Marie Chouinards sexually billed introduction curriculum considers dancers locked up like zoo animals then unleashed, while Vladimir Putin is razzed with lashes and made to dance with a Nubian Queen
A naked woman punches her body frequently against a wall, her speech hidden by the dark autumn of fuzz including her face. A pallid, serious teenager dances a lonely route through a mob of onlookers, his limbs waft, warping and fastening to low-level electronic music. A middle-aged guy in a knitted detonator and lifeguards jacket embroils the flooring, talking all the while about the advise to cleanse his life.
There is nothing new about visual art that blurs into performance, or dance that verges on station, but at Venice this year the question of categories feels interestingly loaded. Daina Ashbees Unrelated and Benot Lachambres Lifeguard are the first and third phenomena described above, yet while they feature in the programme that has been put together by the dance biennales new artistic head, Marie Chouinard, neither operate hugs traditional different modes of choreography. The dreamy street-dance solo, meanwhile, comes from Anne Imhofs Faust, a five-hour contest that is reaping the largest crowds at the artwork biennale and whose usage is heavily predicated on dance.
The agency of the body is a key topic of Faust, often because its cast are forced into situations of unsettling passivity. Imhof has changed the interior of the German pavilion into glass assemblies within which private individuals or a small number of musicians are confined. As we tread past or even above them, we are going to be able observe these young men and women engaged in their own variously listless, hostile or sex tasks, as if they were laboratory specimens or animals in a zoo.
Those glass walls and ceilings start to feel like an absolute partition, turning us into voyeurs and the musicians into objectives even when theyre exhibiting signals of threatening behaviour. It comes as a stunning change of strength when the performers are periodically let out of their cadres and allowed to dance among us, taking abrupt authority of the opening and asserting their dominance over our tricky, self-conscious bodies.
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