Dance Theatre
The Dream Dancer (and Other Hysterics) Co-Creator, Co- Writer, Co-Director & Performer

Conceiver:John Giffin
Creators, writers, directors & performers:Jeanine Thompson & John Giffin
Costume designer:Nadine Spray
Scenic designer:Brad Steinmetz
Sound designer:John Osburn
Music:J. Massenet, E. Sjogren, R. Wagner & R. Strauss
Historical text:Howard Thurston, Jean-Martin Charcot, Emile Magnin & Oscar Wilde
Gestural language:Magdeleine G

John Giffin: Professional choreographer, performer, & former member of the Pina Bausch Dance Theatre Company, and OSU Dance Faculty Emeritus.

  Venue and Dates:
Columbus, OH
 Devising process2014
Columbus Moving Company and Short North Stage Productions, Columbus, OH
An Original Dance Theater Performance
"Do I know you?" a magician asks his auditioning female assistant.
The answer sets off a chain of events spanning two centuries and three countries.
The Dream Dancer uses movement and words to present issues of hypnotism, hysteria, magic and identity. It is a tale of love, lies and psychic consequences. It conjures up historical figures including Magdeleine G (who when hypnotized spontaneously danced to music) and Emile Magnin (hypnotist who discovered her sleeping talent), Dr. Jean-Martin Charcot (doctor who specialized in female hysteria at the Salpetriere Hospital in Paris, France in late 19th century) and Augustine (one his patients who escaped from the hospital), and Howard Thurston (one of the most famous American magicians).
“I found both Jeanine and John in their same fine form as seasoned professional performers. Jeanine’s characters onstage are multi-dimensional, unpredictable, and delightfully original. She has a great gift for physical theatre; and she portrayed the women in this new work as much through her embodiment of them as through the text. She moved through a rich range of posture, gesture, and full-bodied action, bringing these women to life. Dream Dancers revisited themes and eras that this duo has examined in many prior works. But rather than repeat past narratives, they continued in this work to find new ideas, characters and stories—an artistic focus that I find extremely compelling. Some of these themes are: the supernatural, women’s mental health and sexuality, the turn of the 19-20th century, societal norms for women, magic tricks, physical deformity, and spirituality. Jeanine and John continue to create and perform highly original theatre pieces around these themes. Dream Dancers was no exception.”
  --  Susan Hadley, Professional Dancer and Choreographer, and Chair of OSU Department of Dance
“Talented dancers and outstanding performances by John Giffin and Jeanine Thompson, their new work "The Dream Dancer (and Other Hysterics)" is an exceptional example of research-based choreography and performance, archiving a history of bodies moving under the influence of hysteria and violence, magic and mysticism, desire, power, and gendered institutions. It's critical, it's spooky, (and) it's seductive.”
  --  Michael J. Morris – PhD Dance, Visiting Assistant Professor at Denison University
“Experiencing your (Jeanine’s) performance was one of the bigger thrills I can remember having. You were genuinely spectacular — fierce, bizarre, wildly specific and joyously committed... The show was affectingly unhinged and John was a ghostly and funny wonder as your foil.”
  --  Kevin McClatchy, Professional Actor
Photography by: Jerri Shafer
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Videographer: Janet Parrott