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Washington Heights dance company receives $10,000 grant to create educational videos

Daniel Gwirtzman performing his solo “Character” at Manhattan’s Battery Dance Festival. (Photo by Marc de George).

BY ALEJANDRA O’CONNELL-DOMENECH | The Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company, a modern dance performing and teaching company based in Washington Heights, received a grant on Sept. 16 from The Rockefeller Brothers Fund to finance Dance With Us, a digital online resource designed to educate the general public on dance terminology, steps and concepts. 

“A lot of times during a performance there is a lot of head scratching,” said Daniel Gwirtzman, about audience members. “This is meant to fix that.”

In October, the dance company will begin to film practices and performances and use the footage to create narrated videos breaking down dance and choreography concepts. According to Gwirtzman, some potential video topics include explaining rhythm, timing, shape, and partnering.

With Dance With Us, Gwirtzman hopes to improve dance literacy in “a common language that is easy to digest” and better equip people to understand and enjoy dance.

The videos will vary in length and will be accompanied with some text and will be with various libraries, schools, universities and dance institutions as an effort to take part in the Open Educational Resources movement, where knowledge is shared free of cost. The company will also share shorter videos to their social media accounts.

The videos will vary in length are expected to be released by fall of next year.

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