Related Features


Your support helps us cover dance in New York City and beyond! Donate now.

DANCE/FINE ARTS FUSION: The Dance Enthusiast Asks Zvi Gotheiner about “Escher/Bacon/Rothko”

DANCE/FINE ARTS FUSION: The Dance Enthusiast Asks Zvi Gotheiner about “Escher/Bacon/Rothko”
Sammi Sowerby / Follow on Instagram

By Sammi Sowerby / Follow on Instagram
View Profile | More From This Author

Published on June 18, 2015
Photos by Heidi Gutman

In Conjunction With ZviDance's New World Premiere

Venue: New York Live Arts, 219 W. 19th Street, NYC
Dates: June 24 - 27, 2015. Wednesday - Friday at 7:30pm and Saturday at 2:00pm & 7:30pm.
Tickets: Call (212) 924-0077 or visit  New York Live Arts

Choreographer: Zvi Gotheiner
Performers: ZviDance- Chelsea Ainsworth, Todd Allen, Alex Beigelson, Kuan Hui Chew, Alison Clancy, Derek Ege, Samantha Harvey, David Nosworthy, Ying Ying Shiau, and Robert M. Valdez Jr.


Sammi Lim for The Dance Enthusiast: Shalom, Zvi! How does Escher/Bacon/Rothko differ from Zvidance’s past performances? Also, how does it remain “signature Zvi”?

Zvi Gotheiner, Artistic Director of ZviDance: I choreographed Escher's part two years ago, as a way to refresh my creative process. I thought at the time that Escher’s vision, highlighting the interaction between space and negative space, would provide me with a new jump start for investigation. I was curious to observe the interaction between 'the negative space that surrounds the body' and 'the body as outlined by its skin.' The process was interesting, and I decided to extend it by including two other artists whom I thought might push my creative process in new directions.

In the past few years, I have been designing purposefully different creative processes as a way to spark invention, trying new approaches for movement vocabulary and choreographic organization. Escher/Bacon/Rothko are no different in that sense, but hopefully each one will stand out on its own, as a different choreographic thinking.

Photo © Heidi Gutman

TDE: Why Escher/Bacon/Rothko and not say Dali/Basquiat/Kahlo? Is there a common thread stringing the artists together? Also, I couldn’t help noticing that they are all male.

ZG: I can’t say the decision to use Escher, Bacon and Rothko as inspiration for this project was random, but I am also not totally sure if there is a deep statement in combining these 3 artist together. it could easily be Anselm Kiefer, Georgia O’Keeffe… or others. It might be interesting to think about this project as evolving, which means I keep adding new artists and putting them together in different constellations. But for this project, I gravitated to these three, in part for their uncompromising singular perception of reality and for how different they are from one another. 

TDE: In all honesty, do you believe the evening will be equally enjoyable for audience members with little or no knowledge of the artists?

ZG: I hope so… But I think knowing these artists' work would give the audience another layer of insight.

Photo © Heidi Gutman


TDE: Let’s talk costumes; what will your dancers be wearing?

ZG: Mary Jo Mecca is the costume designer for this project. For Escher, she made tightly fitted black unitards, leaving one of the sleeves white. This design makes an interesting kinetic architecture, similar to Escher's art. For Bacon, she dressed the all-male cast as gentlemen in pants, shirts and ties. They also get undressed to their underwear. For Rothko, she dressed the company in blue pants and shirts, utilizing beautiful wash silk that reflects the light magnificently.

TDE: While a dance is the sum of its parts, there’s always one or two sections that play to your heart. Which scene – perhaps the introduction, a solo, a duet, a scene of conflict – is your favorite thus far? 

ZG: Since I am not done editing the work, some sections might not get in. At this point, I can’t be too emotionally attached to the material as I might still need to change it.

Photo © Heidi Gutman
For A Quick Art History Brush Up
M.C. Escher go to the official M.C. Escher website
Francis Bacon go to
And now for a  Sneak Peek of the Process:




Share Your Audience Review. Your Words Are Valuable to Dance.
Are you going to see this show, or have you seen it? Share "your" review here on The Dance Enthusiast. Your words are valuable. They help artists, educate audiences, and support the dance field in general. There is no need to be a professional critic. Just click through to our Audience Review Section and you will have the option to write free-form, or answer our helpful Enthusiast Review Questionnaire, or if you feel creative, even write a haiku review. So join the conversation.

Share Your Audience Review.

Related Features

More from this Author