‘Unexpected bodies’ on an outdoor stage - Metro US

‘Unexpected bodies’ on an outdoor stage

Heidi Latsky, former principal dancer with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, opens the dance season at Lincoln Center Out of Doors with the hour-long “GIMP,” which features dancers with varied limbs.

Latsky began by collaborating with Lisa Bufano, a Boston performer who uses the same kind of prosthetic legs as Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius. “She was fierce and she was vulnerable. And I loved the way she moved. Through her I met people in the disability community. I posted audition notices. It’s not easy to find dancers with disabilities.”

Her troupe includes a short man with calves so developed he refers to them as “cows,” and a female dancer who’s always struggled with her weight. At 54 and still performing, Latsky herself is an exception in her world.

“A big part of why I made the piece was to communicate a strong message. This is not a pity party; it’s about honoring the people onstage and their uniqueness. They’re intense, interesting, smart — fabulous performers and movers. I wanted to make a piece of art, but there’s always some social issue I’m grappling with. I don’t think you can put disability onstage and not have it be a statement.”

“It’s sexy and sensual and hopefully provocative … It’s about being watched.”

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