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Belly Dance
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Biography

Carmen Nolte is a busy performance artist, choreographer, director of 2 dance troupes, event organizer and dance instructor with over 7 years of teaching experience.

She grew up in Lebanon and never forgot about the beautiful dancers she saw there. Later she learned that every woman (and man) can indulge in this ancient art form. She also embraces the never western influenced developments in Belly Dance and includes elements in her choreographies.  

Nolte has extensive training and experience in various Belly Dance styles. Her education started 20 years ago in Germany and since then she has continually extended her skills and knowledge and has learned from many internationally renowned dancers, including some of the famous and fabulous Belly Dance Superstars.

Artist Statement

When you find something that fascinates you, even touches your heart, you feel a need to share it with others. The ancient art of Belly Dance attracts, brings together and binds women of all backgrounds, age groups and life situations. The beautiful undulations, isolations, shimmies and locks are highly beneficial for many health aspects. It renders itself as a means of self expression and creativity. The history of this dance is fascinating.

It is my mission to share  all this ancient and new knowledge that has enriched my life and widened my horizons with others. 

Figure Drawing for Teens is a great class for ages 13-16 taught by Andree Tullier on Tuesdays from 4:30-6:30 pm. After a quick introduction, the class starts off with a few 5 minute gesture quick poses and then moves into longer poses as the class progresses using light and shade with an emphasis on composition. In this class, you will learn the basic planes/forms, proportions and anatomy of the human figure and techniques to capture the action of a pose with charcoal.

Andree Tullier also offers Foundations of Drawing and Introduction to Oils at Maryland Hall. Keep an eye out for our Winter/Spring classes that will be announced sometime during the first two weeks of November on our website.

Corporate Sponsors

Please complete the form below about your interest in becoming a corporate sponsor at Maryland Hall.  A member of our Development Office will contact you within 24 hours. 

On Tuesday, October 16, Maryland Hall hosted a screening of the film "Runaway" along with a brief question and answer forum with the director, Amit Ashraf. This was the second screening of the On Screen/In Person Independent Film Series taking place this fall and winter.

After patrons purchased their popcorn and recieved their complimentary drink, they settled in for what was said to be a wonderful evening. Maryland Hall employee, Michael Macey, attended the screening and was more than happy to offer a review of the film:
 
"Runaway, the latest film in the On Screen In Person series at Maryland Hall, offers a gritty, sometimes disturbing view of a bounty hunter in Bangladesh who tracks down and returns runaway men to their families, but not before forcing them to confront the circumstances that got them to that point in the first place. Set in the capital city of Dhaka, Runaway chronicles the journey of one man, Babu, as he captures Akbar, a corrupt politician, and forces him to reexamine his life and the choices he has made.
 
Beautifully photographed, Runaway is visually stunning and gives a hard hitting look at the culture and customs of a society that believes the road to redemption for these runaway men is whatever it takes to return them to their families.
 
The film is skillfully directed by first time director Amit Ashraf. Although it is an ultimately uplifting tale, there is quite a bit of violence. Murder, blackmail, adultery and evil spirits all figure into a scenario that, at times, can be difficult to watch. Both lead actors are more than capable in their roles, and bring a depth to their characters that transcends the obvious language barrier of this English subtitled film. The development of the story line, as well as the characters and their history are fully realized, so that by the end of the film you’re able to understand the perspective and motivation of both Babu and Akbar. All in all this film offered a very satisfying viewing experience."
 
The On Screen in Person series at Maryland Hall allows independent film fans the unique opportunity to view and participate in a discussion of the featured film with the director. Get inside the head of the director and find out what motivates and inspires them to make the films they do. The On Screen In Person series now features beer, wine and popcorn for purchase.

The next film in the series is Dislecksia: the Movie, a comical look at dyslexics and the people who teach and study them. Tickets are $10; $7 for MHCA members and students.

Volunteer Form

If you have any questions, feel free to contact MHCA Front of House Manager Reilly Kelbaugh at 410-263-5544 ext. 23.

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Writing a blog sounds easy. Just sit down and put pen to paper, fingers to laptop. But not so fast, Ernest Hemingway. It takes some talent to pull that off. Talent is something solo fiddler Casey Driessen, appearing at Maryland Hall on Wednesday October 24, has in abundance. The Berklee School of Music graduate is a combination of talent, enthusiasm and creativity and quickly established himself as a sought after band mate and accompanist with people like Steve Earle, Abigail Washburn, Tim O’Brien and Béla Fleck.

It was in the middle of a Béla Fleck & The Flecktones set at the 2011 Telluride Bluegrass Festival that I first encountered Driessen, as Bela Fleck's roadie, as in the guy who runs back and forth, behind and occasionally on the stage waiting on the star. But then Fleck brought him out to sit in on fiddle and the crowd rose to its collective feet as he brought the house down:

He followed that up with a singular performance at Telluride’s Elks Park where he proved that listening to a fiddle, solo, for 45 minutes, could be a transforming experience.

