Amanda Whitworth uses her body to complement, conform to and contrast with an environment, delivering dance in unexpected settings. Her stage is anywhere she can move, stretch, bend and leap. She is a teacher, a volunteer, an artist and a patron who works to make dance accessible as an art form and relevant as a means of self-expression. She’s the president of the New Hampshire Dance Alliance and coordinates the dance program at Plymouth State University.
Photo by Kendal J. Bush
- I love ballet. It’s actually my first love in terms of a dance style, but my body and my strengths as a dancer are more suited to contemporary or modern dance technique.
- That’s where you’re barefoot. You can attach lots of different aspects of athleticism, from working with partners, mixed-gender partners or same-gender partners.
- I’ve done small roles on Broadway as a dancer, and I’ve worked with Amy Marshall [Dance Company] — she’s actually a New Hampshire native, which is so cool.
- Post 9/11, it was a little tricky trying to find consistent work in New York City for me. ... I ended up taking a little gig in Montreal, and I was working with a choreographer in Boston.
- I came to New Hampshire because I sort of split the difference.
- I ended up Plymouth, and I’ve been at Plymouth ever since, but I still travel quite a bit — a lot down the East Coast and back to the Midwest where I’m from.
- I think the work that I’m doing right now is actually the most interesting because it blurs the boundaries of what dance actually is.
- I have my own company called Tributary Dance and it’s a mechanism for gathering artists together to create new work. The work I do under that lens tends to be physical theatre — like a marriage of acting and dance.
- There is a vast world of dance beyond what most people see.
- There’s dance improvisation, there’s site-specific movement, there’s somatic integration — that’s like a mind-body connection, how the body responds to an impetus.
- Lately I’ve been doing quite a bit of work with sculptural artists, responding to, and dancing on, a variety of materials.
- I’m really inspired by the intersection of where dance not only meets something else but can actually inform it.
- Just trying to make it all happen.
Catch Whitworth in “Shadows” at the Seacoast Repertory Theatre in Portsmouth from August 30 to September 1. It’s her collaboration with fellow physical theatre artist (and PSU colleague) C. Robin Marcotte. They’ll be performing an adaptation of the wordless graphic novel “Walking Shadows” by Neil Bousfield (image at left), in which a poor couple, working opposite shifts in the same factory, struggle through addiction and family crisis to find hope. This one-act performance straddles the worlds of dance and theatre to leave you with a new definition of art. Tickets at seacoastrep.org/calendar.