The Schmooze

When Disability Is No Barrier to Dance

Heidi Latsky, head of Heidi Latsky Dance and creator of The Gimp Project is about to end her one-year artist-in-residency at the JCC in Manhattan. After months of rehearsals, workshops with everyone from preschoolers to seniors, and tidbit performances in the lobby and other spaces in the JCC building, Latsky‘s final offering is “IF: A Work in Two Parts.”

The first piece features Ms. Latsky, Jeffery Freeze and Suleiman Rifai, a professional dancer who is also blind. The movements are slow and deliberate. At first, the three move separately, standing at different levels, before Ms. Latsky finds her way to a wall where she meets Mr. Rifai. The wall becomes an inseparable part of the performance as the dancers interact with it and each other. The piece, however, is an internal exploration and not a fully formed work. When Ms. Latsky finally breaks out into solo movement, which was later revealed as a complete improvisation, it is a welcome relief from the stillness and tension.

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When Disability Is No Barrier to Dance

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