"The choreography and music are gripping, the company is impressive and the uses of mixed-media are meaningful.”   --Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times

ROSANNA GAMSON/WORLD WIDE (RGWW) has created bi-national collaborative projects in Poland and Mexico, and toured in North America since 2000, presented and commissioned by museums, theaters, festivals and alternative performance spaces; including REDCAT (where we premiered STILL/RESTLESS in June), the Luckman Theater, Skirball Cultural Center, and Grand Performances in LA; Teatro Raul Flores Canelo de CENART, and UNAM, in Mexico City; and the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto; and PICA's TBA Festival; the Dance Center of Columbia College, Chicago; and the XXth International Hispanic Theater Festival, in Miami, nationally, among many others. Our recent project, Layla Means Night, premiered in 2013 presented by ODC Theater in San Francisco. Our previous project, Tov, was commissioned REDCAT and the Myrna Loy Center through the National Performance Network, with additional performances at the Straz Center in Tampa, and in 2012 at the RETRO/PER/SPECTIVES International Theater Festival in Lodz, Poland. In 2013 RGWW returned to Eastern Europe to perform in festivals in Vilnius and Siauliai, Lithuania.  RGWW is the recipient of six Lester Horton Dance Awards, including a Special Dance Innovator Award to Gamson for her body of work. RGWW's touring and travel support includes awards from National Dance Project, LA DCA Cultural Exchange International, Contacto Cultural and the Trust for Mutual Understanding. 


"Whether retelling myths of being carried off or tales of contemporary transportings played out on the L.A. landscape, Gamson has the charm of the campfire storyteller or tribal griot, interweaving circuitous tales with movement, music, words and stagecraft. ...this choreographic provocoteur and her superb collaborators should not be missed."  – Ann Haskins, LA Weekly

"Visual splendor is a welcome component of the pieces created by Rosanna Gamson for her nine-dancer ensemble. Few Los Angeles choreographers use theater technology quite so distinctively to fuel a contemporary vision."  – Lewis Segal, Los Angeles Times

Artist Statement

I make evening-length dance theater pieces that take a long time to develop and that braid together several tracks of information– via text, music, and/or projections– as well as movement. Each project puts me in dialogue, through research and physical inquiry, with points of view I don't innately understand, whether artistically or culturally. While the pieces are different in content or form, the major theme that runs throughout is the complexity of living in the world together. 

With Layla Means Night, I researched Islamic architecture in Turkey, and investigated Sufi calligraphy, Iranian poetry, and ecstatic dancing.  I'm currently investigating trance, improvisation, and the biology of dreaming. I initiate these projects out of genuine curiosity, the desire to question my own assumptions, and to seek insight into both selfhood and otherness.  I research because I feel responsible for earning insight into the questions I'm raising, which are often interrogated through collaborations with artists holding points of view very different than my own. My home base is Los Angeles, where the tensions between assimilation, identity, and home culture are a necessary conversation, and I want my work to reflect this.

While striving to build a complete aesthetic world for each project, I often use the structural conventions of melodrama– a narrator asking moral questions of the audience, big theatrical effects, virtuosity, heightened emotion set to music– inviting audiences to connect to the resonance of the subject and the legibility of the theatrical metaphors. 

– Rosanna Gamson


photo by Sallie DeEtte Mackie

A native New Yorker, Rosanna Gamson studied composition with Hanya Holm, Bessie Schonberg, and Phyllis Lamhut and earned a BFA and MFA in Dance from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts under the chairmanship of Lawrence Rhodes. She performed internationally as a member of Andrew DeGroat & Dancers, and in the dances of Yvonne Rainer, workshop performances of Robert Wilson, and in many others’ dance projects. Additionally, Gamson studied with poets Charles Simic, Louise Glück, and Thomas Lux. Her poetry has been published in a number of literary magazines and journals. Since moving to Los Angeles, Gamson has created nine evening-length dance theater works as Artistic Director of Rosanna Gamson/World Wide (RGWW). Gamson's most recent project, Still Restless premiered in June at REDCAT and was most recently presented at El Camino College on March 18, 2017.  Gamson's continuing investigation of improvisation and group-authored performance practices was initiated in a collaboration with Lithuanian actor/improvisor Petras Lisauskas. Gamson is currently on faculty at CalArts, where she will be developing new work in the upcoming session of the Evelyn Sharp Choreographic Residency at the Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance.