Her Bessie Award–winning 2015 piece Girl Gods examines female rage, with
dancers acting out intimate stories, screaming and having extreme tantrums
When I was younger, I didn’t fully understand how far my dancers would
have to go emotionally to do the intense, outrageous stuff I wanted.
Sometimes you’re just directing and you’re in your own dreamlike place.
I’d say, “Oh, come on, you can do this,” or “Haha, that thing you did was
really funny,” and it really wasn’t. Now, I have more compassion when it
comes to dif;cult material.
My work makes people uncomfortable. But I think that’s why my
dancers who do it like it. A lot of my material is based in their individual
To create great work, choreographers
need the freedom to tackle difficult subjects
and push physical limits. But when an
artist’s instruments are human beings, is
there a limit to how far they should go?
INTERVIEWS BY COURTNEY ESCOYNE,
SUZANNAH FRISCIA, MADELINE SCHROCK,
JENNIFER STAHL AND LAUREN WINGENROTH
What’s Not Okay
Graney’s Girl Gods used her
to Ask a
Dancer to Do?
dancers’ stories of female rage.
Pat Graney (in white) with her dancers