originator of the
What can you say about a person
who at an early age discovered
that she would be content to spend
90 percent of her life in a closet thinking,
yet who thought nothing of hopping
a freight train to Berkeley, California at the
age of 17 with only $50 dollars in
her pocket, to pursue dancing?
Mary Overlie is an observer/participant, a deconstructing postmodern theatre practitioner, an original anarchist. She is a woman who is not afraid of obscurity, or worried that being unknown might obscure her ideas. She prefers to remain out of the limelight in order to create. She has a deep trust and confidence in a piercing mind. At a young age she displayed an intense physical and intellectual confidence.The Theory and Practice of The Six Viewpoints were borne out that confidence with a quiet yet infectious impact.
“Observe the ingredients, the materials of performance, contemplate the particles.
Once you find them, train yourself to listen, allow them to become your teachers,
embrace them as profound partners. Allow them to create.”
Any theater artist standing in Overlie’s classroom is immediately drawn to her clarity: able to absorb, comprehend and take her teachings to heart. Throughout her many years of teaching, she has managed to articulate a very basic and functional view and practice of postmodern art. Her views on performance are clear and resilient as the views and grass on the high prairie.
Overlie was born January 15, 1946 in Terry, Montana; conceived Movement Research, a cooperative dance organization of international renown; founded Danspace Project with Barbara Dilley, a dance presenting organization in New York City; first teacher hired to establish the Experimental Theatre Wing at Tisch School of the Arts at New York University; a choreographer and performer with an international reputation in the field of experimental dance, for many years teaching and performing as a part of theInternational Tanz Wochen working with Ismael Ivo and Karl Regensburger in Vienna. Recently retired after 39 years teaching in the Undergraduate Drama Department at NYU she now resides in Bozeman, Montana.
The Six Viewpoints is her child and it has done a unique thing in the world of theater and performance philosophy; it has come with a quiet and infectious ability to represent itself without her. She joins those who have worked to elevate theater. Her leveling of the creative hierarchy by focusing on the materials has conceptually and practically infected the performance worlds of both theater and dance.
director, arts institutes
Pro Series Workshops, Internationale Tanz Wochen Wien
Experimental Theater Wing, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. A theater school which began developing an education for performers and directors in the movement, acting, and voice reflecting the evolution of postmodern arts philosophy which began in the sixties with companies like Polish Theater Lab, Growtowsly, Foreman, Wooster Group.
Experimental Theater Wing , NYU. Paris ETW was developed as a one year option for ETW students. The location made it possible for ETW to have access to European theater tech in the context of American avant garde theater studies.
1991 - 1997; Vienna
1989 - 1991; New York
1985 - 1987; Paris
Six Viewpoints International Institute Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana
Pro Series Internationale Tanz Wochen Wien Vienna, Austria (co-founders Suzanne Linke, Karin Saporta, Ismale Ivo)
Movement Research New York City (co-founders Cynthia Hedstrom, Wendell Beavers Danny Lepkoff, Christian Svane, Richard Kerry)
Danspace St. Mark's Church, New York City (co-founder Barbara Dilly)
Six Viewpoints Developed a conceptual articulation for postmodern performance and a teaching system that is applicable to directing, choreographing, dancing, acting, improvisation, and analysis. The Six Viewpoints has been adopted as a basis for the core curriculum at ETW at NYU. In January, 1998, there was a national conference on the Viewpoints held in New York, sponsored by NYU, Pace University and Stage Directors and Choreographer Foundation. The theory of this work was finally completed in 2003.
Postmodern Dance School A cross-technical design for a four year dance education and two year teacher training program commissioned by the International Tanz Wochen Wien and the Austrian Government. Never implemented.
1978 - 2004
Faculty; Experimental Theater Wing, Tisch School of the Arts, Undergraduate Drama, NYU, New York *
Guest Faculty; European Dance Development Center, Arnhem, Netherlands *
Faculty; Internationale Tanz Wochen Wien, Vienna, Austria *
Guest Faculty; School for New Dance Development, Amsterdam, Netherlands *
Dansens Hus Danish Professional Dance Center, Copenhagen, Denmark *
Guest Faculty; Hogh School for Art Classical Dance Accadame, Arnhem, Netherlands *
1978 - 2015
1988 - 2002
1988 - 1999
1986 - 1987
1988 - 1997
1992 - 1997
* Postmodern Technique: a combination of Hamilton Floor Barre, Cunningham exercises, ballet, Contact Improvisation and Body Mind Centering information; Six Viewpoints Improvisation , Composition and Analysis
grants & awards
Bessie Achievement Award, for life time contribution to dance
Arnhem City Council Grant, "On Site Arnhem"
Danish Cultural Ministry, "Project Grant"
NEA/Dance, choreographic fellowship grant
Bessie Achievement Award, for creation of the Studies Project of Movement Research
Experimental Theater Wing; New York University, New York City
European Dance Development Center; Arnhem, Netherlands
Montana Ballet; Bozeman, Montana
The Kitchen Center for Video, Music and Dance; New York City
Danspace at St. Mark's Church; New York City
Dance Theater Workshop; New York City
The Bunch Theater Festival; New York City
1996, '95, '94, '92
1990, '88, '79, '78
Dance Video Workshop with Merce Cunningham
Technique and Composition workshop with Suzanne Linke
Private ballet classes and floor barre with Jean Hamilton
Body Mind Centering with Beth Goren
Ballet and alignment with Francis Cott
Contact Improvisation with Steve Paxton
Barbara Dilley, Yvonne Rainer
Martha Graham Technique with David Wood and two workshops with Martha Graham
Cunningham Technique with Margret Jenkins
Jose Limon technique with Anne Swearingen and Betty Jones
Ballet and improvisation with Harvey Jung, in Montana (a former New York City Opera Ballet Company Member).
