'Beauty for Ashes' uses performance art to examine hope

There’s been an explosion lately of talented local people coming out of their shells to entertain and enlighten us.

With that in mind, two Terpsichore Dance Company dancers, Maribel Schaff and Carly Mann, are branching out with their El's Clay project, “Beauty for Ashes,” a multi-faceted show around the theme of hope.

Founded by Mann and Schaff in 2016, El's Clay is devoted to sharing meaningful messages and to addressing social issues.

The production, which features poetry, dance, music, film, culinary art and visual art, will be held March 10 and 11 at 7 p.m. at 2905, located at 2905 Montana Ave.

Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students ages 15-17. A portion of the profits will go to the Women’s Shelter, and donations of clothing and food for the shelter will also be accepted.

Mann said the premise for "Beauty for Ashes" is that we all share life struggles and we all search for hope. This is a way to use a creative format to share how we find hope.+2 
['Beauty for Ashes']

'Beauty for Ashes' was created by Terpsichore dancers Maribel Schaff and Carly Mann.

“My main art is dance, but I don’t just want to talk to dancers, I want to talk to other artists. It’s been cool to get this far and to see how they are thriving off each other’s art,” Mann said.

Schaff watched this project grow over the last five months until 20 artists and performers are now involved. During rehearsal sessions, Schaff said she gets emotional, watching and hearing people express their innermost
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I can’t watch it without tearing up,” she said.

Schaff will perform surrounded by trays of paint. As she dances, she will apply the different colors of paint to her skin, symbolizing the different aspects of herself.

"The background music will include a narrative of my story," Schaff said.

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Mann will dance live with a projected image of a dancer that she reaches for, but can never get close to, symbolizing our search for human connection in a world where technology often separates us.

Women from the Women’s Shelter are not part of the performance, but some of the pieces address their plight and several women from the shelter were invited to attend the show free of charge.+2 
['Beauty for Ashes']

Bound in red fabric symbolizing depression, Billings actress Caitlin Hart will present the testimony of a girl who is suicidal during "Beauty for Ashes." As she performs the piece, Hart will break free from the fabric.

Pictures by Gary W. Luce

Six video stations will be set up throughout the venue, presenting people’s testimony on the theme of hope. Bound in red fabric symbolizing depression, Billings actress Caitlin Hart will present the testimony of a girl who is suicidal. As she performs the piece, Hart will break free from the fabric.

Billings poet Dave Caserio will recite poetry, some of which was written by students in an Arts Without Boundaries class he has taught.

Mann and Schaff hope they can plant a seed with the performances, inspiring others to use their own creativity to express themselves.



Maribel Schaff, Carly Green and John Speier.

Who we are

El's Clay is an organization devoted to sharing meaningful messages that will resonate with audience members and their lives. Performances address the social issues that cause humanity to stumble, lose motivation, and happiness in life. The mission is to look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.

To help others by sending messages of hope through our art and performances. El's Clay wants people understand the importance of renewing their inner self day by day.
To create art and have performances where different life situations are addressed in creative and innovative ways in order to bring art and valuable examples of hope to more people in the community.

Our Vision
To perform and invite people into a positive change where hope is a new door to a new way of living their life.
Compassion, honesty, team work, dedication, hope…