Gallim Dance’s 15th anniversary: Nothing done without intention

Gallim Dance in 'state'. Photo by Steven Pisano.
Gallim Dance in 'state'. Photo by Steven Pisano.

The Joyce Theater, New York, NY.
June 4, 2023.

Gallim Dance celebrated 15 years this spring at the Joyce Theater in NYC. Gallim is a movement creation company founded by Andrea Miller using interdisciplinary modalities based in movement to explore expression and inquisition. She explains her work: “I am curious to understand the capacity of the body, its anatomy, its power, and its instinct to connect with the space and events around us. In my work, I look for texture, a quality of energy or a psychological pitch that surfaces in the doing of things.”

The company present five works on the afternoon of my attendance – state, FROM, Castles, No Ordinary Love and SAMA.

state, a trio for women about the connections women make with one another, was danced with the strength the concept of the work suggests: that women have both the power of individuality and ability to connect with each other in myriad ways.

FROM, a collection of duets, trios and a quartet with music by Nico Jaar, takes the audience on a trippy, bendy, journey that is both jarring and satisfying in the same breath. It resembles the wide spectrum that life is, and felt emotionally familiar.

Castles is an excerpt from a longer work entitled Fold Here, which premiered in 2013. It is based on the Raymond Carver story, Cathedral. In another journey through the depths of the human experience, the dancers in this work showcase the skill of acting through movement, using the movement as the script and covering the full emotional spectrum.

No Ordinary Love, with music of the same name, by legend Sade, is simple, clear and executed with a restraint capable by dancers who know full well the power of dynamics and when to use full volume, but more importantly, when to not.

Finally, SAMA was an explosive end to the program. Its name combines the Greek word for “body” and Slovenian for “by herself.” It delivered a tribal quality with some dancers on stilts and others in bare feet. The world Miller created with this work, however, portrays the stilted and non-stilted dancers as one and the same, echoing the idea of a world in which humans transcend the body and exist from a more metaphysical sphere.

To consume a Gallim performance is to accept a journey into the wide variation of human experience, curious physicality and deeply connected movement to ideas. Nothing is done without intention, and the ability of the company to hold those intentions throughout the night of intense dancing is worth seeing.

By Emily Sarkissian of Dance Informa.

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