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The Fantasyland Project Screens Again OCT 30-NOV 2!

Contributed by Daniel Gwirtzman on 10/28/20 

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"The best live theater to stream online" wrote Time Out New York when The Fantasyland Project premiered this past July. The dance film is a collaboration between the NYC-based nonprofit Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company, three IC Department of Theatre Arts alums, and five current DTA students.

Back by popular demand, and timed to provide an escape route on the road to Election Day and to celebrate the fantastic spirit of Halloween, access will be made to the film from October 30 to November 2. A viewer described the film as "a balm for your soul in these unsettling times," commenting on its timeliness as "a break from election fever." The Fantasyland Project investigates the notion of fantasy through a range of lenses. Each dancer was charged with responding to a series of written prompts to spark the conceptual kernel that interested them most. Working with Assistant Professor of Dance Daniel Gwirtzman, these intellectual ideas were distilled and grounded into a concrete scenario. The process of creating a unique fantasy necessitated finding a location, and collaborating with the choreographer, costumer, and composer. The project reflects this moment in time as a springboard from which to explore the mundane, comedic, dramatic, and the horrific.


The Fantasyland Project features the work of Daniel Gwirtzman (Director, Choreographer), Jeff Story (Composer), Company members Mariah Anton, Dwayne Brown, Jacob Butter, Derek Crescenti, Vanessa Martínez de Baños, Sarah Hilmon, Madeline Hoak, and summer apprentices Neftali Benitez, Maddy Hertel, Usman Ali Ishaq, Kaitlyn Jackson, Lydia Kelly, Colin McKechnie, Joel Oliver, and Julia Zoratto. 


I think this moment in time is one in which we all are fantasizing: about life before, and after, the pandemic; about systemic changes and reforms that will bring racial and economic justice; about being in the company of others without concerns, distance, or masks; of returning to school as ’normal.’ Fantasy to me does not suggest only happy emotions - in light especially of this moment, I think of the fantasies of the full dismantling of racism, the understanding and action of anti-racist policies and practices, the acknowledgment by all in the U.S. of the indigenous lands we live on, the eradication of disparities in wealth, education, access, the fantasy of harmony and true equity, the fantasy of healthcare for all, etc...There could be the fantasy of rage, revenge, grief, protest, darker and uglier themes. To the extent that this project can reflect the urgent events shaping all of our lives - how this theme of utopia and harmony fits against the current climate - is something the Company is interested in investigating. The dancers have explored fantasies that resonate with them. As the director I have coaxed and conversed with the dancers to aid in the process of discovering effective ways to communicate their stories.


The acclaimed New York-based Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company, celebrating its 21st Anniversary, is known for its playful virtuosity, musicality, accessibility 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). Visit our website to learn more.

To learn how to watch the film, visit the dance company's Fantasyland page.

Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Daniel Gwirtzman at We ask that requests for accommodations be made as soon as possible.

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