, Newburyport, MA


September 19, 2013

A party fit for a poet

Maudslay celebration to remember Whittier, raise money for museum


One of his many abolitionist poems, “Abolition of Slavery in the District of Columbia, 1862,” will be read by Newbury resident Dubus on Saturday.

While Dubus reads that poem and “A Lay of Old Time,” dancers, including his wife, Fontaine, will perform.

Fontaine Dubus, who owns The Dance Place and co-founded Exit Dance Theatre in 1987, said the choreography for the two pieces began with improvisation, with the dancers moving to recordings of the poems.

“We would just play it and kind of move around to see what came out,” she said. “As each phrase was read, we would use the words to guide us into the movement. We want to work with the poem but not act it out.”

“A Lay of Old Time,” which tells the story of the Bible’s Adam and Eve, will feature Karl Granoth and Erin Staffiere. They will be joined by Fontaine Dubus and Jen Steeves for “Abolition of Slavery.”

“I’m looking forward to seeing how it comes together,” Fontaine Dubus said.

Proceeds from Saturday’s event will benefit the preservation of the Whittier Home Museum and its educational programs.

If you go

What: “Celebrating John Greenleaf Whittier”

When: Saturday, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Where: Maudslay Arts Center, 95 Curzon Mill Road, Newburyport

How much: $40

More information: 978-388-1337 or




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