Marie Chouinards sexually billed debut program reads dancers locked up like zoo animals then released, while Vladimir Putin is razzed with flogs and made to dance with a Nubian Queen
A naked girl pierces her body repeatedly against a wall, her expression obscured by the dark twilight of hair including her face. A pallid, serious boy dances a solitary footpath through a audience of onlookers, his limbs float, warping and buckling to low-level electronic music. A middle-aged follower in a knitted cap and lifeguards coat sweeps the flooring, talking all the while about the counsel to cleanse his life.
There is nothing new about visual skill that blurs into performance, or dance 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 affairs described above, yet while they feature in the programs that has been put together by the move biennales brand-new artistic director, Marie Chouinard, neither labor cuddles traditional modes of choreography. The languorous street-dance solo, meanwhile, comes from Anne Imhofs Faust, a five-hour episode that is attracting the largest army 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 altered the interior of the German pavilion into glass enclosures within which individuals or a small number of performers are confined. As we go past or even above them, we are going to be able observe these young men and women engaged in their own variously listless, unfriendly or sex activities, as if they were laboratory specimens or swine in a zoo.
Those glass walls and ceilings start to feel like an absolute segment, turning us into voyeurs and the musicians into objectives even when theyre exhibiting signs of threatening behaviour. It comes as a appalling reversion of dominance when the performers are periodically let out of their cells and allowed to dance among us, taking sudden require of the opening and insisting their supremacy over our clumsy, self-conscious bodies.
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