Marie Chouinards sexually charged introduction programme appreciates dancers locked up like zoo animals then loosed, while Vladimir Putin is taunted with flogs and made to dance with a Nubian Queen
A naked dame perforates her body repeatedly against a wall, her saying hide by the dark autumn of whisker comprising her face. A pallid, serious youth jigs a solitary route through a gang of spectators, his limbs drift, warping and buckling to low-level electronic music. A middle-aged follower in a knitted detonator and lifeguards casing sweeps the flooring, talking all the while about the counsel to purify his life.
There is nothing brand-new about visual artistry that blurs into performance, or jig that verges on facility, but at Venice this year the question of categories feels interestingly loaded. Daina Ashbees Unrelated and Benot Lachambres Lifeguard are the firstly and third occurrences described above, hitherto while they feature in the programme that has been put together by the dancing biennales brand-new aesthetic director, Marie Chouinard, neither toil embraces traditional modes of choreography. The languorous street-dance solo, meanwhile, comes from Anne Imhofs Faust, a five-hour occasion that is attracting the largest bunch at the prowes biennale and whose communication is heavily predicated on dance.
The agency of the body is a key theme of Faust, often because its cast are forced into situations of unsettling passivity. Imhof has changed the interior of the German pavilion into glass enclosures within which private individuals or small groups of musicians are limited. As we march past or even above them, we are going to be able observe these young men and women engaged in their own variously stolid, unfriendly or sexual activities, as if they were laboratory samples or animals in a zoo.
Those glass walls and ceilings start to feel like an absolute divide, turning us into voyeurs and the musicians into objects even when theyre exhibiting mansions of threatening behaviour. It comes as a outraging change of dominance when the performers are sporadically let out of their cells and allowed to dance among us, taking sudden bid of the space and asserting their primacy over our clumsy, self-conscious bodies.
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