Stephanie Maher is a dancer, choreographer, improviser and teacher originally based in New york and then San Francisco for 15 years. She is known for her breathtaking physicality and for creating works that express a unique blend of intimacy, sensitivity, and wild humor. She has been teaching performance making, Release-based technique and Contact Improvisation in an International setting since 1992. In 1998 Maher relocated to Berlin, Germany where she continued to perform, organize, develop and teach in the community-based settings of K77 Studios in Berlin and founded the Ponderosa Tanz/Land Festival in Stolzenhagen, Germany.
Improvisationally structuring and unknowingly creating a life of curating dance between the urban and land, Maher's focus has shifted towards the small networkings of the international dance scene, trying to create an avenue of support for self realized, grassroots and non-profit organizations. This includes the facets of liminal, spontaneous, curious and often outspoken performance installations that are able to occur within the permissible events of Ponderosa, that are not based on any need of artistic validation but are made at home. More radical presenters and experiments are needed and Maher sets out to provide a frame for these events and collaborative happenings.
In 2010 stephanie Maher and long time colleague and artistic partner Kathleen Hermesdorf set out to create a more stable and intimate setting for their ongoing and collaborative investigation of co-teaching and improvised performances. Bringing their working worlds together, in the countryside of Germany, the traces of the city of Mazatlán, Mexico and the old stomping grounds of San Francisco. They began P.O.R.C.H. Out of Ponderosa and the Alternative Conservatory out of Motion Lab and continue this physical and often political dialogue of dance education in the international free lance/dance field today.
P.O.R.C.H. Ponderosa's.ongoing.research.collaborative.happenings is Maher's home and future, a place that sets the frame for an endless space to play, dream in, and continue devising a never ending building site for art making and community building.