Maranda Blumenthal in rehearsal with Living Water Dance Company in 2015
I first met Maranda Blumenthal as a fellow dancer auditioning for Contemporary Dance Theatre of Tulsa’s artistic director, Jill Priest. Maranda and I quickly connected through our love of movement and performance. We both had the opportunity to have our own opportunities to choreograph for the company, as well. I remember the experience of working under her as a choreographer to be nothing but fun with a lot of puzzles to solve. As a performer, that was always interesting to me. It helped forge our friendship for the years to come.
The next chapter of life for me was one of challenge but I was thrilled to find myself Maranda’s housemate (her and her gigantic bunny rabbit, that my cat hardly knew what to think of). The energy of another creative in the house was invigorating and supportive. I really feel it gave me much needed fuel to not only complete my grad studies but to find reserves of strength spiritually when we talk of faith and art matters. Maranda and I would find ourselves residing in the same state again a couple years later in Tulsa; two gypsy’s that always seemed to find each other.
Although I don’t remember now how long Maranda has served on The Bell House Board of Directors (I apparently didn’t keep records tidy enough in the beginnings of Bell House history), I’m keenly aware of all the support and service she has provided selflessly for many, many years. In addition to the Board of Directors, Maranda also lent her creative talents to the Exchange Choreography Festival Creative Team in countless meetings and planning sessions that has helped make the festival the “go-to event” for modern dance in Tulsa.
As she and her husband, Joshua, anticipate the arrival of their second child, she has chosen now as a time for a hiatus from board activity. I’m so appreciative of her service and commitment to the arts in Tulsa and at The Bell House. Most of all, I value our friendship and wait expectantly with them to receive this next new blessing into their lives. The Bell House doors are always open in a professional capacity for returning service in the future but, more importantly, they are open unconditionally to her and her family as we share life and love and, even burdens, with them for many more years to come.
Rachel Bruce Johnson
Thank you, Maranda, for all your years of service to supporting dance in Tulsa.
photo by Nathan Harmon; dancers: Jessica Vokoun & Rachel Bruce Johnson.
PC: Jeanne S. Mam-Luft
It is a simple philosophy here at THE BELL HOUSE; make connections by bringing people together through dance. Art that seeks to defy a fractured view of the world by creating culture that cares for the soul and is concerned with human thriving. For me, it isn’t enough to just make dance for dance’s sake; it is my belief that it is the connective power of people that makes art worth engaging. We do that by taking our interests and talents and challenging the ways we connect them to something tangible in the human experience. It is through these connections and tangibilities that we see the true power of art and dance manifest back to relationships with and through people. In my view, what matters is people; the time and space of making work refract and overlap revealing and creating new possibilities for human connection.