a performing and teaching company


Jason Garcia Ignacio and Cary McWilliam in Daniel Gwirtzman's Scenarios, photographed by Lois Greenfield

Scenarios, a longtime Company favorite, premiered in December 2002 during the Company’s four-performance run of New Territory at Joyce SoHo.  It was performed frequently between its premiere and 2006.  Daniel refers to Scenarios as among his favorites.

Among the strong images of the evening was a duet for Gwirtzman and Ignacio within the trio Scenarios, which made nice use of their difference in size, returning to a motif of struggle but also arching to transcend gravity.” Chris Dohse, Dance Magazine

“Top marks go to Ignacio in Scenarios.  His expressiveness and wondrous athleticism heightened the pain of watching the dancers’ harsh interactions.” Eva Yaa Asantewaa, The Village Voice



Scenarios was one of the pieces I treasured the most. I was dealing with a lot of personal things with family and friends when Scenarios was being created. It was almost as if Danny was choreographing my life. There was a section in the piece where I stood and watched Cary and Danny arguing, it was an exact depiction of what was going on with me at that time. The couple who took care of me in NJ grew out of love after 32 years of marriage and everyday I see them pretend that everything was ok. It was heart breaking to see that scenario and I channeled all that tension to the piece. When you see your loved ones grew out of love you die a little. Scenarios is a very successful piece, everyone loves it wherever we go because of the humanity that it brings, everybody can relate to it.

Born in Manila, Philippines, Jason Garcia Ignacio began dancing at the age of 12 with Gigi Felix Velarde David, Ballet Philippines, Philippine Ballet Theater and Steps Dance Studio. He later moved to New York where he studied at Ballet Hispanico, The Ailey School and Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance.  Jason made his New York debut with Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company, for which he danced for five solid years.  Thereafter he joined Graham II, touring nationally and performing principal roles. He has performed as a soloist for companies such as Cortez’nCo., Connecticut Ballet, Verb Ballets and American Repertory Ballet. In 2007, Jason moved to Washington, DC to join CityDance Ensemble. He is a co-founder and former Associate Artistic Director of Company E.

Jason has earned many awards throughout his career, including being named as one of the “Top 20 Showstopper Artists” by the Washingtonian Magazine in 2008, the 2009 Mayor’s Arts Award for “Outstanding Emerging Artist”, the 2009 MetroDC Dance Award for “Outstanding Individual Performance.”  His career includes significant international work, teaching workshops and master classes at dance companies, festivals and institutions around the world, including the Philippines, China, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Belarus, Abu Dhabi, Finland, Spain and Germany.


While watching Scenarios so many years later I’ve been transported back.  The movement is so familiar and visceral yet now I am able to  see the dance with new eyes, where I never could when I was in it.  It’s a beautiful dance – a journey from beginning to end.  It reminds me of a classical painting with tableaus of a family where you don’t know the whole story but are given only a hint of the narrative.  What Danny has done, is connected those moments and created a powerful dance.

Performing this dance was emotionally and physically demanding.  It was driven a great deal by character. Those characters we were allowed to explore, in the creation of the dance, in the moment of performance and throughout the run.  There were technical challenges expected as well. Some of those lifts, high legs, quick sudden changes and even the more pedestrian movements were quite choreographed, even though looking back, seemed to happen without effort and purely as a reaction in the moment.

There are many performances I remember.  One was the Built on Stilts festival on Martha’s Vineyard.  We were in residency at The Yard at the time and we had an opportunity to be a part of the dance festival in an octagonal church. We were one of many companies in the back few rooms warming up or splayed on the grass outside getting ready to perform.  It was informal in many ways, without a proscenium but the openness of the church, the balcony and the stained glass made the room transform and become the set to our story.  It was joy and I miss it.

Cary McWilliam, a longstanding muse for the choreographer–she first danced in Gwirtzman’s work at The University of Michigan as undergraduates–is a founding dancer of the Company.  She performed from 1998-2008 and had many roles created specifically for her including Obsession, Coupling, Shifting, Puzzle, Cycles, Vanity, Poles, and Encore, where she originated the part of the costumer!