Friday, June 10, 2011


Margaret Beals
"Margaret Beals can not be classified, or cubby-holed
She does honor the the multiple meanings of a magical word -Theater."
Walter Terry, N.Y. Times

Pioneer of Dance Improvisation
known for her work in both pure dance and verbal improvisations. Self-taught during her early years,
she developed an individual approach to movement,
which later included the voice.
This technique of spoken poetry in motion included works to writings by
Edna St. Vincent Millay, Carl Sandburg, Sylvia Plath, and Virginia Woolf.


with such musicians as
cellist Gwendolyn Watson, tabla player Badal Roy,
and clarinet and saxophonist Stan Strickland.
as well as
jazz musicians Arnie Lawrence, Cecil McBee, Lee Konitz, Sam Rivers.

Impulses Company
Which she created in the late 1960's,
composed of Ms. Beals, a lighting designer, a vocalist
and several musicians working spontaneously.
From 1970-1976 the company gave more than 30 performances
at venues included Cubiculo Theatre,
Washington Square Methodist Church,
St. Clement's Church, Reese-Paley Gallery,
WBAI Free Music Store, and Video Exchange.

"More than a lesson in what good dance improvisation is all about.
It was a first-rate musical event."

"The Impulses Company appears to thrive
on the 'anything goes' principle,
never showing signs of flagging inspiration or repetition."
The Company also appeared at
Dance Umbrella, the Delacorte Theater in Central Park,
Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival,
the Windhover Center for the Performing Arts,
and the Library of Congress.
at the Het Festival (Holland), 
the International Festival de Danse (Paris),
the ICA, and The Place (London).

Appearances In Others Work
Valerie Bettis' renowned solo "The Desperate Heart,"

Manuel Alum's "Palomas,"
Jose Limon's "Passacaglia in C",
and as a member of the Lucas Hoving Company.
Her special skills have been used in dramatic roles
that require dance as well as speech,
like Dewey Dell in Valerie Bettis' adaptation of "As I Lay Dying,"
Anna Livia Plurabelle in Jean Erdman's "The Coach with the Six Insides" based on James Joyce's "Finnegan's Wake",
and, Chorus in "Murder in the Cathedral"
with the American Shakespeare Festival.

She's been teaching dance improvisation in her loft since 1973.
In the late 80s, an improvisation group emerged from these classes,
now together 23 years, the group meets once a week,
and has given many open workshop showings.
In addition, she taught Dance Improvisation and Yoga
at the American Dance Festival from 1970-1972,
New York University School of Education from 1975-1978.
From 1990 to 2000 she led a residency
each summer at the Honeywell House in Cape Cod, MA.

Impulses Company
Margaret Beals - Dancer
Collin Walcott - Sitar
From film, 1974 
Pure Improvisation
Bansuri Flute: G.S. Sachdev
St Marks Church - 1989

Still Dancing - Still Teaching

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