Choreography and Recent Performances

photo above- Alice Garrick

all other photos-Julie Lemberger



photo above..Kathee Miller    “Precipice” at Green Space 2015



shorts..with Cara Heerdt Jessica Winograd and Barbara Mahler.



TAPESTRY with Music by Erik Friedlander in performance at the RAD Festival (Kalamazoo, MI), March 2012 

Video and photo courtesy of Lucky Dog Media….Click on arrow to view

LEAP Dance Project | Queens Council on the Arts

Artistic and outreach support for selected Queens artists 2011-12.  Funded by the Queens Council for the Arts (QCA) The support included working space, peer group support, workshops and culminated in a performance event of new dances at La Guardia Community College in Queens, NY,  June 15 2012. Two photos of Nancy Allison in performance of SOLO NUE. photo credit Kerville Cosmos Jack.

(Supported in part by a Harkness Space Grant at the 92 St Y and the Hunter College Alumni Consortium.)


This short film is an excerpt of the completed version of “The Ground Underneath.” It was performed as the culmination of a 3 week teaching/choreographic residency in Chile with funding from the Government Cultural Foundations.


Movement is part of our everyday lives, and can be shaped and formed to realize a specific goal. It can be virtuous, and/or pedestrian. The two can be part of the same canvas, the same dance. Movement is the underlying and strongest structure from which I create: designs, scenes, stories, and environments. My goal is to bring to the surface underlying emotional tones and to design tapestries that are stark, simple and intimate.  I reference the body, my body, to research and create.  My structures are rigorous. I am interested in beauty, mystery, and story – telling, as I work to distill the meaning of a dance to its purest essence. My current trajectory includes but is not limited to rigorous improvisational and collaborative process in both in rehearsals and performance.Movement and the process of its invention and investigation are the main tools with which I embark on a process to create new dances.

My interest, my passion, is the body – the limitless possibilities of the body as an expressive instrument. I am immensely passionate abut the solo dance, pursuing it for many  years.  I think of solo dances as being in dialogue with the spaces in which they are created and/or performed, and each particular audience. Theories of physics, as well as the writings and work of Deeprok Chopra,  Joseph Campbell, Dr. Fritz Smith, others teach us that nothing exists alone;  all things can only exist in relationship. This is the way I approach my solos/dances.  They are given a new life with each new audience in each performance.  Although all dances are created to realize a particular form or shape, to convey an event, and fulfill a concept, solo dances are innately possessed of a spontaneity and flexibility that give rise to various interpretations and meanings.  In the absence of other dancers, the solo dancer’s inner dialogue is the primary tool in creating and maintaining a relationship between performer and audience, while the dance itself creates the structure for the communication.  The audience, an assortment of individual viewers, comes together in what I think of as a collective vision.  The relationships thus created are with the self, the audience and the space.  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. I also love small dances of two’s and three’s.
Deborah Jowitt of the Village Voice wrote the following about a concert of my work, presented by Danspace Project at St. Mark’ Church – :“Barbara Mahler roots her choreography in distillation, as if she aims to extract the essence of her ideas, making them calmer and purer. Struggle is subdued, climax minimized. She could almost lull you to sleep, were it not for the intriguing ways she blends delicacy and strength and skews familiar movements. At the end of her Raw Tenderness, she balances on one leg with the other stretched out behind her. You’d never call the pose an arabesque; her arms are pressed against her sides, and her body forms a horizontal line from the top of her head to the tip of her toe. The image is that of a seesaw in perfect, unwavering equilibrium, a woman at ease in control.”

JESSICA WINOGRAD in a movie created by Barbara Mahler in collaboration with the performer.

Choreographer/performer: Barbara Mahler
Sound/text: Fara Greenbaum, Anthem (The War)
Venue: Ulla’s House-December 19, 2009

  • ” DANCE OF SCATTERINGS” is about the ongoing tradition of story- telling. Through the means of telling, our histories passed down through the generations. In my “world” of “Scatterings” the audience is close and all around, my family, to whom I pass along my thoughts and the events of my past and present.  There is an audio tape playing- full of random thoughts and ideas, as our days often are. The past and present lose their boundaries and become merged. There is no linear story line. Instead, what is created is a sum of ideas utilizing  text, and song,  movement, and the intimacy of the space.  The audience is close, the circle of lights provide  paradox of safety, warmth, community, isolation, loss and death.
  • ‘”Come closer into my world. Stand in my shoes”.

“A Dance of Scatterings” was created with support from the Hunter College Alumni Dance Consortium, and Green Space, LIC.

Dance of Scatterings

To paraphrase, my teacher of Zero Balancing, Dr. Fritz Smith often says “I wish you could see the world (of the body) through my eyes”.

photos by Julie Lemberger

Vicky Shick in “Fragments-Simple Separations” Dancespace Project

Amy Kail in “Fragments-Simple Separations” Dancespace Project, NYC