Much like Futureman does with the Drumitar in the Flecktones, Driessen’s “Singularity Tour” makes heavy use of the latest in electronic wizardry by way of loop machines and pedal boards that would make Hendrix jealous. Using his creative muscle he builds songs from scratch using only his fiddle, his imagination, his enthusiasm and the power of the pedal. And within that context he creates a unique blend of traditional bluegrass, jazz, pop and rock that you will not see anywhere else. Talent like this might suggest some special upbringing, a dedication started before he could walk or a pedigree a mile long. But in speaking to him for this blog he revealed that it wasn’t quite that easy.

In fact, after his parents started him on Suzuki violin at age 6, he didn’t immediately take to the rigors of practicing (what 6 year old does). “I was heavily bribed,” he calmly says. “My dad would tell me in order to earn money to get mom a present for Mothers Day or her birthday or such, he would pay me a few bucks to practice. That’s how I was cajoled into putting some time into it.” That morphed later into being bribed with baseball cards, his other passion at the time. “Eventually I started to realize I was actually getting better. That began to motivate me more than the bribes,” His dad’s own part time career as a musician (pedal steel & banjo) and his artist mom’s creative juices led them on weekend family camping trips to bluegrass and music festivals where Driessen was immersed in the music of fiddles, guitars, banjos and dobro’s. After high school he met master fiddler and Grammy winner Matt Glaser (Ken Burns’ “Civil War”) at a fiddle camp. As head of the string department at Berklee, Glaser encouraged him to enroll and Driessen did. He still points to him as one of his most influential mentors. After graduating Driessen went straight to Nashville where he began his professional career first working with Steve Earle during his stripped down acoustic period. That quickly led him to work with an array of bluegrass and acoustic music heavyweights and a fruitful collaboration with Bela Fleck.

Since then he’s traveled the world performing with Béla Fleck, Tim O’Brien , Lee Ann Womack, Jim Lauderdale, The Duhks, Zac Brown Band and Chris Thile. He’s recorded with John Mayer, Jerry Douglas, Blue Merle and on the Grammy winning soundtrack for the Johnny Cash biopic “Walk The Line.” In 2006 he toured China and Tibet with The Sparrow Quartet as a founding member with Béla Fleck, Abigail Washburn, and Ben Sollee of which he said, “We seemed to be the audience's first introduction to American music. They were so polite they didn’t clap during the performance and we had to explain to them it was OK to applaud after solos and songs." His experiences led them back for three more tours.

As a rising star he continues to push the limits of his instrument explaining, “My style has developed over time in bits and pieces as I look for new boundaries to break with the fiddle. I'm currently working on new collaborations between percussion and fiddle called “Fiddlesticks” where I get together for a few days with a drummer or percussionist and we write, arrange and record some unconventional angles, reinterpret cover tunes and go beyond the traditional limits of the fiddle.” In his “Colorfools” trio project he works with acoustic bass and a drummer/percussionist.

If you want to get a sense of Driessen’s intensively creative output, just visit his website where you are ushered Inside The Mind Of Casey Driessen, as the title suggests. I thanked him for not using his photo page to put up the obligatory stage shots. Rather, you'll find beautiful, unrelated photographs that he takes in his spare time on the road. It's his way of relaxing and exploring yet another aspect of his creative mind. In a nod to traveling musicians everywhere he even adds a set of photos devoted to the dressing room bathrooms he's visited. If you've spent any time on the road you'll recognize this less glamorous point of view. Driessen is a road warrior who balances his burgeoning career with a family and home in Nashville. His travels regularly take him from the classical, jazz and bluegrass world of The Sparrow Quartet and Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, to the up tempo, modern country of the Zac Brown Band. And when he's not on the road he's in the studio working on his video lessons series. His latest CD titled “OOG” is an adventure in sonic playfulness. It's not a fiddle record, it's a musical stew to warm your soul.

When I asked him what people can expect at his show at Maryland Hall on October 24, he said he wanted people to understand that, “It’s only me up there, recording loops and playing them back live along with the acoustic fiddle woven in, exploring everything from originals to traditional tunes redone, to covers and sonic landscapes.” I will add that you will not be disappointed. In fact, once he launches into his loops and percussive machinations surrounding the intro to Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” you'll never hear the fiddle the same way again.

Grammy-nominated fiddler Casey Driessen's Singularity Tour will stop at Maryland Hall on Wednesday, October 24 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $15; $10 for Maryland Hall members.

The Showcase Artist Series at Maryland Hall presents unique performances from the world of jazz, folk, bluegrass, classical, film and pop. New to the series this year, MHCA has added bar service featuring beer, wine and sodas available for sale starting at 7:00pm. Each ticket holder is entitled to one free drink with their ticket stub. Come early and meet and greet the artists prior to their performance.

Tom Fridrich,Director of Performing Arts, MHCA

 

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