Danny Grossman was born in San Francisco in 1942. He established the dance company called ‘Danny Grossman Dance Company’ in 1997 in Toronto, Canada. The company has created a repertoire of more than 40 works, which have been toured and performed across Canada and internationally.
Although Grossman’s choreography and style was influenced by Paul Taylor, there were features that were uniquely his own. The core of his works is based on a thematic approach in stage productions. For example, in 1975 in one of his productions called ‘Higher’, the thematic approach was the expression of “sexual relationships in relation to the spirit, and the spirituality of sex” . In this piece he explores ...view middle of the document...
In his early dancing years Grossman was first influenced by Gloria Unti which was one of his first teachers including many other more teachers from New York City. After years of dancing Grossman was noticed at a party by one of his biggest influences Paul Taylor and not long after he was welcomed into Paul Taylor’s Company.
His first performance with the company was very challenging because he was both very nervous and paranoid that this was his first performance. By the 3rd performance he became used to the atmosphere and felt more comfortable with himself on the stage. He was with the company for 10 years and while in the company Paul really helped Grossman conquer his demons and helped him banish them and become a more confident person with in himself.
Another person who influenced Grossman’s dance style was one of his teachers, Gloria Unti. Gloria Unti had a dance studio in San Francisco in the 60’s in which students were encouraged to “build their critical thinking, creative expression and basic learning skills through the arts”. Grossman attended this dance studio and she included him in her works. Grossman has said that he felt empowered by Unti not only because she encouraged creativity and a ‘free spirit’ in dance but also because she did not force him to do things he wasn’t comfortable with and in fact selected movements that he could do well and made them a work of art. Unti inspired and invigorated Grossman thus empowering him, giving him a further boost in his self-confidence.
Grossman was very fortunate to be in both Martha Graham and Paul Taylor’s dance companies and with all that knowledge and inspiration he received from these 2 incredible mentors, he has experienced a few life experiences that helped him with his choreographic processes. Grossman was drawn to themes such as the horrors of war, poetic love, spirituality and many other themes with the 40 works he’s produced.
One of his pieces called ‘endangered species’ which he choreographed in 1981 was following the theme of anti war. He was drawn by the idea of war in a few of his works which might have indicated a loss of a loved one when he was growing up or he was just purely fascinated by the war and how much emotion it can bring out in dancers because it is very relatable to most people.
Paul Taylor had the privilege not only to work with the wonderful Martha Graham but in 1955 and shared the stage with a number of great choreographers including, Merce Cunningham and George Balanchine. During the mid fifties Taylor’s promising talent was finally being recognised as he was handed the position as the major cultural centre for the arts in New York. Like Martha, Taylor was inspired by the everyday movement of a...