unnamed (3.jpg
unnamed (3.jpg

The Company


We live in a world with great diversity and great division. Drastic Action uses dance to create connections across these lines of difference. Through performances and education programs Drastic Action offers individuals opportunities for serious reflection, self-expression and empowerment.

The company’s Artistic Director, Aviva Geismar, collaborates with Drastic Action’s performers to create thought-provoking dances that stem from a fascination with the nuances and paradoxes of human behavior. Many of these works explore individuals struggling with aspects of their own nature, the ambiguity of interpersonal relationships and the effects of disintegrating social systems. Geismar aims for audience members to recognize themselves and others in her works, which often tread the delicate line where comedy and tragedy meet. Tom Strini wrote in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel “Geismar's dead-on understanding of social realities is like a poke in the ribs. … In life and in Geismar's dances, tragedy and comedy can be hard to sort out.” 

SCROLL DOWN

The Company


We live in a world with great diversity and great division. Drastic Action uses dance to create connections across these lines of difference. Through performances and education programs Drastic Action offers individuals opportunities for serious reflection, self-expression and empowerment.

The company’s Artistic Director, Aviva Geismar, collaborates with Drastic Action’s performers to create thought-provoking dances that stem from a fascination with the nuances and paradoxes of human behavior. Many of these works explore individuals struggling with aspects of their own nature, the ambiguity of interpersonal relationships and the effects of disintegrating social systems. Geismar aims for audience members to recognize themselves and others in her works, which often tread the delicate line where comedy and tragedy meet. Tom Strini wrote in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel “Geismar's dead-on understanding of social realities is like a poke in the ribs. … In life and in Geismar's dances, tragedy and comedy can be hard to sort out.” 

About Drastic Action

Drastic Action is a contemporary dance company under the direction of Aviva Geismar. Drastic Action creates, performs and presents thought-provoking dance and performance work that stems from Geismar’s fascination with the nuances and paradoxes of human behavior. She uses an idiosyncratic movement language to portray inner landscapes fraught with contradiction. Many of her works explore individuals struggling with aspects of their own nature, the ambiguity of interpersonal relationships or the effects of disintegrating social systems. She aims for audience members to recognize themselves and others in her works, which often tread the delicate line where comedy and tragedy meet. Tom Strini wrote in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel “Geismar's dead-on understanding of social realities is like a poke in the ribs. … In life and in Geismar's dances, tragedy and comedy can be hard to sort out.” 

Drastic Action also conducts outreach programs such as workshops, education programs, and lecture demonstrations with public communities. These activities create bridges of understanding across lines of difference and offer opportunities for individual expression and empowerment. Geismar founded Drastic Action in 1989, and the company became a not-for-profit organization in 2007. 

Geismar’s dances have been presented in numerous prominent venues including Jacob’s Pillow’s Inside/Out series, the Millennium Stage at The Kennedy Center, Dance Theater Workshop, Dance New Amsterdam, Symphony Space, BAX, Studio 303 (Montreal), Dance Place (D.C.), Danceworks (Milwaukee), 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Center and The West End Theater.

“Dis/Location (Fort Tryon),” Drastic Action’s performance and education project exploring the immigrant-experience from multiple perspectives, premiered in Fort Tryon Park in the immigrant rich Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan in June 2016. The project included the creation of a 30-minute, site-specific dance on a rugged slope in the park. Concurrently, company members mentored 6th and 7th grade students at City College Academy of the Arts in exploring their personal immigration histories through dance during 3 months of creative dance classes. READ MORE

From 2006 to 2010 the company led “Dances for the Blue House” and “Dancing to Connect,” cross-cultural performance and education programs developed in partnership with the Battery Dance Company. Teaching artists from the two dance companies led week-long intensive, creative-dance workshops with high school and middle school students in numerous cities throughout Germany. The workshops used dance as a medium to explore the history of the Holocaust and tolerance, particularly relevant issue in the very stratified Germany of today. At the end of each week of workshops, the students and the professional companies performed works relating to tolerance in a local theater and were received with great enthusiasm by local communities. READ MORE

Geismar’s Dances have been commissioned by Dancing in the Streets, Fernando Maneca, and Trammel and Thompson. She has been a guest artist or adjunct faculty member at Rutgers University, the University of Maryland, James Madison University, Marymount Manhattan College and Ursinus College. Geismar is currently an Assistant Professor at Queensborough Community College, CUNY.

Drastic Action has been supported by the the Bay and Paul Foundations, The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, Bossak/Heilbron Charitable Foundation, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, Creative Engagement, The Puffin Foundation, the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, The PSC-CUNY Research Foundation and the John and Jody Arnhold Foundation. The company was in residency at HERE Arts Center (2000-2002) and at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program (2001).