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I Understand Everything Better

“By now the line on Mr. Neumann is well established: He is the smart joker of dance. What’s not said as often is how deeply felt and deeply moving his work can be.” – New York Times

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Winner of two Bessie Awards for Outstanding Production

and Outstanding Sound Design.

I Understand Everything Better is a deeply personal reflection on the consciousness of dying and narratives interrupted by a cataclysmic storm. Combining personal narratives, traditional Japanese Noh theater, along with work by collaborators Tei Blow and Sibyl Kempson, Neumann’s virtuosic movement and humor reveals the shimmer of realms unseen, the concurrence of unrelated events and the body itself as evidence of a will having to let go.

“I Understand Everything Better takes choreographer Neumann’s already-wonderful touch for movement and the wry phrase and cuts it into diamonds… Neumann has just entered a triumphant next phase of his work… here he makes something for his company, Advanced Beginner Group, that feels genuinely important, both to the form and to minds of those who see it.” 

—Time Out New York

I Understand Everything Better was co-commissioned by The Chocolate Factory Theater and Abrons Art Center, and received its world premiere at the American Dance Institute.

Concept/Direction/Choreography: David Neumann

Text: Sibyl Kempson with David Neumann

Performers: Tei Blow, John Gasper, Jennifer Kidwell, David Neumann

Set Design: Mimi Lien

Costume Design: Erica Sweany

Lighting Design: Chloë Z Brown

Video Design: Christine Shallenberg

Sound Design: Tei Blow

Associate Sound Designer: Eben Hoffer

Lead Set Installation: Ana-Miren San Millan

Creative Producer: Meredith Boggia

Associate Producer: Mabou Mines

Project Advisors: Dr. Pamela Barton (MD), Rick Davis (National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration), Kei Okada (end of life caregiver and hospice nurse)

This project was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Project support was also provided by Mabou Mines, the David and Leni Moore Foundation and individual donors. Development was supported through residencies at The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, The Banff Centre Theatre Arts, The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, the BRIClab residency program at BRIC and the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography at The Florida State University.