Gibney Presents: 2nd Best Dance Company

Nov 2, 2023, 7:30 pm EDT


The myth of forward motion (or, The Box Dance)

November 2-4, 2023
The Theater (Studio H)
7:30 PM ET

General Admission: $25 + $2 fee
Groups 10+: $22.50 + fee
(contact for purchasing options)

2nd Best Dance Company blends humor and tragedy while tackling big topics through “rigorous, inventive movement and wit” (Dance Magazine). The company brings its signature style to the Gibney stage with the world premiere of The myth of forward motion (or, The Box Dance). Physically rigorous, sometimes virtuosic, almost always slapstick, this new work walks the line between dance performance and nonlinear play, leaning into both text and movement to examine the sensation of being stuck – in a place, a memory, a thought pattern, or a life that’s headed in one particular direction. Performers–Courtney Barth, Hannah Garner, Hsiao-Jou Tang, Will Noling, and Ryan Yamauchi–use imagined and real obstacles alike to contemplate what gets in the way. With very serious play, the cast invites audiences to witness as they build something lasting out of ephemeral materials: vanishing ideas, cracked foundations, smithereens, and lots of cardboard. “Hannah Garner is a master of make-believe. Her mind is all rising action, dashing denouements, and clever one-liners.” Dot Armstrong, Dance Enthusiast


2nd Best Dance Company creates, performs, and teaches physically rigorous, sometimes virtuosic, almost always slapstick dance-plays. We connect to audiences, students, and professionals alike as we share emotionally accessible work that is relatable, honest, and resonant. Led by Hannah Garner, our work…

  • believes in art-making that is exploratory, empathetic, and goofy,
  • values feeling over reality and seeks our truest sensations over absolute truth,
  • blends humor and tragedy while tackling big topics, like death and queer identity through “rigorous, inventive movement and wit” (Dance Magazine),
  • grapples with big ideas in very human ways (aka messy ways).

Since our founding in 2016, we have used our practice and platform to play out absurdist scenes: we move, perform text, sing, utilize props, unconventionally handle proscenium spaces, and ask the audience to play active roles or even perform in the work alongside us. The unpredictability of live performance excites us, as does building a nexus between dance and text, humor and tragedy, viewer. Learn more


Hannah Garner (she/her), named ‘25 to Watch’ by Dance Magazine (2020), is a NYC-based dancer/choreographer. She graduated summa cum laude from SUNY Purchase with a BFA in Performance and Composition and a minor in Arts Management. Since then, Hannah has gone on to work with artists such as Doug Varone, Raja Feather Kelly, Sue Bernhard, Rovaco Dance, and Megan Williams, at theaters including The Joyce Theater, New York City Center, Park Avenue Armory, and New York Live Arts. She has appeared in music videos for artists like Half Waif and Frankie Cosmos. Her work as 2nd Best Dance Company “tackles topics like death and queer identity through rigorous, inventive movement and wit” (Dance Magazine). Through her work, she seeks beauty in failure, explores limits of the body, and finds solace in the humor of being human. Hannah is currently on faculty at Gibney, SUNY Purchase College, and Bard College.

Photo credit: Ingrid Holmquist