medvetánc [bear dance] : Savage
7 & 8 April, 2017
Hackney Showroom, London, 7.30pm
part of the festival "Joy & Dissent" curated by Malik Nashad Sharpe
9 December, 2016
thanks to Maciej Piotr Beszek, Alisa Komarova, Ewa Sikorska, Gieorgij Puchalski, Ana Portela, Sophia Oltmanns,
Urvin Doornkamp, Rav Sila, Joshua Thies, aisthesis (stg. in oprichting)
medvetánc (Hungarian: "bear dance") started from a personal fascination for hair, fur, muscle, and (cis-)masculinity. the childhood memory of the same-named piano piece by 20th-century Hungarian composer Béla Bartók lead to the cultural phenomenon of dancing bears, which sometimes still is practiced in remote parts of Central and Eastern Europe. what was once an ancient ritual of life and death, has mostly become utterly cruel, crude popular entertainment, no longer deemed acceptable - an exreme example how dance, spirituality, and physicality can be treated.
in a series of short vignettes, often centered around a single piece of popular/folk art —music, imagery, films, but also stereotypes— the performer creates an intersectional identity strip-tease towards establishing the closest, most intimate possible connection with the audience, exploring and questioning otherness. while many features are pre-set, the piece varies from performance to performance, an exercise in live-dramaturgy.
Savage is a first breaking moment, where the performer faces the witnessing audience, in a transgressing, personal, private and vulnerable moment.
most of the dance happens on the level of personal energy.
it is not certain whether the performance will be fully successful.
internally, the performer is singing every word of the title-song (& means it)
thanks for the development of this piece to Jean-Ulrick Désert, Gloria Holwerda
the full series was developed during a residence at CLOUD/Danslab, Den Haag, November 2015
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