(image: from Jacob Henss and Hannah Price performance in the basement of MARSH in August, 2019)
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14
St. Louis movement and dance artists & student artists from the University of Illinois come together to share works-in-progress; drafts, material, and excerpts from their current projects dealing with gender and sexuality, emotional and nervous stimuli, self construction, memory, and more. Organized by Jacob Henss, presented by the MARSH Arts League.
*****free and open to the public*****
Choreographers and Performers:
“Here we go again was born from the idea that a perfect performance of gender is as possible as licking one’s elbow. In a shifting jungle gym of popular culture reference, two dancers, Rachel Rizzuto (female) and myself (nonbinary), struggle to find stability in identity while clashing with exhaustion, repetition, and interruption. Judith Butler’s “Performative Acts and Gender Constitution” provides a theoretical underpinning to the work: Ideas of repetitive acts and gender formation are literalized and abstracted in a temporally compressed setting. Spatial organization becomes key to navigating impossible tasks, but ultimately fails to contain the kinesthetic and comedic unraveling of those impossibilities.”
“The project uses text generated through memoir-inspired tactics to explore the lived and mythologized experience of ‘becoming a woman’ in American culture. Drawing from burlesque, stand-up comedy, and late-night radio talk show host persona, the movement and overall performance vernacular references sources of heightened sexual performance of femininity, crassness, and blue-collar soothsaying. Performed as a solo, this work will utilize both text and movement to convey the rift between pleasure and mandated self-control that is dichotomized in many aspects of the lived female experience.
“My dances explore moving so fast that all your eyes catch is color and a distorted outline of shape. This motion blur might feel gentle, but rough around the edges. In certain moments, movement might feel stuck as a photograph that someone has walked through. The color may drag and light may become skewed. I discuss old stories and explore why we remember what we remember because of memory’s personal, sentimental, and dramatic nature, which can be a useful way to create material that’s important to dancers and communities that witness the work.”
“This section of a work-in-progress moves between the awkward and socially-confined hotel elevator, and the world of pleasurable all-American spectator sport. The sport’s logic is flirtatious and combative, filled with communication failure and lots of cheating. With some sexual tension and some contact improvisation gone awry, this piece researches the effort of negotiation.”
“A rough sketch of my recent research is exploring gay porn, the perimeters of it, and my relationship with it. I look at gay porn through different lenses; literally and what is acceptable within a realm of fantasy and desires.”
“When sensations within our environment inform our nervous system we are able to absorb that stimuli and use this information to respond to experiences; thus giving us the ability to conduct ourselves. It is the way in which each person responds to sensations, internal or external, that intrigues me enough to physicalize this natural human experience into a dance.”