The 10th annual ‘Women’s Works’ evening of contemporary dance will be presented Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m.; and Sunday at 5 p.m., July 31 through Aug. 2, at the Rockport Opera House, 6 Central St. Tickets are $15 (cash) at door, also available at Bella Books in Belfast and HAV II in Camden.

This year’s production features choreography and performances by Shana Bloomstein, Willow Cords-Eckland, Jenny Cobuzzi, Hanna DeHoff, Suzanne Dunavent-White, Molly Gawler, Camille Giglio, Sunny Hitt, Maho Hisakawa, Katenia Keller, Bethany Louisos, Kari Luehman, Helena Malone, Lisa Newcomb, Alyxandra Pitre, Joan Proudman, Caitlin Schick, Jenny Tibbetts, Kristi Williamson and Nnenaya Zaki plus guest artist from New York City Jesse Phillips-Fein.

“Women’s Works” is an annual festival of contemporary dance by female choreographers that began when Freedom-native Bloomstein returned to Maine to raise her two children. At the time, she was in the midst of a blossoming dance career that had already taken her New York City, across the United States and to Senegal, West Africa. As a young mother, she felt the difficulties of balancing parenthood with her life in dance. She began “Women’s Works” to continue to develop her choreography and performance by building a supportive artistic community that aims to strengthen creative minds, hearts and bodies.

Over the next 10 years, “Women’s Works” became a highly anticipated annual summer performance of contemporary dance where audiences are moved to laugh, to cry, to wonder, to reflect and to connect. Since its humble beginnings at Unity Performing Arts Center, “Women’s Works” has evolved from five choreographers with an audience of 30 to a collective of more than 20 artists and an audience of more than 500. What draws both is the distinct core value of support, not competition; and aspiration to make art that heals through birthing multiple expressions of personal stories whose honesty and vulnerability defy societal norms and media-based definitions and expectations.

The 10th annual “Women’s Works: still. Unfolding …” celebrates 10 years of journeying together as artists in the Midcoast community, and begins with a simple, but provocative, invitation to the audience to become open to a stillness the exists inside the collective. The show features reprisals of past work within new manifestations that unfold to honor where “Women’s Work” is currently. The pieces explore how we carry the history of our bodies into the present, but also how “the now” is different from what comes before.

Highlights of these year’s show include the work by Bloomstein, incorporating five previous dance pieces into one with a focus on breath, the effects of work on our bodies and the textures of effort; “String Theory,” an excerpt from 2001’s full-length dance work “Frequencies of Cosmic String Vibrations” by Keller in which six dancers work inside 60 inches of cord to represent a visual idea of the creation of the universe; “wings” by Phillips-Fein, navigating different systems of embodied knowledge from the linear control of European ballet to the cyclical rhythms of an Africanist presence; “Hauswerk” by DeHoff, combining her 2010 solo of the same title with last year’s group work “Miss Behave” to tell the story of one woman’s escape from her daily tedious chores with a little help from her friends; “About Time,” a trio created by Proudman, Newcomb and Keller that explores how time affects our lives and the space we occupy and how change influences our overall experience of our lives.

For more information, including videos of past performances, visit

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or