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IMPRESSIONS OF DAVID NEUMANN/ADVANCED BEGINNER GROUP

IMPRESSIONS OF DAVID NEUMANN/ADVANCED BEGINNER GROUP

Published on April 12, 2012
Ian Douglas

IMPRESSIONS OF:David Neumann/Advanced Beginner Group

Restless Eye

Choreography and Direction: David Neumann with the performers and collaborators
Performers: Andrew Dinwiddie, Kennis Hawkins, Neal Medlyn, Jeremy Olson, Victoria Roberts-Wierzbowski
Text: Sybil Thompson
Sound/video: Tei Blow
Set: Gordon Landenberger
Lighting: Christine Shallenberg

Performed at New York Live Arts


Signal from the Noise
Written by Cory Nakasue Associate Editor of The Dance Enthusiast : Photos by Ian Douglas, Courtesy of New York Live Arts


David Neumann's new work, Restless Eye, is a spacious work. The kind of work that says, "Hi. Come on in. Have a seat...wherever."
You scan the enormous loft and are drawn to a plethora of inviting nooks and crannies, but are never quite satisfied with your choice of seat. There is always some other spot in the room that looks more comfortable, or even more interesting. By the time you leave, you realize you never sat down.

David Neumann/Advanced Beginner Group's

Restless Eye - Photo © Ian Douglas-Courtesy of New York Live Arts

Restless Eye
looks like The Great Gatsby, moves like Yvonne Rainer, and sounds like a Whit Stillman film--if it took place at Juilliard, MIT, and air traffic control. Between the NPR-like banter, athletic yet laconic movement, video art "gazebo", mind-control lighting headsets, and live piano and guitar, the viewer is spoiled for choice. Perhaps Neumann's work is a metaphor for how the abundance of choice can create a sort of malaise; malaise being the glue that actually holds all of these disperate aspects together.

David Neumann/Advanced Beginner Group's

Restless Eye - Photo © Ian Douglas-Courtesy of New York Live Arts


This is not to say that there aren't other very deliberate choices made in this piece that are easily discernible. For instance, the languid and lolling group choreography in the opening is quite lovely and by turns cruelly punctuated, providing rhythmic rungs to grab on to. Dry humor and comic timing is also put to good use by performers who alternately obey and reject aural commands. There is even some evocative use of video that is quite effective as a conjuror of emotions without being manipulative. However, the use of nonsequitur to fracture neutral states in search of something more profound is well trod territory that leaves me a little cold.

David Neumann/Advanced Beginner Group's

Restless Eye - Photo © Ian Douglas-Courtesy of New York Live Arts


I found my thoughts drifting off to the films of Bernardo Bertolucci, or any of a number of films where a diverse group of unfettered adults converge in a bucolic setting for a few months and search for meaning---search for a place to sit.

What do you do with all that space?

David Neumann/Advanced Beginner Group's

Restless Eye - Photo © Ian Douglas-Courtesy of New York Live Arts

For more on David Neumann/Advanced Beginner Group on The Dance Enthusiast :
1.A Dance Enthusiast User Review.

2.Dancer Crush at New York Live Arts







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