Daniel Gwirtzman, Assistant Professor, Department of Theatre Arts, receives grant for Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund


Contributed by Kelsey Dunne

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund has allocated a grant of $10,000 to the NY nonprofit toward the creation of an interactive educational digital resource geared toward a general viewership. This project aims to bridge the divide separating dance from mainstream culture, underscoring the primacy, purpose, and possibility of dance in contemporary life. Combining the instructional with the performative, the resulting films aim to increase the public’s knowledge of dance and their dance literacy, to share the love of dance, and to introduce ways to view, speak about, and participate in dance with comfort. This project is deeply aligned with the Company’s core values, objectives, and outcomes for which its programming has gained acclaim. The goal is to distribute this digital resource widely and freely, contributing to the Open Educational Resources movement (OER), in which knowledge is shared without cost, providing access to all.

The Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company, a nonprofit teaching and performing organization based in New York City, has demonstrated a commitment to education since its inception in 1998. Celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year 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. The Company believes everyone can join the dance. Programs encourage audiences to be active participants, as part of an 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 is known for its playful virtuosity, musicality, and charisma: “A troupe I’d follow anywhere” (The Village Voice), a “troupe of fabulous dancers” (Backstage) that “can’t help but smile” (The New Yorker). Regular seasons in NY are augmented by national and international tours and festival participation. Highlights include performances at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Bryant Park, Battery Dance Festival, La MaMa, and Jazz at Lincoln Center, and in Poland, France, Spain, Greece, Finland, and Brazil. Reviewing the 20th Anniversary Season produced by Manhattan’s 92nd Street Y this year OnStageBlog’s critic wrote, “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. 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.” www.gwirtzmandance.org