Graduated high school in 1964 from Bozeman High School in Bozeman Montana.
1973 - 1979
1972 - 1975
1968 - 1972
1966 - 1968
1965 - 1970
1964 - 1966
1955 - 1964
Freelance Choreographer, Denmark, Holland, Austria
Mary Overlie Dance Company, New York City
Judy Padow Dance Company, New York City
Natural History of the American Dancer, New York City
Anne Swearingen Dance Company, San Francisco
Teresa Dickensen Dance Company, San Francisco
San Francisco Mime Troupe, San Francisco
Jan Lapiner Dance Company, Berkeley
1985 - 1998
1978 - 1985
1975 - 1978
1970 - 1975
1968 - 1969
1966 - 1969
YU/Tisch Theater, New York - "We Have Nothing To Say and We Are Saying It"
Danspace at St. Mark's Church, New York - "Location Of Love"
Burgh Theater, Vienna - "Location of Love"
Concert Hall, Arnhem - "Remake of History"
EDDC, Arhenm and a tour of Germany - "Dances For Prepared Bodies"
Eden's Express Way, New York - "No Angels No Apes", "Glassed Imaginations"
EDDC, Arnhem - "Country"
The Kitchen, New York - "Flight of Desire"
International Tanz Wochen Wien - "Small Dance II"
The Kitchen Center, New York - "Blind Bird Box Dance", "The Muses"
Outdoor Montana - "Prairie Dance"
Outdoor Paris - improvisation ensemble
Experimental Theater Wing, Paris - "The Restaurant"
Espace Kiron, Paris - Solo Repertory, "Skies over America"
Danspace, St. Mark's Church, New York - "Small Dance", "Richard Serra Dance", "Tap Dance"
American Center, Paris - Repertory
The Kitchen Center, New York - "Hero II", "History", "Wallpaper II"
Dance Theater Workshop, New York - "Adam and Eve"
Vehicle Gallery, Montreal - "Swan Literary Duet"
New York University, New York - "Wallpaper", "Paper Waltz"
Museum of Modern Art, New York - "The Figure II"
The Kitchen Center, New York - "Hero"
Museum of Modern Art, New York - "The Figure"
The Kitchen Center, New York - Painters Dream"
Bunch Festival, Intermedia Theater, New York - "Possibility of Personal Failure", "Flower Garden"
Robert Freidus Gallery, New York - "Cartoon Coordinations"
Holly Solomon Gallery, New York - "Window Pieces", "Glassed Imaginations II", "Glassed Imaginations"
St. Mark's Church, New York - "Adam", "To Be Announced", "Wash", "Small Dance"
Fire House Theater, San Francisco - "Free Delivery"
Berkley Art Museum, Berkeley - "Free Delivery"
Portland State College, Portland - "Free Delivery"
collaboration / dance
Wendell Beavers, Paul Langland; Danspace, St. Mark's Church, New York Judson Church, Columbia University, Simon Forti Studio, Francis Alenikoff Studio
Cathy Weiss; European Dance Development Center, Arnhem - Video Dance Project
Wendell Beavers, Paul Langland; Eden's Expressway, New York - Improvisation
Paul Langland; Performance Festival School for New Dance Development, Amsterdam - "Coffee"Paul Langland; Performance Festival School for New Dance Development, Amsterdam - "Coffee"
Wendell Beavers, Paul Langland; Performance Festival School for New Dance Development, Amsterdam - Improvisation
Contact community; St. Mark's Church, New York - Contact Concert
Daniel Lepkoff, Christine Svane, members of the Contact community; Paula Cooper Gallery, New York - Improvisation, Contact Concert, "Where", "With Whom"
The Natural History; St. Mark's Church, New York - Improvisation
Rachel Lew, Cynthia Hedstrom; Artists House, New York - "Falling"
The Natural History; Artists House, New York - Improvisation
The Natural History; Emma Willard School, New York - Improvisation
The Natural History; Rutgers University, New Brunswick - Improvisation
The Natural History; Dance Circle, Boston - Improvisation
Jani Novak; The Fire House, San Francisco - "Mabeline"
The Natural History; The Whitney Museum, New York - Improvisation
The Natural History; Bennington College, Bennington - Improvisation
The Natural History; Kirkland Art Centre, New York - Improvisation
Lincoln Scott; PLACE, New York - "Raft"
Grand Union Performance; 122, Green St. Gallery, New York
Steve Paxton, Nancy Stark Smith; Castellie Gallerie, New York - First Contact Concert
1993 - 2000
collaboration / theatre
Lee Breur, Mass Moka; Massachusetts - "Red Beads"
Anne Bogart; New York University, New York - "South Pacific": Bessie Award
Lawrence Sacrow; Lama, New York - "Madness of the Day" *
Anne Bogart; on location in New York City - "Artouist"
Joanne Akilitis; Public Theater, New York - "Dead End Kids" *
Lee Breur, David Warrilow; Public Theater, New York - "The Lost Ones"
Joanne Akilitis; Public Theater, New York - "Dressed Like An Egg" *
Joanne Akilitis; Public Theater, New York - "Cascando"
Lee Breuer, Mabou Mines; Connecticut College, New London - "Saint and the Football Players" *
1999 - 2000
*These productions were awarded Obies