a performing and teaching company


Dance at the Gym

Dance At The Gym

The Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company returns this summer for a series of free lecture-performances at The YM & YWHA of Washington Heights & Inwood, 54 Nagle Avenue, 3rd Floor Gym. One Sunday per month beginning in April, at 3:30pm, the Company will present new choreography hot off the press. Gwirtzman and the Company will narrate these intimate showings, sharing insights about the process of making and maintaining dances. Each showing will be interactive and will close with a question and answer session. Interactive, fun and FREE! Reservations may be made at: info@gwirtzmandance.org.

The DANCE AT THE GYM series is comprised of four monthly interactive lecture-performance programs and will be open to the public. Each program will focus on a specific theme fundamental to contemporary dance with the aim of educating participants on ways to understand the art form, and to gain comfort in both viewing and speaking about it. Utilizing the Company’s partnership with the Y of Washington Heights & Inwood, the series will be held in the Y’s spacious and climate-controlled gym, with teaching lectures led by Artistic Director Daniel Gwirtzman. Chairs will be set up in the gym for the first part of the lecture, and later removed, giving the audience an opportunity to physicalize the concepts Gwirtzman has introduced, with other Company members in attendance to participate, demonstrate, and assist.

An essential component of the project, the creation of Reforming, a site-specific dance to be choreographed in the Y’s gym and set to a commissioned score by composer Jeff Story, will premiere during the final program, with live music. Participants will have the opportunity to see excerpts from the new work as it develops, with each program being capable of standing on its own. Participants may attend all four sessions, thereby increasing their understanding of developing a work-in-progress for a premiere.

Each program will present one concept central to contemporary dance as seen through the development of this piece.

April’s lecture will introduce the primary element of dance—the body—and illustrate how dancers care for and develop that instrument. Participants will observe the Company warming up, with Gwirtzman explaining the various techniques in use and giving the audience an opportunity to try some of the exercises.

In May, “The Possibilities of Partnering” will highlight the many ways in which a dancer can partner with another: mirroring, following, attaching, and exploring shared weight will form the foundation of our exploratory work. The Company will demonstrate excerpts from the repertory that showcase a range of partnering possibilities, and audience members will have the opportunity to do partnering of their own, including trust exercises and simple choreographic studies.

June’s “Music and Dance: Cheek to Cheek” showcases the myriad ways in which music and dance can work together. The Company will illustrate the interaction between the music and the choreography. The composer will be involved in the program to describe the collaborative process and its unique benefits to both musicians and dancers.

The final program, “Diversity of Styles: Commonalities of Form”, depicts compositional elements shared among diverse dance forms. This culminating event concludes with the premiere of Reforming and a question-and-answer session with the eight dancers and two musicians involved in the production.

Sunday, April 17 — Body Language: Expression and Virtuosity

Sunday, May 22 —The Possibilities of Partnering

Sunday, June 26 — Music and Dance Cheek to Cheek

Sunday, July 24 — Diversity of Styles: Commonalities of Form

All shows begin at 3:30pm in the Y’s gym.

Dance at the Gym is made possible in part with public funds from the Fund for Creative Communities, supported by New York State Council on the Arts and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Dance at the Gym has been produced with the support of the Open Society Foundations and the Fund for the City of New York.