exhibition slideshow

Jerry Breakstone
Mark Florida
David Lancaster
Metra Mitchell

On View
March 24 - April 28, 2012

Saturday, March 24, 2012
7:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.

In a unique collaboration of visual art and dance, PHD Gallery and Modern American Dance Company partner to present "MADCO: 35 Years of Dance Celebrated through Visual Art." The exhibit opens at PHD Gallery with an artist reception from 7-10PM on Saturday, March 24, and remains on view through April 28, 2012. Works on view include dance inspired sculpture, painting, and photography by Jerry Breakstone, Mark Florida, David Lancaster, and Metra Mitchell. (Your $10. donation at the door directly benefits MADCO.) The Dance Company's 35th anniversary performance takes place one week later at the Touhill Performing Arts Center.

About the Artists

Jerry Breakstone is a graduate of the Washington University School of Architecture. He creates wispy and intricate ceramic dance sculptures using slab building techniques and wire rod armatures. The artist glazes his pieces using both dipping and spraying techniques, and gets surprising variations with the classic Japanese shino glaze known for its unpredictability and beauty. His architectural career spanned 25 years with several highly regarded architectural firms including Harry Weese, Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill in Chicago, and Hellmuth, Obata, and Kassabaum in St. Louis. After working in Chicago and prior to joining HOK in St. Louis, Jerry taught for three years at California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, California. In St. Louis, he taught design at the Washington University School of Architecture and at St. Louis Community College, Meramec.

Mark Florida has been an artist and photographer in St. Louis for 25 years. His current body of work is an extension of his documentation of St. Louis culture. He works directly with MADCO dancers at rehearsals capturing spontaneous moments as well as carefully crafted poses. The former engineering graduate is perhaps best known for his photographs of St. Louis landmarks and high profile events, including the statue of King Louis (under the Arch!), the Forest Park Balloon races, and the Botanical Gardens. Recently, the artist began documenting aspects of St. Louis culture and created a photo-journalistic record of the backstage brouhaha at St. Louis area Drag shows. The artist captures black and white images of gender illusionists as they prepare to perform and then as they actually perform. Florida has worked as both a professional photographer and portrait painter, but now concentrates on doing fine art which comments on the times in which we live.

David Lancaster attended the Washington University School of Fine Art, in St. Louis, Missouri and has exhibited throughout St. Louis and Chicago. He has been a MADCO board member for about 20 years, during which time he has served as photographer, graphic designer and, occasionally, set designer for the company. His current body of work consists of gum arabic photographs of dance poses each of which compliments a mixed media abstract sculpture in a similar pose. He intends his work to reflect the characteristics he admires in dancers: discipline, dedication to craft, inventiveness and spontaneity. He is in awe of the dancers who must combine an exceptionally high level of speed, strength, flexibility and grace with the intellectual capacity to engage audiences in an art that focuses on and constantly expands the expressive limits of the human body.

Metra Mitchell earned her Masters of Fine Arts in Painting at Fontbonne University in St. Louis, MO. The artist paints the mutable body and finds the figure through dissecting lines and overlapping forms which create pressures and tensions above and below skin. "Dancers, says Mitchell, "have a tendency to assume an arabesque form, which lends rhythm to the entire surface and causes their bodies to retain a melodic line."


Known for its fresh, athletic style, it's hard to believe MADCO turns 35 this year. And this spring, the repertory company celebrates its anniversary with a program that highlights eclectic works from MADCO's co-founders Alcine Wiltz and the late Ross Winter, former dancers and other renowned choreographers. "Crimson Momentum" was choreographed by Wiltz when he visited the company last fall. Driving and technically difficult, it is the embodiment of MADCO's technique and style.

"Other Realities" was a signature piece of Winter's that uses a futuristic set and three couples to explore the design of bodies in space. This concert is "an important, landmark event in our history," said Stacy West, MADCO's Artistic Director. "Our fans - those who've known us for a long time to those who've just discovered us - won't want to miss this performance."

Madco's 35th anniversary performances take place at the Touhill Performing Arts Center March 30 & 31, 2012 at 8PM. For more information visit or

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