Mama Ensemble

In this production, a new society of dancers - The New Mama Ensemble - with members from diverse dance genres in the Honolulu area, have recently been drawn together by one commonality...motherhood. Here we reflect through dance and text on the mortifying, overwhelming, and yet somehow still terrific insider truths of mothers. From pregnancy to birth, family life to nursing, cries to laughter.

Buy Tickets: Jan 12

Venue: The ARTS at Marks Garage

Date: Jan 12

Time: 6pm

Duration: 60mins

Genre: Mixed Dance Genres

Warnings: Partial nudity, babies welcome

More info: Mama Ensemble


The New Mama Ensemble is a group of dancers from diverse dance communities in Honolulu who found themselves recently drawn together through motherhood, and became involved in this production to express through dance and text the mortifying, the overwhelming, and yet somehow still terrific insider truths of mothers. Pre-existing dance vocations have been swallowed up by new motherhood, yet we have chosen to emerge still dancing, still making art. Here we choose to use our dancing to access the inner reaches of what it means to be a mother.

Fringe 5 Questions

Mama Ensemble with thoughts from Gwen Hart

Fringe 5 Questions by Carlynn Wolfe

Who inspired this piece?
All the dancers in Honolulu who became pregnant and gave birth overlapping over the course of 2015 and 2016 inspired this show. There are more than a dozen of us, not all represented in the show, but it is quite a phenomenon.

What do you enjoy about Fringe?
I enjoy the fun of a whole collection of performing artists showing work all at once over the course of one weekend and the diversity which comes out of that.

Where do you see this going?
This show could go on to reprise, or it would make a great community for Playbuilders to explore, but I think most of us will be happy with being able to get it out there just this is hard enough rehearsing all fall with almost all of us holding babies in rehearsal.

When did you first start dancing?
I first started dancing when I was three, but this is not about me:)

Why is this piece necessary?
I think it is necessary to bring many of the issues that mothers face to the surface and to reflect upon these. People who are not mothers do not necessarily understand the secret lives of mothers. I know I didn’t before having a baby. We are utilizing this show to explore topics from the anticipation of pregnancy, to the pangs and sometimes humor of birth, to the trials of breastfeeding in public and pumping in the workplace. There are things that are Mommy requirements, but are Daddy optional. There are people who think you play Tetris in the bathroom on your pump break. There are a lot of misconceptions and unknowns that we would like to artistically shed some light on.

Bonus – How does it feel to be a dancing mom?

It feels amazing to be having this experience in a community of other dancing moms, however it can be limiting. At this point in my motherhood, I felt that if I became involved in any other performance project I would have minimal availability to offer, and my role would probably be marginalized as a result,...and all the while I would be losing valuable time with my baby. But since we are dancing moms were all in this together, we could rehearse with our babies as needed. This is why we put together this show; to have the opportunity to perform and to demonstrate to the community that we are moms now, but we are still dancing.

The ARTS at Marks Garage