The Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company, a New York-based nonprofit organization directed by choreographer, teacher, and dancer Daniel Gwirtzman has demonstrated a commitment to education since its inception in 1998. Celebrating its 22nd Anniversary, over two decades of programming without pause, the Company has stayed true to its mission of cultivating the creation of innovative art and presenting this to the public in interactive, accessible, and meaningful ways. This is achieved through classes, workshops, lecture-demonstrations, residencies, performances, dance films, our websites, and instructional videos. Programs encourage audiences to be active participants, as part of the Company's effort to integrate communities into the dance-making and performing process. striving to teach people how dance can play a meaningful part of their physical and overall well-being.
The Company holds regular seasons in NY, tours regionally and internationally, and participates in festivals. Since the beginning, DGDC has been transforming diverse populations of all abilities and ages into dancers. The Company has been contracted with the New York City Department of Education since 1999, teaching more than 25,000 students, including parents, teachers, administrators, and special education students within the City's public schools to learn and create dances, improvise, collaborate and perform, and conducting professional development workshops for NYC DOE dance educators.
Known for its entertaining flair, stylistic diversity, musicality, innovation, and accessibility, Mr. Gwirtzman's choreography has received praise. "A troupe I'd follow anywhere," The Village Voice has written. The organization is always looking for opportunities to expand the scope of its programming, and to promote the creative work that the Company produces.
Dynamic and multifaceted, the Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Compay has a rich twenty-one year history. Please visit the Company Trailer, a four-minute overview of the Company's programming.
Thanks to leadership support from The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Company is creating an educational digital resource centered around a library of new videos and films. Geared toward a general viewership this multi-faceted project seeks to demystify concert dance by explaining ways to view dance and discussing how dances are made. Through performance and studio footage the resource intends to help teach people how to think and speak about dance. The film will present favorite dances from the Company’s repertory, provide health and wellness best practices, define dance’s concepts, and contextualize its histories.
Over these twenty plus years the Company has operated under the belief that everyone can dance. We have been diverse and inclusive since our inception. Inclusion is woven into the foundational fabric of our pedagogy, practice, and programming, and our commitment to diversity has been a throughline in our history. The diversity of our bodies, ethnically, racially, geographically, and physically, has long been noted. Dancers from underrepresented groups have always had prominence and parity, as has gender. 2021 marks a continuum of two decades of innovative dance production without pause. The Company, known for its playful virtuosity, accessibility and charisma, premiered a new work, Intersections, itself a celebration of diversity, February 2020. The 92nd Street Y’s Harkness Center for Dance presented this 20th Anniversary New York season, Intersections and Welcome to the World of Dance, to critical and public acclaim. The New York Times characterized these events as one of the “Eight Dance Performances to See in NYC This Weekend:”
The Y’s series hosts Gwirtzman as he celebrates his company’s 20th anniversary with the premiere of “Intersections,” a work that pushes the boundaries of physicality as it explores the potential danger and beauty of intersections. On Sunday, the choreographer has designed an interactive family-friendly program for children ages 5 and up, “Welcome to the World of Dance,” which serves as an introduction to contemporary dance.
“Provocative, whimsical, and ethereal, the Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company defies expectations of postmodern dance and soars, unafraid to take risks and dazzle with unflinching honesty….At times, just the urgency and power conveyed in the dancers’ glances deserved applause...The company shoots energy through every limb and glance the entire evening, and Gwirtzman’s choreography shines through in every piece as an ultimate force of nature.”
Read Full Review in OnStageBlog.com
“The result was at once elegant and intimate….The imagination shown in the lifts provided a stimulating contrast...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...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.”
Read Full Review in TheaterScene.com
Dance Magazine visited DGDC in the studio, streaming 11 minutes of rehearsal live to Dance Magazine’s Facebook Page. Featuring Stacy Martorana and Daniel in Shifting three minutes in.
At the Rochester KeyBank Fringe Festival, critic Jack Garner singled out the Company’s production of Encore at Geva Theatre, the critical “cream of the crop.” This is a link to the review.
We also found a new delight — the Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company, through their wonderful program-long piece, Encore. It’s a highly theatrical staging of dance, making the audience feel they’re watching a company rehearsal, as the performers work their informal but precise way to a WOW finish! (It’s a bit like a modern dance variation of A Chorus Line.) There’s lots of artful and energetic dance, choreographed by Gwirtzman. He’s a Rochester native who once worked with Garth Fagan’s company before heading to Manhattan. Check out his work if you ever get the chance, in New York or another Fringe, or wherever. It’s fabulous.
The performance of our quintessential summer-themed Summertime Suite at Battery Dance Festival last August was enthusiastically documented and received. We were on the cover of Downtown Express.
