David Neumann/ advanced beginner group believes in making multi-disciplinary dances from scratch bringing to gesture, word and proximity a delighted embrace of our contradictory lives. Neumann utilizes experimental dance-making approaches with a humorous outlook and an inclusive layering of disciplines to create complex, thought-provoking dance works that push the form. Neumann’s explorations challenge his assumptions on ‘how to make a dance’ giving each work a distinct geography with which the viewers can examine their own assumptions. These approaches are born of the belief that there is always something more to think and feel, always another mind to engage in surprising ways, always a valuable effort in trying to bend the habitual gestures around new shapes. In spite of his proclivity toward complicated ideas and structures in dance, Neumann is saying something very simple through this blessedly varied and adaptable art form: “As a species, this is what we’re doing right now, and this is what I think about it.”
David Neumann has been a featured dancer in the works of Susan Marshall, Jane Comfort, Sally Silvers, Irene Hultman, Cathy Weiss, Big Dance Theater, and the late club legend Willi Ninja. He was a member of Doug Varone and Dancers, and an eight-year original member and collaborator with the Doug Elkins Dance Company, with whom he toured nationally and internationally.
He continues to perform and choreograph for theater, opera and film working with such directors as: Hal Hartley, Laurie Anderson, Robert Woodruff, Lee Breuer, Peter Sellars, JoAnn Akalaitis, Chris Bayes, Mark Wing-Davey, Daniel Sullivan, Les Waters and Molly Smith. Recent and upcoming projects include: creature movemet on ‘I Am Legend’ with Will Smith, performing in ‘Beckett Shorts’ with Mikhail Baryshnikov at New York Theater Workshop and choreographing ‘The Bacchae’ at the Public Theater.
As artistic director of advanced beginner group, Neumann’s work has been presented in New York at PS 122, Dance Theater Workshop, Central Park SummerStage (where he collaborated with John Giorno), Celebrate Brooklyn and Symphony Space (where he collaborated with Laurie Anderson) and The Whitney. His work has also been presented at the Walker Art Center and MASS MoCA.
He’s currently a professor of Theater at Sarah Lawrence College and a guest lecturer at both Barnard College and The Graduate Acting Program at Yale University.