Marie Chouinards sexually accused debut program interprets dancers locked up like zoo animals then released, while Vladimir Putin is taunted with beats and made to dance with a Nubian Queen
A naked girl pierces her body frequently against a wall, her expression veiled by the dark autumn of mane embracing her face. A pallid, serious boy dances a lonely track through a crowd of observers, his limbs swim, warping and fastening to low-level electronic music. A middle-aged soul in a knitted detonator and lifeguards case wipes the floor, talking all the while about the urge to cleanse his life.
There is nothing new about visual artwork that blurs into performance, or dance that verges on station, but at Venice this year issues of categories feels interestingly loaded. Daina Ashbees Unrelated and Benot Lachambres Lifeguard are the first and third happens described above, hitherto while they feature in the program that has been put together by the dance biennales brand-new aesthetic director, Marie Chouinard, neither handiwork espouses traditional modes of choreography. The dreamy street-dance solo, meanwhile, comes from Anne Imhofs Faust, a five-hour affair that is depicting “the worlds largest” army at the skill biennale and whose expression 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 altered the interior of the German pavilion into glass enclosures within which private individuals or a small number of performers are held. 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 stolid, unfriendly or sexual pleasures, as if they were laboratory samples or animals in a zoo.
Those glass walls and ceilings start to feel like an absolute segment, turning us into voyeurs and the performers into objects even when theyre exhibiting signals of menacing action. It comes as a outraging change of influence when the performers are periodically let out of their cadres and allowed to dance among us, taking sudden dictation of the space and declaring their dominance over our tricky, self-conscious bodies.
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