Maria Bauman is an artist and a community organizer. Maria Bauman founded MBDance in 2007, creating duets & small group dances from a sense of physical & emotional power, a desire for equity, and a fascination with intimacy & relationship. For that work, she has been honored by GO! Magazine as a “Woman at the Helm.” Described in the New York Times as “texturally rich in its gestural language, and beautifully performed…,” Bauman’s choreography employs both linear and circular narrative, drawing viewers in to address pressing social issues from multiple perspectives, and is also influenced by Bauman’s extensive study of capoeira, an African Brazilian vernacular movement form.
In New York, Bauman’s work has been showcased at Harlem Stage, 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Center, Dixon Place, the Kumble Theater, SummerStage NYC, the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (BAAD!), WOW Café Theater, BRICstudios, and DTW (now NY Live Arts). In addition, Bauman and MBDance have shared work across the U.S. and in Singapore.
Bauman has danced with Urban Bush Women, Nia Love/Blacksmith’s Daughter, Adele Myers and Dancers, Angela’s Pulse, 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 recently serving as Associate Artistic Director of that company.
Among other honors, she has received a 2014 CUNY Dance Initiative Residency Award, 2012-13 and 2009-10 Harlem Stage Fund for New Work via The Jerome Foundation, and a 2010-11 Dance Theater Workshop Studio Series. She has been recognized by the New York Foundation for the Arts as an Emerging Leader in the Arts.
Bauman is also a teacher. She is an annual faculty member for the American Dance Festival Winter Intensive and Urban Bush Women’s Summer Leadership Institute, and has been an adjunct professor of dance at Hunter College. She has facilitated learning for students at venues such as Long Island University, American College Dance Festival, the Florida State University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Brooklyn Arts Exchange. Bauman recently returned from China where she was teaching contemporary dance with the American Dance Festival.
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, is a WOW Café Theatre collective member (theater space by and for women and transgender artists), and is on the Laundromat Project’s Artists + Community Council. Bauman is a founding member of the Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts Working Group (NOCD-NY), and is part of the Downtown Brooklyn Arts Alliance.