The Bryn Mawr College Performing Arts Series presents three performances of I Understand Everything Better from David Neumann/Advanced Beginner Group, Thursday–Saturday, February 23–25, at 8 p.m. at the Hepburn Teaching Theater Auditorium in Goodhart Hall at 150 North Merion Avenue in Bryn Mawr, PA.
Bessie-Award winning choreographer/performer David Neumann explores the impulse to report on calamity with three performances of I Understand Everything Better in the intimate Hepburn Teaching Theater. This multidisciplinary dance-based performance was inspired by the death of his father and is a deeply felt and moving work that intersperses elements of Japanese Noh theater, video, music, and text, and blurs the lines between truth and fiction. Topics merge—private and public, internal and external, the known and unknown—resulting in a mysteriously beautiful mix of indelible images that dance upon the contradictions of human life.
“Having seen Neumann’s work over many years, I feel this to be a high point in his artistry. He uses his ability as a spellbinding theater-maker along with his team’s performing chops to tell a highly personal yet universal story,” says Lisa Kraus, Performing Arts Series Coordinator.
The rich scene design and musical scoring feature the talents of Neumann’s collaborative team, including Sibyl Kempson (text), Tei Blow (sound), Chloe Z. Brown and Christine Shallenberg (lighting), Andrew Dinwiddie and Jennifer Kidwell (performers), and McArthur Genius Award-Winner Mimi Lien (set).
Tickets are $20, $18 for seniors over 65, $10 for students with ID and PhiladelphiaDANCE.org Members, and $5 for children under 12. Tickets, subscriptions and more information are available online through Brown Paper Tickets, at brynmawr.edu/arts/series.html or by calling 610-526-5210.
ABOUT DAVID NEUMANN
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, Molly Smith, Tina Landau and Sarah Benson. As Artistic Director of advanced beginner group, Neumann’s work has been presented in New York at PS 122, New York Live Arts, Central Park SummerStage (where he collaborated with John Giorno), Celebrate Brooklyn, Symphony Space (where he collaborated with Laurie Anderson), The Whitney, The Kitchen and BRIC Arts. 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.
ABOUT ADVANCED BEGINNER GROUP
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 for viewers to 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.”
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