Women At The Helm 2011

In the Arts, Activism, Government and Human Rights, These Out Nonprofit Leaders Create Positive Change Every Day.

Maria Bauman: Artistic Director, MBDance “Sweat your truth!“ is the motto of MBDance, a dance company that “creates duets and small group dances from a sense of physical and emotional power, a desire for equity and a fascination with intimacy and relationships.” Its founder and Artistic Director, Maria Bauman, is a self-described activist through contemporary dance whose work is steeped in quite a particular philosophy: the personal is political, and art can coax our attention toward “difficult truths.” In confronting concepts of lesbian sexuality, gender stereotypes, hate crimes and police brutality, one of Bauman’s artistic goals is to create a more accessible avenue of catharsis—especially for the LGBT community—through physical movement or by witnessing its power. “Dancing is about claiming our own bodies as vessels for storytelling and truth,” Bauman says. She has received support from the 2009-10 Harlem Stage Fund for New Work and a 2010-11 DTW Studio Series (New York Live Arts). She has also been a guest educator with the American Dance Festival Winter Intensive, Peridance Capezio Center, Connecticut College, Long Island University and Florida State University. “For me, contemporary dance is about stepping into my body, stepping into my power,” Bauman says. “Through sweating and pushing and pulling and reaching, I’m able to take up lots of space, to test myself, to manifest my own story. I’d like to show that we can all do that.”