Photo by Anja Hitzenberger.
Gibney Dance marked an important milestone at the Ailey Citigroup Theater with Retro-ACTIVE, which celebrated 20 years of evocative choreography.
The program included excerpts from evening length works including Time Remaining (2002), Thrown (2004), Several Truths (2001), The Distance Between Us (2007), View Partially Obstructed (2009), and my personal favorite, unbounded (2005). Having seen most of these works before, I was really thrilled with the curation of the night, each work focusing on spacial awareness and partnering.
The night also included new twists on the original choreography with the addition of men to the company performing works that were created on women. For example, the duet with Andrew Avery and Joshua Palmer in The Distance Between Us evoked a tension that hasn’t been seen in Gibney work for ten years. unbounded also had an interesting dynamic with its intensely difficult choreography that challenged the male and female bodies very differently.
All in all, it was wonderful to see this array of powerful work by Gibney Dance on stage.
Every dance company has open studios where they invite select members of their community to view their works in an intimate setting. For most organizations, this is a perk bestowed upon the most delicately, handcrafted group of patrons, but that’s not the case with Gibney Dance. Gibney Dance generously offers its audience the opportunity to view works in process at the studio many times throughout the year. Not only is one afforded the opportunity to view the work in an informal setting, but Gina invites the audience to provide feedback.
Gibney Dance, with whom I’ve had a long history of involvement, presented an excerpt from View Partially Obstructed complete with visuals from Joshue Ott of SuperDraw, music by Ryan Lott and costumes by Lex Liang. It was a lovely night with a moving performance – each time I see this piece, I see and feel something new – complete with the special opportunity of having to catch a prop before it fell to the ground. I really appreciate the Open Studios Gibney Dance puts on along with the other community related events including Sorry I Missed your Show, One Shot, and Boo-Koo which all take place at the newly expanded Gibney Dance Center at 890 Broadway.
As always, the lovely Courtney Drasner was graceful and elegant yet powerful and sure with her movement. Here is an excerpt from the open studio.
All in all, it was wonderful to see live dance that continues to morph each time I see it. That is the beauty of dance.