type of communication to another, giving an audience a remarkable experience and insight,” said Emerson.

“Butterfly’s Burden is both a story and a series of episodes, not of one family or group, but of many. It is a creation of place, not of people.”

WHO: Montgomery College, Department of Visual and Performing Arts, Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus Performing Arts Showcase Series

WHAT: The Butterfly’s Burden by Company E

WHERE: Cultural Arts Center, 7995 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910

WHEN: Friday and Saturday March 6-7, 13-14 at 8:00 PM
Sunday, March 8 & 15  at 2:00 PM

HOW: Tickets available at
Box Office Phone: 240-567-5775.
General Admission: $10, Students: $5
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