Gwirtzman Dance Company: Intersections
By R. Pikser
20th anniversary concert of Daniel Gwirtzman’s was a retrospective
of pieces created between 1999 and 2018. The pieces were extracted from their
original ballets and put together for this hour and a half concert, and were
restaged for presentation in the round in Buttenwieser Hall, the large open
second floor dance space of the 92nd Street Y, with an intricately
painted beamed ceiling hung with chandeliers. The audience was placed on two
rows of seats on all four sides of the space. The result was at once elegant
credit: Liz Schneider-Cohen
evening’s pieces included unison works and duets, trios and quartets, the
smaller group pieces often developing the movements of the unison pieces into
inventive lifts, with bodies counterbalancing each other and intertwining, the
sculptured shapes appearing to sprout new body parts or to eliminate them.
The imagination shown in the lifts provided a stimulating contrast to the
similarity of the vocabulary.
choreography used different levels, from floor to air, and was mostly concerned
with cleanness of execution, in which aspect Jose Garcia Ignacio excelled.
However, watching both Christian von Howard, one of Mr. Gwirtzman’s original
company members, and Simone Stevens, formerly a student of Mr. Gwirtzman, one
could see that there exists the possibility of using these same movements to
express texture and even emotional subtext. Both of these dancers infused
their every movement with an awareness, a sensuality, and a presence in the moment
that made each of them riveting in their own way.
because it depends on the body, partakes of sensuality by its very nature.
Sensuality suggests a certain surrender of oneself, implies a certain danger,
the danger of losing control. The play of sensuality is the play between that
surrender, that possible loss of control, and at what moment one gives in,
maybe to lose oneself, or pulls back, once again taking control. It is for
that moment we wait with bated breath. It is the moment spoken of by Martha
Graham when she likens dancers to an acrobat on a high wire, living at the
instant of danger. These two dancers recalled that sensuality to us, and
reminded us of why we go to see dance and why it pulls at our souls.
Gwirtzman Dance Company
to the World of Dance
and Lexington Avenue