A NY Times article I saved from November 24, 2009, remains as inspirational as when I first read it.
In “Learning His Body, Learning to Dance,” Neil Genzlinger writes that “Gregg Mozgala, a 31-year-old actor with cerebral palsy, had 12 years of physical therapy while he was growing up. But in the last eight months, a determined choreographer with an unconventional résumé has done what all those therapists could not: She has dramatically changed the way Mr. Mozgala walks.
“In the process, she has changed his view of himself and of his possibilities.
Mr. Mozgala and the choreographer, Tamar Rogoff, have been working since last winter on a dance piece called ‘Diagnosis of a Faun.’ It is to have its premiere on Dec. 3 at La MaMa Annex in the East Village, but the more important work of art may be what Ms. Rogoff has done to transform Mr. Mozgala’s body.
“ ‘ I have felt things that I felt were completely closed off to me for the last 30 years,’ he said. ‘The amount of sensation that comes through the work has been totally unexpected and is really quite wonderful.’ “
Choreographer Rogoff saw Mozgala perform the role of Romeo in a production by Theater Breaking through Barriers in March 2008 and knew she wanted to create a dance piece for him.
“Originally, [Ms. Rogoff] envisioned a simple study, maybe 10 minutes long. Mr. Mozgala’s expectations when he agreed to the project were equally narrow: he said that he thought that she would either merely create a dance that made use of the physical abilities he already had or, after seeing his limitations, tell him, ‘Thanks but no thanks.’ ”
It turned out that their expectations were way too narrow. Read more.
Photograph by Andrea Mohin at The New York Times shows Gregg Mozgala rehearsing with Emily Pope-Blackman.