Obsession is a signature duet from the repertory, choreographed by Daniel in 1999. Board member Oren Harary had discovered the music while traveling in Argentina. He envisioned a dance for the Company and as soon as it was shared with Daniel, the obsession with the music began. Soledad’s music, Que Nadie Sepa Mi Sufrir (May No One Know My Suffering), is a popular song of Argentine origin that has been recorded in various Spanish-speaking countries. The duet premiered that winter, as dancer Cary McWilliam reminisces, below. The gorgeous gauzy costumes, in multiple shades of red, are the work of acclaimed fashion designer Miguelina.
INTERVIEW with CARY McWILLIAM
Obsession is a DGDC classic and was always a treat to perform. Danny and I performed it countless times in countless venues. I remember Danny coming in to the studio with the music for the first time. We listened to it a lot before starting any movement but soon It became a dance full of tricky rhythmic movement and complicated partnering.
The first performance of Obsession, presented by DRA’s (Dancers Responding to AIDS) the remember project at St. Mark’s Church, was quite memorable. We cycled through the dance, from beginning to end, three times as if caught in a loop. It was of course exhilarating being the first time performed but was also totally exhausting. From then on it was done only one time through.
The costumes by Miguelina were a joy to dance in (expect when my toes got stuck in the skirt!). My most memorable performance was again produced by DRA but this time on Fire Island as part of the Fire Island Dance Festival. We were set in front of a beautiful view of blue sky and sea, on a stark white stage amidst an amazing roster of dancers. It was hot, the marley was slippery and it was a great time.
At the premiere, we finished the dance the first time through with a blackout so it was a complete surprise to the audience that we were to continue. There had already been lively applause, part of the magic of this spirited event and of being surrounded by the audience on three sides at St. Mark’s, with all the other performers cheering on from the balcony. When it became apparent that we were going to repeat the entire dance, the energy went through the roof. And then another blackout. When the lights and music came up for the third iteration, it was truly shocking, hilarious, and demanding for us as performers. We danced the first thirty seconds this third time before fading to black. I had sea legs as we had yet to work up the stamina for this new dance. The adrenalin of performing can work in multiple directions, making us work harder than we have in the studio and also keeping us going. The obsessive nature of the repetition was a fantastic conceptual device.
Miguelina Gambaccini, the creative founding director and designer, was extremely generous with costuming the Company during this early period of our history, for which we are grateful. We continue to benefit from and enjoy her artistry. Her costumes helped make Obsession the vivid dance it remains. A collaboration produced by Miguelina, with fashion photographer Giorgio Scola, produced some of these fabulous images on this page: Cary in the multi-colored tiered chiffon skirts, and in the blue shorts.