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Special Presentations and Events

Bearnstow was pleased to hold a number of special events and presentations in the 2010s.

Gary Wittner and Gideon Forbes
in Concert at Bearnstow

Guitarist and songwriter Gary Wittner, presented a concert at Bearnstow as early as 2002, as well as almost every summer through­out the 2010s. He was joined from 2017 to 2019 by saxo­phonist Gideon Forbes. The concerts have always been a highpoint of the summer season. See their concert information.

The Maine Audubon Annual Loon Count

Every third Saturday in July, Bearnstow has participated in the state-wide Loon Count. Our volunteers use Bearnstow’s canoes and kayaks, leaving at 7:00 a.m. sharp, and follow an assigned course on the lake. On a map provided by the Maine Audubon Society, we have charted the time, location, and number of loons observed. The route always finishes at 7:30 a.m. The results are reported to the Maine Audubon Society.

See the Maine Loon Project.

Bearnstow volunteers launch their canoes on Saturday, July 18, 2019.

Global Water Dances, established in 2011, coordinates groups and organizations all over the world to dance for safe water. Bearnstow participated in the event twice, in 2011 and in 2015. The 2011 event, forced indoors because of heavy rain, was performed by Bearnstow’s Artist Residents in the Main Hall. The 2015 event enjoyed much better weather and was performed in Parker Pond at the mouth of Uncle Daniel’s Brook. The event included Day Campers, Aritist Residents, and local interested Mount Vernon residents. As can be seen from the photos, both were definitely uplifting events. Read more about Global Water Dances.

Waterdances 2011

Reg (Ruth) Grauert introduces the 2011 event.
   Molly Hess and Timothy Wagner  
Lizzie Joy Loveland, Timothy Wagner, and Molly Hess

Waterdances 2015

Group circle in Parker Pond
   Making it rain — group exhilaration  
Improvising in the water

A Concert of Dances Choreographed by Nitzia Vieyra
Performed by the Young Artist Resident Dancers
Held Saturday August 2, 2014, Union Hall, Vienna, Maine
The program featured Mexican Folkloric Dance
as well as contemporary dances by Nitzia.

Left: Emmanuel Becerra and Nitzia Vieyra
rehearse at Bearnstow.

Rain Washes out Bridge from Uncle Daniel’s Brook

On the afternoon of Friday, August 9, 2014. as the Claire Porter Workshop was preparing for the evening showing of the week’s dances, the skies opened up over Bearnstow, and the normally peaceful Daniel’s Brook that laces Bearnstow’s forest became a torrent, washing out the log bridge. (The logs washed down to the mouth of the brook to the edge of Parker Pond where they became lodged in rocks and were recovered later.)

     An extension ladder covered with planks was set in place to serve as a temporary bridge, enabling dedicated dance afficionados to make their way over the water to Bearnstow’s Maine Hall for the evening’s performance.

The bridge over Uncle Daniel's Brook was washed out, making passage impossible.
Overflowing its banks, the brook flooded
the forest as well.
An extension ladder covered with planks
served as a temporary bridge.

The crew—Rob, Mike, and Dave—who brought down the tree.
A Tree Comes Down at Bearnstow, August 11, 2014

Back in summer 2005 an evening thunderstorm delivered a strong lightening strike to a 140-foot King’s Pine, located just in front of the Lodge. This was some time after Ruth had gone to bed. Obviously, the strike woke her up, and she woke up to a dark house. She looked out toward Main Hall where the lights were still on; the Artist Residents and students were still working. She made her way down the narrow stairs and out across the clearing to the Hall. Of course, the dancers there had seen the blinding flash and heard the deafening thunder clap. Later upon her return Ruth discovered her broken bedroom window with shards of glass spread over the room.

The morning revealed more extensive damage: the wiring in the Lodge had been totally burnt and required replacing. The tree’s bark had been striped down in large patches. But it was still alive and for awhile seemed to do well. But after a few years it was clear it was dying. It had begun to lean toward the Lodge and now posed a hazard. It was time for the mighty King’s Pine to come down. See the videos of “A Tree Comes Down at Bearnstow”

Kinetic Cinema

Videos by Mimi Garrard and her mentors Alwin Nikolais and James Seawright
Presented at Bearnstow July 3, 2015

Mimi Garrard assembled works on video from 1964 to 2014, which span her pro­lific career as a dancer with the legendary Alwin Nikolais, as a choreographer, and later as a video artist. See details of the presentation.

