Neil Greenberg, recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a “Bessie” Award, has been creating dances since 1979. He has created over twenty-five works for his company, as well as commissions for Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project and Ricochet Dance Company of London.
Greenberg came to New York from Minnesota in 1976 and danced with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company from 1979–1986. He formed Dance By Neil Greenberg in 1986, and his choreography has since been presented in nineteen New York City productions and on tour. He is known especially for his Not-About-AIDS-Dance, for which he received his ‘Bessie,’ which employs his signature use of projected text as a layering strategy that complicates the performance moment while also opening doors into potential meanings in the dance. His choreography reflects the influence of his study of innovative somatic approaches to movement—such as Body/Mind Centering, Klein Technique, and Alexander Technique—and his appreciation of favorite experimental theater artists such as the Wooster Group and John Jesurun. Greenberg's works have twice been heralded as among the Ten High Points of the in The New York Times: his dance/video work Two in 2003 and Not-About-AIDS-Dance in 1994.
He is the recipient of fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation (1992), the National Endowment for the Arts (1988, 1990, 1991–92, 1995–96), the New York Foundation for the Arts (1990, 1996) and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts (1997), as well as repeated support from the New York State Council on the Arts and the Harkness Foundation for Dance. He received a National Dance Project Production Grant from the New England Foundation for the Arts and a Multi-Arts Project (MAP) Fund Grant for the creation of Partial View, a multimedia collaboration with John Jesurun (video designer) and longtime collaborators Zeena Parkins (composer) and Michael Stiller (lighting designer). Partial View received the 2005 Time Out New York Audience Award. He was awarded a second MAP Fund grant and a second AMC Live Music for Dance commission, both for the creation of Really Queer Dance With Harps.
His two commissioned works for Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project include Tchaikovsky Dance (1998) and a solo for Baryshnikov, MacGuffin or How Meanings Get Lost (Revisited) (1999). His works for Ricochet Dance Company (London) include Verbatim (1999) and P.O.V. [point of view] (2002), his first work including video as an integral element in the choreography.
He has also created choreography for John Jesurun’s serial play, Chang In A Void Moon, in which his company appears under the nom-de-danse “Baby Hokaido and Bunzel Dance Group.”
Greenberg is a sought-after teacher. He currently holds the position of Professor of Choreography and Director of the Dance Program at Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts, The New School, and has also served on the dance faculties of the University of California, Riverside, Purchase College and Sarah Lawrence College, facilitating classes in composition, improvisation, and technique. He has served as artist-in-residence at the University of Minnesota, George Washington University, Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Greenwich Dance Agency in London and in Budapest and Taiwan under the auspices of the DTW Suitcase Fund, and has conducted composition workshops through Movement Research and DTW in New York, the International Summer School of Dance in Tokyo, and SUPA, a program initiated by Susan Rethorst and Paula Kellinger at Wilson College in Pennsylvania.
He has written about dance and choreography for Movement Research Performance Journal and Ballet Review, and participated in Movement Research’s Critical Correspondence program. In addition to performing his own work, he has recently performed in the work of Deborah Hay, Alain Buffard and Susan Rethorst at Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church, and with Vicky Shick at The Kitchen.
Greenberg served as dance curator at The Kitchen from 1995–1999, and has served as a panelist for the New York State Council on the Arts, the National College Choreography Initiative (NCCI), the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, the Maryland Arts Council, the Movement Research Artist-In-Residence Selection Committee, the Princess Grace Foundation, The New York Foundation for the Arts BUILD Program, and on the “Bessies” committee.