On Monday, November 5, 2012, Lida Winfield (MFAIA '11) brought her one-woman dance and spoken word performance, "In Search of Air," to Brown University. This dance and theater performance, developed in part while a student in Goddard's MFAIA program, is based on her experience growing up with a learning disability, and relates the gifts and heartache that accompanied her struggle to learn to read – which did not occur until her early twenties.
After nearly nine months of connecting the dots, Lida Winfield graced the Brown campus with her presence, conducting four workshops (including two dance classes and a conversation with students in Brown’s Masters in Teaching Program) and performing "In Search of Air." Lida's rare combination of dance/movement performance & storytelling was, as usual, breathtaking. Although already familiar with the show, I was so moved again by Lida's grace & eloquence.
She speaks powerfully for many of us who grew up with learning disabilities that made us feel both less than and inadequate. Her story resonates with audience members in palpable, visceral ways and not surprisingly, she took the time to connect with several of them after the show. It's so unusual to witness a performer diving so deeply into something while still managing to invite others into both her own story and their own (related) life-narratives.
Lida's a brilliant, compassionate, bad-ass of an artist, as all of us in the Goddard MFAIA program already know. Not surprisingly, the MFAIA community was well represented at Lida’s performance, as faculty members Pam Hall, Pete Hocking & alumna Beth Nixon (MFAIA '09) were also in attendance.