I UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING BETTER
I Understand Everything Better is a deeply personal reflection on our impulse to report on calamity, the concurrence of unrelated events, and the body as evidence of a will having to let go. The multidisciplinary dance-based performance combines narrative, traditional Japanese Noh theater, and Neumann’s virtuosic movement and humor.
Created with Tei Blow (sound design), Sibyl Kempson (text), Chloe Z. Brown (lighting) and Christine Shallenberg (video design), and recent MacArthur “Genius” Fellow Mimi Lien (set). Performed by Neumann, Blow, and John Gasper and Jennifer Kidwell.
“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
Winner of two Bessie Awards for Outstanding Production and Outstanding Sound Design.
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)
I Understand Everything Better was co-commissioned and co-presented by The Chocolate Factory Theater and Abrons Arts Center in April 2015. It had its world premiere at American Dance Institute (ADI) in March 2015.
This presentation of I Understand Everything Better 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.
Advanced Beginner Group acknowledges support in the form of a technical residencies at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, The Banff Centre Theatre Arts Residency Program, and BRIClab at BRIC. I Understand Everything Better was created with development and residency support from MASS MoCA and a joint residency, supported by MASS MoCA and Jacob’s Pillow Dance, supported by the Hunter Family Foundation; and with the support of a MacDowell Fellowship. I Understand Everything Better was also made possible in part by a grant from the David and Leni Moore Family Foundation.
Many thanks also to the generous individuals who have supported this work.
The presentation of I Understand Everything Better 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.
This project is made possible in part by support from the NPN Performance Residency Program. Major contributors include the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency). For more information: www.npnweb.org