Performer • Performance Coach • Director • Writer
As a performer, Daniel Isengart is a specialist in the continental Franco-German cabaret style and one of the first of his generation to re-introduce the genre in New York City's performance scene, beginning in 1997, with regular engagements at, among other venues, Joe’s Pub, Café Sabarsky, the BAMCafé, The Bowery Poetry Club, Duane Park, Deutsches Haus, the Museum Mile Festival as well as guest appearances at SF MoMA, the Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art, the now defunct Playboy Casino in Cancun, Mexico, and the Philadelphia Museum.
In 2007, Isengart began to produce and direct as he created a pop-up variety show called Foreign Affairs that ran successfully in multiple venues, culminating with a-year-long residency at the Night Hotel in Times Square in 2009. In 2008, The Museum of Modern Art commissioned Isengart to create a variety show for a special event for its seminal exhibit on the German Expressionist painter Ludwig Kirchner. Isengart called the show The Boulevard of Berlin Dreams, and it featured, among others, a Kirchner-inspired fashion show created exclusively by Machine Dazzle.
In 2011 saw the beginnings of a fruitful collaboration with maestro Edwin Outwater, under whose baton Isengart eventually performed songs by Kurt Weill (with soprano Measha Brueggergosman) and HK Gruber’s seminal song cycle Frankenstein!! In 2016, Outwater invited Isengart to act as dramaturg, stage director and narrator for the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony Orchestra’s first ever staged concert of an opera – Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus. Isengart also developed and directed shows for international chanteuse Yanna Avis, had a stint as assistant director with the now defunct Loftopera company, gave undergraduate guest lectures on the history of cabaret and Kleinkunst at Duke University, and taught an erstwhile masterclass on The Art of the MC in Montreal, Canada.
In early 2019, Isengart returned to the KWS to direct and narrate the company’s second opera-in-concert production, Carmen, under the baton of its new Music Director, Andrei Feher.
Two other defining elements in Isengart’s life have been cooking and writing. He moonlights as a private chef and has written extensively about food and culture: his culinary memoir/cookbook, The Art of Gay Cooking, published in 2018 by Outpost19, is a literary appropriation of The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook that follows in the footsteps of his partner Filip Noterdaeme's memoir, The Autobiography of Daniel J. Isengart, an adaptation of The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas. Illustrated by Filip Noterdaeme, the cookbook also sports a foreword by Jeremiah Tower, the legendary godfather of modern American cuisine. In addition, Isengart was – from July to November 2018 – the sole writer of Slate's first and only weekly food and cooking advice column, The Pickle.
Daniel Isengart lives in Brooklyn, with his partner, conceptual artist and writer Filip Noterdaeme.