"Since the early 1970s, David Appel, graduate of Bennington College and child of the Judson Church era, has been devoted to exploring the possibilities of human movement through the use of improvisational techniques. Watching Appel and his dancers move, one immediately recognizes the characteristic elements of his work—the remarkable clarity and precision with which each movement is executed, juxtaposed with an uncanny sensitivity to subtleties of form and expression. Although Appel’s choreography derives from a number of influences, including the work of Simone Forti, Dana Reitz, T’ai Chi Ch’uan, Aikido, and contact improvisation, it is his distinctive use of improvisational techniques which accounts for the highly individual quality of his dances. While many of his works are deeply introspective, others convey strong convictions about social and political issues. What they have in common is a beauty of abstract movement and complexity of internal structure which combine to create a movement language capable of expressing meaning on many levels. Although the use of improvisation, as both a tool for composition and a vehicle for performance, pervades all of Appel’s work, its presence is frequently imperceptible. But it is Appel’s conviction that this method ultimately constitutes the means to a movement vocabulary which is meaningful and accessible to both artist and audience."
Kathryn Temple, Contact Quarterly