'Gimp' dancers to take stage

March 12, 2009 3:20:24 PM PDT
Dancers usually have a specific body type. They're usually long, lean and limber. But some dancers are redefining the stereotype. That's because these dancers are disabled, and some are even missing limbs. And yet, for them, like other performers, dance is about the physical and artistic.

"This is not a piece people are interested in seeing, people are afraid of it," Heidi Latsky said.

She is talking about a dance she choreographed and is performing in, and it has a startling name. It's called Gimp.

"We really wanted people to think about the title and how does it change what their notion of disability and dance is," Latsky said.

The word gimp has several definitions. It can refer to a silk or braided cord, to ambition or to a person with a limp. All of which come through in this dance, because half of the dancers have disabilities like Catherine Long.

She is missing one arm, knee caps and hip sockets. But what she does have is energy, grace and power.

Lezlie Frye only began dancing about a year ago, so it's a new experience to put her body out there for everyone to see.

For each of the dancers, there is a personal reason for taking to the stage.

"I think it will make people think," Long said. "That's what I hope it will do."

The shows will be performed next Thursday through Saturday on the Lower East Side. Tickets are $20. The first night is in honor of the the Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit that helps men and women from the armed forces who've been injured in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The piece will be performed at the Abrons Art Center in Manhattan, located at 466 Grand Street, at Pitt Street.

Subway directions:

  • F train to Delancey
  • J or M trains to Essex Street
  • D or B trains to Grand Street

  • Event dates and times:
  • March 19-21, 2009, 8 p.m.

    Event prices:

  • $20 Adult
  • $10 Students, seniors and disabled

    Telephone number(s):

  • 212.598.0400 Abrons Arts Center
  • 212-352-3101 Call to purchase ticktes

    Web site for tickets:

  • HenryStreet.org


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