Maria Bauman is currently the 2017 Artist in Residence at Gibney Dance Center, and she recently received the Beth Silverman-Yam Social Action Award. She is both a dance artist and community organizer. Her choreography for MBDance is based on her sense of physical and emotional power, desire for equity, and fascination with intimacy. Bauman brings the same tenets to organizing to undo racism in the arts and beyond with ACRE (Artists Co-creating Real Equity), the grassroots organizing body she co-founded with Sarita Covington and Nathan Trice. In particular, Bauman’s dance work centers the non-linear and linear stories and bodies of queer people of color onstage.
In New York, Bauman’s work has been showcased at Dixon Place, BRICstudios, and DTW (now NY Live Arts), Harlem Stage, 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Center, the Kumble Theater, the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (BAAD!), WOW Café Theater, and SummerStage NYC. In addition, Bauman and MBDance have shared work across the U.S. and in Singapore. She has been honored by GO! Magazine as a “Woman at the Helm.”Her work is at the same time a poem, a manifesto, a beckon, a softening. In Infinite Body, Eva Yaa Asantewaa wrote “As a choreographer Bauman expresses humanistic insight with the blend of strength, suppleness and flow that her training in capoeira has given her.” Currently, Bauman is creating a new quartet entitled dying and dying and dying, a performance-ritual supposing death as the opposite of capitalism and searching for rest’s rightful place in our lives. In addition, she recently danced in Danspace’s 2016 Platform, the skeleton architecture, or the future of our worlds, curated by Eva Yaa Asantewaa in partnership with Ishmael Houston-Jones and Will Rawls.
She has danced with Urban Bush Women, Nia Love/Blacksmith’s Daughter, Adele Myers and Dancers, Angela’s Pulse/Paloma McGregor, Mendi + Keith Obadike, and jill sigman/thinkdance, and apprenticed with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. She was with Urban Bush Women for eight seasons, originating several roles, and serving as Associate Artistic Director of that company.
Among other honors, she has also received 2015 and 2014 CUNY Dance Initiative Residency Awards, 2012-13 and 2009-10 Harlem Stage Fund for New Work via The Jerome Foundation, and a 2010-11 Dance Theater Workshop Studio Series. Several years ago, Bauman was recognized by the New York Foundation for the Arts as an Emerging Leader in the Arts.
As a cultural organizer, Bauman has partnered with various kinds of groups to lift up important social issues and calls for justice via art. She has facilitated community engagement workshops for Chorus America, Ramapo College, Rider University, and has helped create cultural campaigns with various locals of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). She works closely with the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond on Understanding and Undoing Racism workshops for arts communities, and is a WOW Café Theatre collective member (theater space by and for women and transgender artists). Bauman is a founding member of the Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts Working Group (NOCD-NY). Currently, she is co-facilitating 651 ARTS’s Home in the Time of Brooklyn, a six-month iterative convening of Black Brooklyn-based artists investigating how to create and strengthen artistic homes, with Okwui Okpokwasili.