David Marchant

David Marchant

​Professor of Practice in Dance
Coordinator of the Dance Program
Coordinator of Dance and Somatic Studies Program in University College
MFA, University of Iowa
research interests:
  • Modern Dance
  • Choreography
  • Improvisation
  • Alexander Technique

contact info:

office hours:

  • ​By Appointment

mailing address:

  • Washington University
    One Brookings Drive
    St. Louis, MO 63130-4899

​David Marchant specializes in aesthetic theory, technique, composition and improvisation in the concert art of contemporary dance.

David Marchant is Professor of the Practice, on the faculty of Washington University in St. Louis since 1994, specializing in aesthetic theory, technique, composition and improvisation in the concert art of contemporary dance. He is the coordinator of the University College Somatic Studies Certificate Program at Washington University, offering students a curriculum in integrative movement practices, complimented by theoretical knowledge from a wide variety of fields investigating the art, spirit, and science of human movement.

Marchant is a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique and a member of the American Society of Alexander Teachers (AmSAT).  He maintains a professional private teaching practice, instructing individuals in the methods of F.M.  Alexander for re-pattering of fundamental movement coordination.

David was a company member with the Utah Repertory Dance Theatre from 1989 to 1991.  David was a recipient of the Iowa Arts Fellowship for excellence in choreography from 1991 to 1993, while earning a Master of Fine Arts degree from University of Iowa.

He is Co-Artistic Director of ZoMotion Arts with his wife, Holly Seitz Marchant, performing site-specific installations in natural environments, including tree-climbing as dance art form. In addition to his work as a choreographic artist, David is a recognized professional improvisational composer and performer, including contact improvisation, and has performed with notable artists such as Andrew Harwood and Chris Aiken.



David is developing a dance/movement coordination training method called “Quadruped,” which applies principles of the Alexander Technique and Dart Procedures to refine coordination, strength, flexibility, and balance. This approach is also being explored as a somatic practice, suitable for all people, for a variety of constructive, educational or therapeutic applications.

Additionally,  Marchant investigates the application of Contact Improvisation as a therapeutic intervention for persons with Parkinson's Disease. 

David also studies the relationship of visual and kinesthetic perception to the aesthetics of human motion, and performance skill of dancing. 

And, for the past 5 years, David, along with collaborators John Toenjes and Ben Smith at the University of Illinois, is presently investigating computer mediated dance/music composition. We are not only interested in the ways in which computers offer new tools to make art work, but also as potential physical educational and therapeutic tools that develop movement skill and kinesthetic awareness through dynamic audio feedback. 

Teaching & Choreography

David is an active professional artist and teacher, performing and conducting master classes and residencies at universities throughout the United States and abroad.  He has been a guest at Movement Arts and Design in Europe (MADE) in France, Tsinghua University in Beijing China, Beijing Modern Dance Company, American Dance Festival, University of Iowa, University of Illinois, Chicago Academy of the Arts, Stephens College Winona State University, Purdue, University of Northern Colorado, Scripps and Pomona College.