Dance Critiques Essay

Dance Critiques Essay-86
The piece negotiates such repeated scenarios of political violence by juxtaposing corporeal behaviors with archival documents, in particular video documentation of war and mass public gatherings and text of political speeches.Literalizing the notion of the personal as political, private experience in this piece is transmittable only through collective memory.

The piece negotiates such repeated scenarios of political violence by juxtaposing corporeal behaviors with archival documents, in particular video documentation of war and mass public gatherings and text of political speeches.Literalizing the notion of the personal as political, private experience in this piece is transmittable only through collective memory.

The images repeat in rapid succession as the couple engages in a hyperbolic (clothed) sexual encounter. He removes a sheet from the line and begins to stuff it into her shirt to symbolize a pregnancy that metaphorizes the dreams of revolution gestated by 1970s youth.

The moment turns violent when Argento’s character restrains his partner.

The movement style of this piece does not activate any one particular technique, but instead blends social dance citation, quotidian gesture, and rhythmic movement through space.

A central device in the piece, performers manipulate white fabric sheets that are continually re-arranged on lines diagonally strung across the stage, functioning as transformative objects as well as projection surfaces for the archival images featured throughout the work.y (1977) in which Sofia Loren removes white sheets from a laundry line (Luz 2010).

Within the past decade, a number of works have employed movement as a method for negotiating histories of violence. Occasionally citing the same photographic and political documents, these evening length works question how movement can remember and critique the disciplinary management of bodies by (military) violence.

To quote Luz’s performance, they critically explore a moment marked by “an enormous yearning for the past.” (Artistic Historic Parade) was the most notable of these; sponsored by the federal government, it transformed downtown Buenos Aires into a historical pageant of mass proportions with an estimated 2,000 people lining the streets and thousands more watching on television or via the internet.In each performed historical episode, the performers reiterate specific movements and fragments of text to underscore the ways in which histories of political violence draw upon what Diana Taylor identifies as repeating “scenarios” or “meaning making paradigms that structure social environments, behaviors, and potential outcomes” (2005, 28).While scenarios include textual elements such as narrative and plot, they also involve “attention to milieus and corporeal behaviors such as gestures, attitudes, and tones not reducible to language” (2005, 28).Argento wears a polo shirt and khakis and Wigutow a peasant-style shirt and slacks as they cite movements of 1960s and 1970s, including the twist and disco.As in the first scenario, sounds of military marching halts the euphoria of their dance.The dancers slowly crawl toward the front of the stage, as if moving through trenches, alternately speaking the lines, “Outside there are roars, dying blue hands, mouths in which beat defeat/The heavy noise of bombs falling on streets wet with blood [….] Soon the sun will come out/They will be different, the noises/Those of war/Those of love.”As one performer speaks, the other stands facing the audience, palms and fingers outstretched framing a mouth open in a silent scream.Archival footage of bombs falling over Europe projects onto the white sheets. The male character moves frantically about the stage reading letters written to his wife during the war.They dart between the haphazardly hung sheets and only their legs are visible as they perform jitterbug steps.The sounds of bombs and military drills abruptly interrupt their lighthearted movement.A thrice-repeated heterosexual love story structures as it moves through three defined historical moments—World War II, Argentina’s last military dictatorship, and the contemporary global preoccupation with contagion—to invoke an embodied genealogy of violence and social exclusion.Conceived and directed by well-established independent choreographer Vivian Luz and performed by dancer-actors Laura Wigutow and Carlo Argento, it weaves choreography with an original script by Laura Ferrari and a musical score composed of recorded songs and original sound arrangement by Cristóbal Barcesat.

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