Adjunct Instructor in Dance
B.A., Swarthmore College
• Yoga • Mask, myth, movement
Marya Ursin has been studying/practicing yoga since 1969, and teaching yoga since 1981. She teaches yoga at Connecticut College, the National Theatre Institute, Waterford, Conn., and the Dragon's Egg arts/performance space in Mystic, Conn., where she is Executive Director. She also teaches mask/myth/movement at NTI and Dragon's Egg.
Marya is also the Artistic Director for the Mystic Paper Beasts, for which she performs, writes and directs the plays, designs many masks and paints some of them, and helps to make costumes. With her husband and artistic partner, Daniel Potter, or on her own, she has taught courses in mask-making and movement with readings in mythology to ages 4 to 84. Marya also paints and sells pottery, which have been thrown and sculpted by Dan.
Ms. Ursin received her B.A. from Swarthmore College in art history (having switched from pre-med), and did graduate work at Columbia University in psychoneuroendocrinology and at Wesleyan University in the GLSP division. In 1986, she became licensed in massage therapy. She is a certified Integrative Yoga Therapy teacher, and is an RYT 500. She is a candidate for a Master of Arts in Oral Traditions at the Graduate Institute, with a tentative book project about yoga asana and storytelling in mind. She holds minor certificates in various healing and esoteric arts, as well as in teaching mathematics to lower school, and in reading for differently abled children. She is studying sign language, which she hopes eventually to incorporate into her performance work.
Marya Ursin has been dancing and performing all her life. Her primary movement training as an adult was in New York City at the Merce Cunningham Studio, where she also taught for eight years, in ballet with Alfredo Corvino, Penn. Ballet, and at the Joffrey, and in Paris in mime at L'Ecole de Mime Marcel Marceau. She was in the mime company Mimika, the dance company of Laura Dean, and has performed with Sally Bowden, Bryan Hayes, Peter Lobdell, Brynar Mehl, Open Eye, Mitchell Rose, Elaine Shipman, SITU, self, among others, at BAM, DTW, Whitney Museum, Walker Arts Center, St. Clement’s, Trinity Church, Construction Company, Cubiculo, as a guest of the mayor, on the streets, among other venues. She currently performs as a dancer in NYC and out and about with the New York-based dance company Situ, as well as as a Beast throughout the New England, sometimes further afield (from Naropa to the Fringe in Edinburgh) and is working on a solo movement/myth/theatre piece.
She has written over 30 plays for the Mystic Paper Beasts. The Beasts perform pieces in repertory, commissioned work, and simply rove, perhaps 40 times a year. Marya has “assembled” an original narrative based work at the Dragon’s Egg for the past seven years, using texts ranging from Dante’s “Inferno” to “Through the Looking Glass.” and, in 2010, Calderon’s “Life is a Dream.”
She directs a winter event at a local gallery, again using artists from Vermont to Virginia, and produces two dance/theatre concerts in the fall in New York City, annually presenting 18 different artists who have been in residence at the Dragon’s Egg.