Barbara Mahler - New York



Barbara Mahler is a choreographer, performer, movement educator, body worker – a Master teacher of and major contributor to the outreach of Klein Technique™, and currently an ongoing faculty member with Movement Research, NYC since 2004, and ongoing Guest Artist at the School for Contemporary Dance in Copenhagen, Denmark (1994-present) As well, she a Faculty member and certified practitioner of Zero Balancing. She is the recipient BAX10 award for 2013 in Arts Education.

As well as choreographing and teaching, she maintains a private practice in hands on healing work, using the techniques and principles of Zero Balancing, Connective Tissue Therapy, and other modalities, working with injury rehabilitation and prevention; movement re education and coordination. She has been an ongoing faculty member with Movement Research NYC since 2004; teaching group classes aimed towards the improvement of coordination, alignment and general physical well being. Barbara’s viewpoint of the well-functioning person/body is grounded in her long – standing work in the dance and movement field. Her major and most consistent source of information has come from the study and teaching (1979-present) of Klein Technique (certified teacher of and major contributor to); and (1983-present) Zero Balancing, along with the perspectives and insights gained from re-educating her own body.

Contemporary dance technique, composition, improvisation, choreography and performance have all played major roles in the focus and experience of her work. Her small and intimate dances/choreography have been presented across the globe – Chile, Canada, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and many venues in New York, as well as across the US. She has been a creator, mover and teacher since 1983.

With a particular passion for the SOLO dance, she also works with small groups of twos and threes. Her dances are spare, and physically demanding. Texture, time, space, architecture, articulateness, portraits, and environments are all adjective that describe her simple yet provocative dances.

She was a guest artist/teacher at Hunter College NYC, 2000-11 She is also an adjunct evaluator at SUNY Empire State College.

“I was an artist in Residence with Movement Research for the 2003-04, and 2006 -08 seasons. Movement Research continues to provide a home base for the development of my artistic visions and products. My choreographic work has received support from Meet the Composer, and the Arts Council in Montreal, Canada and the Cultural Arts Ministry’s Chile .I was a recipient of a Sage Cowles Land Grant, and part of the first solo dance artist residency at The Yard (an artist’s colony in Chilmark, Mass.). Most recently I received a choreographic research grant from the International Dance Programme in Gothenburg, Sweden, and a residency from THE CAVE, Williamsburg, NY. I was also chosen to be part of LEAP 2011-12, a Queens Arts Council Program (NY), supporting development of vision, artistic products and process. My work has also been supported by the 92 Street Y Harkness Dance Center and the Hunter College Dance Alum Consortium for many years.”

Artist Statement

My interest, my passion, is the body – the limitless possibilities of the body as an expressive instrument, to carry a story, create an environment. I work primarily in solos, duos and trios. All are intimate dances for large and small spaces.  I think of  my dances as being in dialogue with the spaces in which they are created and/or performed, and for each particular audience. Current theories of physics teach us that nothing exists alone;  that all things exist in only in relationship. This is how I approach and view my work, choreographing as well as teaching. All dances are given a new life with each  audience, in each new environment, in each performance.  Although all dances are created to realize a particular form or shape, to convey an event, fulfill a concept, I view, and create my dances with the premise that they are innately possessed of a spontaneity and flexibility that give rise to various interpretations and meanings.  Solos in particular, in the absence of other dancers, call upon the interpreter/ dancer’s inner dialogue as primary tools in creating and maintaining a relationship between themselves  and the audience, while the dance itself creates the structure for the communication.  The audience, an assortment of individuals, come together in what I think of as a collective vision.  The audience,as a  collective, can affect the outcome and the interpretation;  of what is being presented on the canvas. The relationships thus created are with the self, the audience and the space, and, in the case of duos and trios,  with the other performers as well..   Although I know what my dances are, they acquire new life in each different circumstance. I mold and craft my dances in detail and design, and in paradox, aim for spontaneity and immediacy.  My current trajectory includes but is not limited to rigorous improvisational and collaborative process in rehearsals and performance.