Thursday, March 19, 2009


For today, a link to this article I came across at Media dis&dat about a new modern dance company that calls itself Gimp, which will be performing in New York March 19-21. See also this article with video in the New York Times. And also, this post by Wheelchair Dancer, entitled "All things GIMP".

Here is an excerpt from the company's website, The Gimp Project:

Embracing its Oxford definitions, GIMP brings audiences a visceral and emotional experience with performers whose unique attributes, physical and otherwise, are honored and utilized in highly dynamic, virtuosic and provocative performances, discussions and workshops and outreach activities. The dancers in GIMP have unique limbs ranging from overly agile joints, absent limbs, foreshortened limbs, crooked limbs to exceptionally overdeveloped muscles.

GIMP is about beauty, not the photo-shopped, airbrushed kind, but a harsher more unexpected one that comes from the ultimate sexiness of risk-taking and utter commitment. It is about framing each person as a photographer would and then weaving those frames together in sensual and intimate ways and drawing the viewers in to see each person’s unique beauty as each performer sees theirs. In GIMP, both audience and performers are aware of being watched. That provocative exchange in which our gaze is being reflected both ways leads to a shift, a questioning, and a deep sense that the frame/lens through which we view the world has somewhat changed.

People go to dance events to see what they cannot do themselves. Dancers are generally perceived as limitless; disabled persons as essentially unable. Bringing these two groups together in GIMP challenges conventional notions of dance, performance and body image. GIMP’s unique palette of limbs offers an edgy landscape of uncommon beauty that examines the uncompromising ways we are often identified or defined by our physicality.