America ReFramed

Enter the Faun

Season 05  Episode 4

ENTER THE FAUN is the culmination of an intensive two-year collaboration between Tamar Rogoff and Gregg Mozgala, a young actor with cerebral palsy. As a choreographer, Tamar had always been interested in exploring the body, with non-dancers as well as dancers. Fascinated by Gregg’s unique physicality, she was inspired to choreograph “Diagnosis of a Faun.” Their creative exploration, at the intersection of science and art, led them to discover that his diagnosis and physical limitations were not necessarily fixed and immutable.

Trained as a dancer and the daughter of a medical doctor, Tamar was surrounded by science but lacked formal medical training. Her keen knowledge of anatomy and movement, however, led her on a path to explore the body’s intelligence. For Gregg, he faced life in a wheelchair at age 40 because of his cerebral palsy. While he had no muscular disfigurement, he experienced pain, physical tension and mental anguish, which kept his body out of balance. Gregg was always concerned about his walking - in relation to others and, after working with Tamar, in relation to himself. Tamar employed a combination of techniques and practices to help address Gregg’s fears in a nurturing way. She wondered if through dance she could help create alternate neuro-pathways.

Challenging the boundaries of medicine and art, as well as the limitations associated with disability, Tamar and Gregg opened the door to new and endless possibilities. His transformation was so radical that even before Tamar could understand its ramifications, she knew she needed to document it and share it.