Visiting Artist Talk and Movement Workshop

The University of Maine’s Intermedia MFA program is pleased to announce Dawn Stoppiello as our first guest in the Spring Visiting Artist Lecture and Performance Series. Wednesday, February 25th from 1:00-3:00pm Stoppiello will be leading a movement workshop titled All Animals Play in the APPE Space of the IMRC (see description below). She will present an artist talk on her practice and recent projects in the evening on Wednesday, February 25th at 7:00 PM in Lord Hall at the University of Maine in Orono.

Stoppiello is a choreographer and conceptual artist whose primary material is the human body in action. Her current work intentionally straddles the two simultaneous realities that occur in performance: the real people on “stage” and in the audience, and the fantasy being created by the event. Her performances become an examination of how meaning is created in the encounter between performers and viewers. Most recently her works have been seen via her Salon du Garage series: after years of performing in the grand spaces of German opera houses, festivals in Monaco, and New York City theaters, Dawn Stoppiello now also presents intimate performance installations in her home and garage in Portland, OR, in which performance is construed as an “everyday” act as valuable as working in the garden or making dinner. With composer Mark Coniglio, Stoppiello began innovating and experimenting with computer technology in live performance in the late 1980s, co-founding the critically acclaimed performance ensemble Troika Ranch with Coniglio in 1994 and co-conceiving and choreographing over twelve major works for the company since then.

Stoppiello has received multiple honors from the Princess Grace Foundation-USA including a 1987 dance scholarship, two Special Project grants in 2004/2009 and a 2004 Statue Award for continued excellence in her field. She has performed, taught and lectured throughout Europe, Australia, Canada and the US, and has taught on dance faculties and served as a guest artist at numerous national and international universities and arts institutions. Her writingshave been published by Leonardo Journal, Movement Research Journal, Dance- USA Journal and several books focused on media and art practices. Stoppiello received a BFA in dance from California Institute of the Arts in 1989 and an MFA in dance from George Washington University in 2014. Stoppiello relocated back to Portland, Oregon in 2009.


All Animals Play Workshop Description

This class embraces a broad and blended range of methods, genres and forms through an eclectic mix of performance processes all in service of ‘serious play’. Stoppiello will share the processes she has divined – a collaged output of her own 25 years of dance and theater training and making.

Drawing on her early work with theater director Scott Kelman, Ruth Zaporah’s Action Theater, somatic practice, formal dance training and movement improvisation, All Animals Play is a means to tap into the subconscious mind, lose control, heighten awareness and stay clear of judgment during the creative act. The session begins with a movement and vocal warm-up used to prepare a strong, supple, aligned, adaptable, and dynamic moving body followed by improvised performance play. No formal training is required.


For more information about Dawn Stoppiello and Troika Ranch visit:


The Masters of Fine Arts in Intermedia at the University of Maine provides substantial advanced study for individuals interested in interdisciplinary study in the arts. The program emphasizes intensive development of students’ creative and innovative abilities through a diverse engagement with multiple research processes, critical thinking skills and creative production tools and technologies. The visiting artist series supports and reflects the wide variety of disciplines represented by the program including but not limited to: Art, New Media, Theater, Dance, Philosophy, Art History, Engineering, Communications, Media Studies, Music, Psychology, Natural Sciences, and others.

The Guest Lecture Series is made possible by support from the Intermedia MFA Program, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the Department of New Media, The University of Maine Cultural Affairs/Distinguished Lecture Series, and the Alston D. and Ada Lee Correll New Media Fund.