To see a collection of her online videodances, see

The Philadelphia-based Almanac Dance Circus Theatre presented


Saturday, August 1, 2015, Union Hall, Vienna, Maine
Choreographed and performed by
Nick Gillette, Ben Grinberg, Lauren Harries, and Adam Kerbel

Two members of the cast were Artist Residents at Bearnstow,
Adam Kerbel (2013) and Ben Grinberg (2014)


Videos of Dances by Beverly Blossom
Presented by Michael Blossom, Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Beverly Schmidt Blossom was one of the members of original Nikolais Dance Company. Her son Michael presented several of her videos in a special showing at Bearnstow. To learn more of Blossom’s work and career, see her memorial page, which also includes two of the videos shown. See also the Beverly Blossom Foundation.

A Memorial Celebration for Murray Louis

Murray Louis passed away on February 1, 2016, and on June 29, Bearnstow hosted a celebration of his life with the showing of the video Murray Louis in Concert, followed by a panel discussion of former company dancers and staff: Ruth Grauert, Phyllis Lamhut, Robert Small, Alberto (Tito) del Saz, Jan Strader Connor, and Jim Van Abbema. See the Memorial Tribute page with more photos and video of the panel discussion.

Glass as Performative Practice
A Video and Lecture by Alexander Rosenberg, July 1, 2016

Alex Rosenberg is an artist, educator, and writer based between Philadelphia and New York. He holds a BFA in Glass with a concentration in Creative Writing from the Rhode Island School of Design, and a Master of Science in Visual Studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Visual Arts Program. See details of his presentation and his website:


Danzar de Imaginario (Dancing Widely)

Performed by Adriana León, Alejandro Vera, and the Artist Residents at Bearnstow
Saturday, August 13, 2016, Union Hall, Vienna, Maine

Adriana León and her husband Alejandro Vera, members of the dance faculty at the University of Colima, Colima, Mexico, first came to Bearnstow in 2006 as Artist Residents. Since that time they have sent us several Artist Residents and students, many of whom have made significant contributions to Bearnstow’s programs. Adriana and Alex now direct their own company at the University, Univerdanza Danza Contemporánea.

In the week of August 713, 2016, Adriana taught a workshop, which culminated in the weekend concert. See the workshop and concert information.


Images from Danzar de Imaginario at Union Hall

Celebrating the Culture of Mexico through Dance
A Concert of Mexican Folklorico, directed by Jonathan Trejo and Kareli Montoya
August 26, 2017 and August 25, 2018, Union Hall, Vienna, Maine

Former Artist Resident Jonathan Trejo and his dance partner Kareli Montoya brought Mexican Folklorico to Maine, using our Artist Residents as dancers for two seasons. Both performances were predeeded by a week-long teaching workshop. See the 2018 work­shop and details.

The 2017 Workshop: Divyamaan Sahoo, Marc Farraro, Ellen Oliver, Chaesong Kim,
Kareli Montoya, Nitzia Vieyra, Angie Cole, Mario Hernández, and Jonathan Trejo

Bearnstow Celebrated 3 Spice Dance!
January 20, 2018, in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Twelve of our former Resident Artists came together to present their own work in a special concert on January 20, 2018, at the Green Street Studios in Cambridge, Massachusetts. See, their special website devoted to this project. (The planned March concert in New York City was cancelled due to the pandemic.)

Left: a slide show of some of the works performed

Nitzia Vieyra taught classes in Bachata in summer 2018

Bachata is a style of social dance originating from the Dominican Republic.
It has now become popular world wide.

Nitzia Vieyra and her partner Brandon Medina in Mexico

Jonathan Trejo and Anahita Pajuhesh dance in the final showing, joined by Murray Campbell’s dog Edie.

The Bachata Class
Back row: Sophia Diehl, Ann Kyle, Mike Malony, Jenna Gross, Anahita Pajuhesh, Caleb Nussear,
Daniel Ramírez, and Peter Kyle; Front row: Nitzia Vieyra, Ocoee Chapelle, Eric Groenhout, and Nancy Salmon

The Annual Classical Pop Concert and Fireworks

Held on or very near the Fourth of July each summer at the Mount Vernon Community Center, the concert is a highpoint of the sea­son. It features young alumni musicians from NPR’s “From the Top”. The Concert Director is Gerald Slavet, a long-time neighbor and friend of Bearnstow, who is the “From the Top” Founder and former Co-CEO. For background on Mount Vernon‘s Independence Day pops concert, see Mess with a Classic.

Musicians provide a brief preview outdoors
before the concert (2014).
Ben Grinberg, Molly Hess, and Tyler Rai
arrive for the concert (in 2014).
Onstage at the Community Center (2014)