Chicago Sends, Seattle Receives

Mariko Nagashima, Seattle Dances, 6/13/13

…McGovern’s A Recipe for Polarity Part 2❘Echo Chamber, clearly articulated ideas about the continued polarization of our political system. McGovern utilized the space of Washington Hall particularly well; she began on the raised stage, while two dancers (Amy Weaver and Naphtali Beyleveld) stood in the door frames flanking the base of the stage. Unison and repetition provided the work’s strongest moments. In one instance, Weaver and Beyleveld continuously shared weight and traveled across the floor periodically saying “Balance” and “Check.” This relationship devolved from calm symbiosis to aggressive grappling when both refused to yield.

Preview: Send/Receive

Anna Waller, Seattle Dances, 6/11/13

MM: “The process for each piece I create is really dependent on the subject matter. I think the biggest difference from piece to piece is the beginning of the process, where the base material for the entire work comes from. The key for me is to find a way to draw out the conversation points through movement, then layer in hints through thoughtfully crafted text that reinforces the idea. Creating dances helps me to viscerally explore an issue and get to the core of why it is important to me. Art promotes dialogue, and more than any other form, dance has the power to bring humanity to an issue.”

The BOOST Dance Festival: Representing Seattle

Omar Wiley, The Seattle Star, 3/28/13

The wrench in the works was MaryAnn McGovern’s Recipe for Polarity, Part 1: Cacophony. “Cacophony” makes it sound so unpleasant. In fact, it was my favorite piece of the evening. It is by turns talky, obvious, competitive, and downright brusque. It is also playful, joyful, blithe, and witty. It has been awhile since I actually smiled at a dance event but Ms. McGovern’s piece filled me with laughter.

MaryAnn McGovern takes a big bite out of a slice of American history

Laura Molzahn, See Chicago Dance, 8/17/2012

MaryAnn McGovern takes a big bite out of a slice of American history — the slice most crucial to anyone alive now. That would be the last 50 or 60 years, when shifting policies and trends have shuttled populations en masse from the city and country to the suburbs. And back again.

Thinking Dance Meets Committed Physicality in SPRAWL

Samantha Spriggs, Movement Symposium, 8/16, 2012

The work itself is poignant, personal, clinical, historical, guttural, physical, and just plain smart. McGovern uses spoken text, ambient sound, live singing, and recorded speech to set the sound environment in which the dance lives. She draws upon her own personal experience, as well as that of her dancers to keep what could be a heady and intellectual work
personal and relatable.

SPRAWL Evokes Reflection with Voice, Body, and Social Conscience

Nalisha Rangel, Seattle Dances, 7/16, 2012

Inspired by historical events and contemporary culture, Mary Ann McGovern’s Sprawl gave the audience something to contemplate at Velocity Dance Center July 14, 2012. A combination of dance, music, spoken word, singing, and voiceover layered the stage in scenes of social injustice, industrial overgrowth, and the complex elements that have created the nation’s ever-growing cities and the sometimes tense relationships between the people who live in them.

Preview: MaryAnn McGovern’s SPRAWL

Mariko Nagashima, Seattle Dances, 7/12/2012
Chicago native and recent Seattle transplant MaryAnn McGovern is becoming a new force in the local dance scene. The full show this weekend promises to expand on this
already strong body of work. SeattleDances recently had the opportunity to chat with McGovern about her transition to Seattle and her upcoming show.

Velocity’s Bridge Project Delivers Some Hits, Some Misses

Anne Lawrence, Seattle Dances, 1/23/2012

MaryAnn McGovern’s SPRAWL Part 2 made it clear that McGovern is a choreographer to watch….it became evident that McGovern had crafted nothing less than a metaphor for the creation of community through art in the face of mindless urban expansion. Feats of choreographic magic like this are rare and very special.


Preview: MaryAnn McGovern and Dancers with Peter Carpenter

Laura Molzahn, Chicago Reader, 3/25/2011

Dance theater vet Peter Carpenter choreographed his new Ritual of Abundance for Lean Times #3: Delicate Extraction on the two-year-old troupe led by his former student MaryAnn McGovern. Though Carpenter is known for agenda-driven pieces–most recently the Reagan-focused My Fellow Americans–he wanted the cycle of which this piece is part to be “more a contemplation,” an abstract meditation on abundance and scarcity.