May 24, 2018
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Workshop to explore fusion of poetry and motion

By Abigail Curtis, BDN Staff

UNITY, Maine — Two artists who worked together in an avant-garde Boston collective founded by an early member of Blue Man Group are offering a free workshop on movement and much more Wednesday at Unity College.

Maria Orlova, a certified yoga instructor, said that people attending “Inner Rhythm and the Culture of Poetry” will breathe, stomp, play games and raise their voices in poetry and music as they progress through the evening.

“In my mind, it’s like following evolution,” she said recently. “Following a primordial existence that first was just the earth breathing — then evolving, evolving until human beings developed and language developed.”

Orlova said that the usages of spoken language are diverse.

“When it’s used as art, it can be very powerful and even healing,” she said. “We would like to show how we can uplift our language into an art form.”

Orlova and Radames Cruz of Tacoma, Wash., worked together five years ago in Boston with the multimedia group The Order of the Artist.

That performing arts collective was founded by musician Ed Broms, part of the Grammy-nominated Blue Man Group from 1998 to 2005. Broms wanted to create a collaborative group of artists and performers from different fields of expertise, Orlova said.

“We were embodying spiritual, social justice and environmental values through art,” she said.

Orlova moved from Boston to Maine, where she is raising her young son and working as a yoga teacher. She teaches Unity College’s Wellness Program for staff and students, among other projects.

Cruz, who has worked as a teacher all over the country, has been involved in poetry and hip-hop culture in both rural and urban areas, according to Orlova.

“He’s been writing and performing for most of his life,” she said.

Cruz has taught a class titled “The Non-Literary uses of Poetry” at the University of Washington, Tacoma Campus, and is collaborating with the poet laureate of Tacoma to compose the school’s first official anthem.

They hope to entice participants to the workshop who are interested in writing, speaking, singing, drumming and moving.

“It’s fun,” Orlova said, smiling. “It’s going to be a safe and relaxing atmosphere. No one will be expected to perform, but there will be opportunities.”

“Inner Rhythm and the Culture of Poetry will be held 8-10 p.m. Wednesday, March 3, at the Unity College Student Center/ Coffeehouse. It is free and open to the community. For information, contact Maria Orlova at 978-314-1020 or

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