Immersive dance theater work by HOLDTIGHT explores the space between past, present and future.
September 15 - October 2 at the cell theatre

Buy tickets HERE.

Experimental dance theater company HOLDTIGHT will present the World Premiere of WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING? beginning September 15 at Nancy Manocherian’s the cell theatre.

Through an organic blend of dance, storytelling, live music, structural and mental disruptions, and video design, WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING? is an intimate and participatory experience that invites audiences to immerse themselves in performances on three levels of the cell’s historic townhouse. The artists of HOLDTIGHT explore the liminal space between past, present, and future and what it would mean to exist in all three at once. How do we look back in order to move forward?

“Time, defined as the indefinite continued progress of existence, is so often measured in homogenized moments that it is easy to forget that every moment in time exists as a wholly unique instance.” says HOLDTIGHT founder Gwendolyn Gussman. “By conforming to the constraints of time, it can feel like one is falling into slow stagnation or an extreme acceleration. What does that mean in terms of overcoming the linear nature of time and finding purpose?” WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING? delves into the paradoxical aspects of how we navigate the present moment whilst learning from our past and preparing for our future.

WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING? is directed and conceived by HOLDTIGHT founder Gwendolyn Gussman in collaboration with artists Nico Gonzales, Emily Haughton, Dervla Carey-Jones, and Xenia Mansour. It features music and sound design by Grammy-award winning saxophonist Johnny Butler, scenography by Anna Driftmier, lighting by Aja M. Jackson, and video design by Alex Taylor. It is performed by Johnny Butler, Nico Gonzales, Gwendolyn Gussman, Emily Haughton, Dervla Carey-Jones, and Xenia Mansour.

Gwendolyn Gussman’s work has been presented by National Sawdust, James Madison University, Seaside Dance Festival, Denver School of the Arts, Nimbus DanceWorks Offline Series, YourMove Festival, and more. In addition she has been a guest teacher at Yale University, Tisch Dance at NYU, Opening Act, BOUNCE Summer Intensive, etc. As a performer, Gwendolyn has worked with Shen Wei Dance Arts, Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance, Sean Curran Company, Vanessa Walter’s ‘Ripening’, Heidi Latsky Dance (guest artist), Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Control Group Productions, Roger C. Jeffrey’s ‘Subtle Changes Inc.’, director Daniel Fish, comedian Amy Sedaris and others. HOLDTIGHT was last seen at the cell in 2019 for It’s Not What You Think inspired by the work of Mikel Glass.

Founded in 2016, HOLDTIGHT is an experimental dance theater company using an interdisciplinary approach to developing, creating, producing, and presenting evening-length productions including the Nourishment series. While generally leaning towards non-conforming and site-specific work, HOLDTIGHT has been seen in numerous festivals and proscenium stages as well. HOLDTIGHT productions have psychologically-driven processes that, in performance, blend the narrative with the abstract while leaning into the paradox of the human condition. Based between New York City and Denver, HOLDTIGHT has worked with over 40 national and international collaborators and been featured in 303 Magazine, No Proscenium, The Denver Post, Colorado Public Radio’s ‘Colorado Matters’, Westword, The Stewardship Report, Presenting Denver, offoffoff, and more. For more details and info on the cast visit holdtightcompany.com & @holdtightcompany

Nancy Manocherian's the cell theatre (Artistic Director Kira Simring) is a non-profit dedicated to the incubation and presentation of new works that mine the mind, pierce the heart, and awaken the soul. After successfully moving into the digital sphere by streaming virtual concerts and socially distanced programming such as Dark Matter Immersive’s Garden of Eden (New York Times’ Top Ten Things to Do This Week), and Tolerance Party (Time Out New York Best Theater to Stream this Week) the cell moved back into live performance with One Whale’s Tale’s Persou and Fruma Sarah (Waiting in the Wings) starring Jackie Hoffman. Past productions include Found, Hoard (co-produced with Off the Wall), The Evolution of Mann starring Max Crumm, Bastard Jones (Drama-Desk nominee), Crackskull Row, Hard Times: An American Musical (now the Broadway-bound Paradise Square), The McGowan Trilogy, Hey Jude, Horse Girls and more. www.thecelltheatre.org @thecelltheatre

WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING? runs September 15 - October 2, Wednesday - Sunday at 7:30pm. Nancy Manocherian’s the cell theatre is located at 338 W. 23rd Street, New York, NY. 10011. It is performed for an audience of 30 per performance. Running time is 90 minutes. Audience members must be able to climb several flights of stairs and remain on their feet for the duration of the event. Tickets are $20 - $75 at www.holdtightcompany.com or www.thecelltheatre.org.