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"Sit, Stand Kneel" | Photo Gallim Dance "Sit, Stand Kneel" | Photo Gallim Dance

PREVIEW: Gallim Dance at the Joyce Theater

"Sit, Stand Kneel" | Photo Gallim Dance

"Sit, Stand Kneel" | Photo Gallim Dance

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]wo weeks ago, Gallim Dance opened the doors to its new home in Brooklyn at the Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew. In addition, the lucky attendees were offered a sneak peak at Andrea Miller’s new work Sit, Kneel, Stand to be premiered at the Joyce Theater June 8th-10th. It was an overwhelming experience, not only to see such exclusive sights, but also to witness the growth that Gallim Dance has undergone.

Gallim has gained its reputation by utilizing Ms. Miller’s extremely physical movement vocabulary coupled with raw emotional construction to expose deep and visceral themes. However, the choreography has never really strayed from its firm roots in the genre of “Dance”, staying true to more traditional choreographic tools. The risky terrain of Dance/Theater provides its own pitfalls. Clichéd use of text or irrelevant props can isolate an audience and derail inexperienced choreographers onto a path of ineffective performance art.

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“But man differs from other animals in one very important respect, and that is that he has some desires which are, so to speak, infinite, which can never be fully gratified, and which would keep him restless even in Paradise.”
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Andrea Miller and Gallim Dance have honed their theatrical craft and the little raw material from Sit, Kneel, Stand that was available proved that Gallim’s studies in contemporary construction have paid off. The work is inspired by the myth of Sisyphus, which portrays a king that is punished by forever pushing a boulder up a hill, only to have it roll back down to the bottom. Ms. Miller hopes to beautify this daily struggle and find the purpose behind seemingly useless efforts. Additionally, she also points to this quote by Bertrand Russell as another large inspiration:

“But man differs from other animals in one very important respect, and that is that he has some desires which are, so to speak, infinite, which can never be fully gratified, and which would keep him restless even in Paradise.”

She noted that if aliens were to see all the things we do to find happiness, love and comfort, they would be just as confused by our own daily struggles. The parallel drawn between pushing a boulder up a hill and dreaming of the impossible is a tall order, but one that Andrea Miller and Gallim Dance are more than capable of delivering. Her choreographic process has evolved to incorporate more theatrical elements that don’t overshadow the raw physical power of her talented company. Comfortably woven together, technical movement fits in naturally with a mad scientist, Jonathan Windham, supporting a troubled Troy Ogilvie. A frantic (and loud) Francesca Romo desperately attempts to get Mario Bermudez-Gil and Arika Yamada together. The marriage between the two has resulted in a simple and effective composition. Expectations will be at an all-time high after setting the bar with Wonderland (premeired last year) and the company looks as though it will not disappoint.

Gallim Dance performs Sit, Kneel, Stand at the Joyce Theater on June 8th and 9th at 8pm and June 10th at 2pm. Tickets are available by calling the box office at 212-242-0800 or at www.joyce.org.

Post by Brendan Duggan

Brendan Duggan is originally from Amherst, New Hampshire where he started dancing at the ripe age of 16. He holds a degree in Dance (and a minor in Math) from Skidmore College, where he graduated with Honors and the Margaret Paulding award for excellence in Dance. Since moving to New York, he has had the pleasure of performing with Deganit Shemy, York Dance Works, Bennyroyce Dance Productions and Gallim Dance.

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