Words On Dance is a series of live conversations for renowned dance artists to articulate the history of their lives in dance. The hallmark of Words On Dance is a dancer-to-dancer format, with each conversation punctuated by relevant film footage to illustrate the dialog. By melding conversation with film footage drawn from the artists' own personal collections, audience members get an intimate and immediate view into the creative lives of these iconic dancers and choreographers.
David Neumann (director / creator) / Advanced Beginner Group (ABG)’s original work has been presented in New York at PS 122, New York Live Arts, The Kitchen, Central Park Summerstage (where he collaborated with John Giorno), Celebrate Brooklyn and Symphony Space (where he collaborated with Laurie Anderson) and The Whitney.
ABG has also performed at the Walker Art Center, Alverno College, MASS MoCA and the American Dance Institute, among others. Neumann was a performer for many years working with, among others, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Big Dance Theater, Doug Elkins, Doug Varone and Sally Silvers. Recent projects include: Choreographer on ‘An Octoroon’ at Soho Rep/Theater for a New Audience, directing Geoff Sobelle in 'The Object Lesson' at BAM Fischer (Bessie Recipient for Outstanding Design, 2015), Futurity, co-produced by Soho Rep and Ars Nova, and Hagoromo with Wendy Whelan and Jock Soto at BAM. He is currently professor of theater at Sarah Lawrence College. Neumann is the recipient of three New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Awards, including most recently, a 2015 Bessie Award for Outstanding Production for I Understand Everything Better. Additionally, he’s received a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Award, an Asian Cultural Council Fellowship (Noh immersive), and support from the Rockefeller Foundation, Creative Capital, NYFA and National Dance Projects among others.
Doug Elkins is a two-time New York Dance and Performance (BESSIE) Award-winning choreographer and 2012 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Creative Arts Fellow. He began his dance career as a B-Boy, touring the world with break dance groups New York Dance Express and Magnificent Force, among others, before founding his own company in 1988.
The company disbanded after 15 years. In 2009, Elkins organized his independent dance, teaching, and theater projects (including frequent work at A.R.T. Boston, A.C.T. Seattle, and Theatre for a New Audience) under the banner doug elkins choreography, etc. In fall 2013, he joined the faculty of Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.
All photos: Doug Elkins by Christopher Duggan