Our mission is to educate the public about the art of dance in interactive, accessible and relevant ways. We consider the scope of the arc of the art of dance, throughout history, over time and place, to be inherently inclusionary and diverse. The pedagogy and curricula range from different continents, bringing dance forms to the public stage for explanation and discussion. Our innovative programming is designed to transform audiences into active participants, striving to teach how dance can play a meaningful part of one’s physical and overall well-being and to gain comfort engaging in, viewing and communicating critically about dance. Invention, community, quality and charisma are core values. The New York Sun summarized the organization when writing: “Founded upon a philosophy that dance should celebrate human achievement through a combination of discipline and unbound optimism.” The artistic vision is to share the Company’s culture of rigorous humanity through direct experiences: interactive performances, community-building projects and forward-thinking applications of technology. We seek to bridge the divide separating dance from the mainstream culture, underscoring the primacy, purpose, and possibility of dance in contemporary life. We believe that dance’s power to shift people’s perceptions and identities, one person at a time, can create transformative ripples into society at large.
The Company views its accomplishments in the areas of art-making, education, and community-building. A primary accomplishment for the organization is its continuous history of production, programming for two decades without pause. Our large and stylistically diverse repertory is noted for its universality, entertaining flair, musicality, and humor. Blending virtuosic precision with pedestrian ease, the dancers are renown for their charisma and technical brilliance. “A troupe I’d follow anywhere,” (The Village Voice), a “troupe of fabulous dancers” (Back Stage) that “can’t help but smile” (The New Yorker). Performance highlights include Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival, numerous projects with Dance NOW and Dancers Responding to AIDS, in Times Square, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and at The Kennedy Center. We’ve performed at Bryant Park multiple times; being featured in a show of our Greatest Hits in 2015 stands out as a high point. The Company has been invited to perform in the summer of 2020.
DGDC has enjoyed years of collaborations with dancers, composers, designers, technicians and other artists. One piece we view as a defining accomplishment is Encore, an evening-length show, that premiered in 2007 at Joyce SoHo, was an official selection of the New York Musical Theater Festival in 2009, and continues to tour and get set on other companies and dance departments. The Joyce Theater presented it for its Family Matinee series during its 25th Anniversary season. It has been set at The University of Florida, the Joffrey School, La Guardia High School for the Performing Arts, the Frank Sinatra School for the Performing Arts, and the University at Buffalo, among other places, and has been licensed by the Rochester City Ballet and Eisenhower Dance Ensemble, both professional troupes.
Another defining work that is highly collaborative, for a cast of fourteen, is The Oracle, which premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s BAM Fisher as the culminating event of the Company’s 15th Anniversary Season in the spring of 2014. Touring the work to Atlanta the following year, it was reviewed as one of the best dance events of the year. Cynthia Bond-Perry wrote that the work “offered fresh perspective on modern dance’s formal values with sparkling sweep and joyful physicality. Dancers gave form to space with mathematical elegance and human warmth. Their outstretched limbs arced and criss-crossed as they leaned in and sprang off of one another, weaving ever-changing configurations in a vision that vibrated on a frequency of harmony and brilliance.”
The Company has produced both pedagogical films and art films. Site-specific dance films have screened in local, regional, national, and international festivals, including twice in the American Dance Festival’s International Screendance Festival with No Trespassing and Terrain. The Company has been awarded residencies and commissions by the Joyce Theater Foundation.
(NYC), The Yard on Martha’s Vineyard, (six times), Raumars Artist-in-Residence Program (Finland), the Sacatar Foundation in Brazil (twice), the Djerassi Resident Artists Program in California (twice), CUNY Dance Initiative, Inception to Exhibition (NYC, several times), Ucross Foundation (Wyoming), The Studios of Key West (FL), La MaMa (NYC), the Queens Museum of Art, the Skafiotes Residency (Greece), Maison Dora Maar, (France), and the Aktuelle Architektur der Kultur (Spain).
A key accomplishment for the Company has been its commitment to education, demonstrated since our inception in 1998 and rewarded most generously in 2010-12, with the significant award of a large multi-year Performing Arts Recovery Grant from George Soros’ Open Society Foundation. Our rich history of partnering with university dance departments has led to multiple residencies throughout the country and abroad. Contracted with the Department of Education since 1999, DGDC has taught dance to over 30,000 students, providing yearlong teaching and performing residencies in the City’s public schools. The Company has worked extensively in The Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan, pre-K through high school. The Company served as a consultant for the New York City Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in the Arts: Dance, the curriculum mandated by Mayor Bloomberg.
The Company has a history of community-enhancing projects, thriving on collaborations with community-based cultural organizations throughout and outside of New York City, including the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, Abrons Arts Center and the YM & YWHA of Washington Heights & Inwood. A Seniors Partnering with Artists City-wide grant (SPARC) allowed us to provide services in creative aging programming at one of the City’s pioneering innovative senior centers, supported by the NEA and Mayor Bloomberg; we were the first company in residence at the original SAGE center. The Company has historically woven communities into performance projects. The Company had a very strong relationship with The Yard, on Martha’s Vineyard, from 1998-2005, working with students of all ages in classes and in the development of multi-generational performances. In 1998 we integrated community members into an evening-length dance with the Company, performed at the Martha’s Vineyard Performing Arts Center in Oak Bluffs, MA. In 2002, the Company was in residence in Finland for two months developing a project that brought together over sixty local people, some of whom had no previous dance or performance experience. In 2003, DGDC worked with untrained and trained dancers, presenting an evening-length dance in Salvador, Brazil.
The Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company, a New York-based nonprofit organization directed by…