“I Understand Everything Better”
David Neumann’s Advanced Beginner Group
Solange MacArthur Theater
American Dance Institute
March 28, 2015
by George Jackson
copyright ©2015 by George Jackson
David Neumann keeps a messy stage. Paraphernalia clutters part of the space. A big stack of objects on the left looks like a workshop. Plastic pillows float over the rear center of the floor, and plastic sheeting lies lumped to the right. There also are three wooden boards, a solitary lamp plus other items. These objects aren’t in total disarray, but placed so as to leave empty areas, presumably for the performers. Four of them appear: one middle aged man, one almost middle aged man, one young man and one woman. Dressed casually and diversely in black, the quartet assembles to deliver a stylized movement phrase. It is in moderately slow motion. None of the four cast members dances like a dancer. Their effort resembles that of the regulars in my neighbors’ exercise class. Perhaps they are trained actors? What they soon convey through more naturalistic action is a hierarchy among them. Three are assistants, required to do the bidding of the middle aged man.