Catherine Gallant/DANCE – Danspace Project
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Catherine Gallant/DANCE

Sunlight shining on dancers through diaphanous fabric
Photo: Melanie Futorian.

For the health and safety of our community, this performance has been cancelled. We will offer full refunds to audiences and seek to reschedule suspended performances and events when reasonably possible. We will be in touch with all ticket buyers directly regarding refunds. MORE INFO

Community ACCESS provides subsidized off-season rental opportunities for Danspace Project community members.

Thursday, April 2, 8pm
Friday, April 3, 8pm
Saturday, April 4, 8pm

Performer, choreographer, and teacher, Catherine Gallant, has been making dances over the last 30 years. She formed her company, Catherine Gallant/DANCE, in 1999. On this evening Gallant presents a new dance theater work, Escape from the House of MercyThis work includes a layered gestural language of movement, text, and voice. Escape from the House of Mercy is a 21st-century women’s view of our social support systems, measuring both the ground gained and the distance yet to be traveled.

The House of Mercy, once located in New York City, was a home for “abandoned and troubled women.” In fact, it was closer to a prison or workhouse to which most women and girls were brought against their wills. Here a young woman could be locked up for years for an offense such as dancing in public or walking alone at night. Inhabitants were subjected to inhumane and demoralizing treatment, in the guise of rehabilitation, during an era when the rights of the poor, especially women, were completely denied. Inhabitants were routinely punished with starvation diets, head shaving, and restraints.

Gallant invites the audience to wonder why this place, buried in history, is important now. How do the ghosts of this story haunt the imagination and connect us to the urgent discussion regarding rights and privileges of women and disenfranchised people? Why is this now invisible place from the past important in the present? How is honest self-expression still punished in our own time? Writes Gallant, “We seek to shine a light of remembrance as we mine the persistent feelings of vulnerability and powerlessness in the face of deceptive and impassive authority, reflecting on the injustices of the past as they relate to the present in the drive for social freedoms and equity.”

Choreography: Catherine Gallant in collaboration with the dancers
Dancers: Abra Cohen, Erica Lessner, Charlotte Hendrickson, Cecly Placenti, Kelli Chapman, Megan Minturn, Halley GerstelJessie King, and Catherine Gallant
Costumes: Ivana Drazic
Video Design: Erica Lessner
Lighting Design: Kathy Kaufmann

Accessibility Danspace Project’s main entrance is fully wheelchair accessible via ramp. A same-level restroom is available near Danspace Project’s main performance space in the church sanctuary.

Catherine Gallant (choreographer) has always accessed self and world through dance. Selectively mute as a child she found refuge and power within non-verbal communication. Ms. Gallant’s work often explores themes of chance, doubt and the body as a source of comfort and torment. Catherine Gallant/DANCE brings dance to new audiences through direct interaction with the public. Ms. Gallant’s work has been performed in Times Square, a pedestrian block of E. 92st St. in Manhattan, Green-Wood Cemetery and Jones Beach. She has also presented work at the 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Center, American Dance Guild, WestFest Dance Festival and most recently at Inwood Hill Park sponsored by Partnerships for Parks. Ms. Gallant’s work has been supported by funds from LMCC Creative Engagement, Chashama, The Harkness Foundation for Dance, Jody and John Arnhold and Partnerships for Parks/City Parks Foundation. Catherine is also the director of Dances by Isadora which, since 1989, performs, teaches and collaborates with dancers throughout the world. In 2017 Dances by Isadora was presented at Jacob’s Pillow on the Inside/Out Series. Catherine currently performs Jérôme Bel’s Isadora Duncan which will be presented on the River to River Festival in June. Catherine began her study of the technique of Isadora Duncan in 1982 with Julia Levien and founded Dances by Isadora with Patricia Adams in 1989. She is a member of the Duncan Archive committee ( Catherine has worked at PS 89 in Manhattan as the full-time dance educator since 1998. She and her students were featured in the PBS documentary, PS DANCE! Catherine is a graduate of the Boston Conservatory and holds an MFA in Dance from Temple University.

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