Performance Overview

  • Universal Approach
  • Improvisational Format
  • Athletic Endurance
  • Yoga and Meditation

“Amazing” and “Unlike anything I've ever seen before” are comments frequently expressed by audience members who have just witnessed Sarah Brumgart dance. Her performances sometimes likened to a shamanistic journey, Brumgart takes viewers beyond the ordinary and deep into the world of infinite movement possibilities, where abstract geometric forms evolve and crystalize into kaleidoscopic patterns or archetypal characters emerge with distinct personalities and dramas. At once both ancient and modern, Brumgart's theater magic is a profound, mind-expanding, and illuminating experience, occasionally too intimidating and challenging for those not accustomed to such intensity. Yet, she delights in playing the buffoon as well, entertaining with moments of clownish antics that amuse and evoke muffled chuckles or outright laughter. Regardless of the genre that she delves into, it is her ironclad pursuit to produce an authentic and unique movement expression that many people find so intriguing, captivating, and exhilarating about her work.

Universal Approach

Brumgart has a universal approach to movement that has a timeless and global quality about it. Rather than specializing in one specific style of dance, she is interested in exploring how many different ways a human body can move. Throughout this ongoing pursuit, she continually discovers new forms that are totally original to her, or ones that resemble those of different cultures throughout the world. Whatever she finds or reinvents, she always aim to express it in a way that is fresh and unique. The result is a seemingly endless variety of movement that is both startlingly new and comfortably familiar. As The Washington Post has described her, "Sarah Brumgart...is a phenomenon. At first sight, her small head, compact figure and finely chiseled features give an impression of cherubic innocence...but her appearance in no way prepares you for the power and intricacy of her dancing...both virtuosic and heroic, an almost encyclopedic marathon of movement possibilities."

Improvisational Format

Although Brumgart occasionally choreographs the traditional way, where select movements are set into a composition, she prefers the freedom of structured improvisations. In this format, a general outline is decided upon beforehand, but each specific movement is created in the moment. The structures for her improvisations are based in her pedagogy that she has developed over many years from studying movement analysis. It involves all the elemental components of movement, which she has formulated into the sentence, "What moves where, when, and how."© This schema works every part of the body within the full spectra of space, time, and tension, and encourages a continual exploration and discovery of movement. As The Austin Chronicle has stated, "In improvising, she creates dances far more powerful and beautiful than most dancers could even dream of creating through extensive set choreography."

Athletic Endurance

Brumgart’s dances are usually about an hour-long with few pauses and no breaks. Although she has never pursued such challenging sports like long-distance running or cross-country bicycling, she does attribute her acclaimed endurance to her years of intense training in gymnastics. Even though gymnastics routines are quite short, less than two minutes each, they are repeated many times within a workout, which for her was as much as eight hours per day, seven days per week. That type of training does require an expanded aerobic capacity, sustained concentration, and careful pacing, along with tremendous muscular control and flexibility. It is this form of discipline that she brings to her dances that are often described as athletic and marathon-like. The Washington Post described two segments from a dance as follows: “In the ensuing ‘Waltz (across Texas),’ Brumgart counts aloud repeatedly ‘one, two, three,’ as the movement--now covering large hunks of floor--exfoliates itself into spins, furlings, lunges, ripples, hops and undulations that become a severe test of stamina. The whimsical ‘Small Talk,’ attaining new peaks of speed and dynamics, begins with shrugging shoulders and minces its movement into ever tinier, faster bits.”

Yoga and Meditation

But her spiritual practices, such as concentration exercises and meditation, are essential to her regular workout regimen as well. Dance Magazine described her as "a temple dancer" and "riveting," and that "Watching Brumgart perform is like watching a religious ritual. Onstage she enters a trance-like state, completely absorbed in her concentration." And Yoga Journal has stated, "Her structured improvisations amount to a meditation in motion, with constant attention to every detail. The result is powerful to watch." The New York Times Critics' Choices sums it all up by concluding with "And finally, Sarah Brumgart, lithe, possessed of extraordinary concentration...moves as if the dance were flowing through her."

Naturally intuitive and a spiritual seeker since childhood, Brumgart strives to be "a channel for spirit, a clear and well-tuned instrument through which light and energy can flow freely into an infinite variety of shapes and movements." Her exceptional body control is the result of a life-long, multi-disciplinary training that she has formatted into a method and termed "The Fluent Body."© As The Boston Phoenix has stated, "Certainly her body is one of the most articulate around. Every joint hinges, rotates, supports, breathes with ease; movement flows from joint to joint seamlessly, sinuously, with miraculous unpredictability. There are no blocks, no still points; it's as if you could actually see energy streaming through her limbs like liquid sunlight."

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Contact

Based in Austin, TX since 1982

Sarah@SarahBrumgart.com (512) 241-1915