marie chouinard compagnie – bODY_rEMIX/gOLDBERG_vARIATIONS

An astonishing piece, created for the Venice Biennale’s International Festival of Contemporary Dance, Italy, 2005 by Canadian dancer, choreographer and dance company director Marie Chouinard, OC (born 14 May 1955). Some excerpts from the performance at Place des Arts, Montreal, 2007:

In this work by Marie Chouinard, the company’s ten dancers execute variations on the exercise of freedom. Often, the dancers appear on points: on one, two, and even four at a time. In a spectroscopy of the gesture, we also see them using different devices – crutches, rope, prostheses, horizontal bars, and harnesses – which at times liberate their movements, at others fetter it, and at still others create it.

This use of accessories gives rise to unusual bodily shapes and gestural dynamics and opens onto a universe of meticulous and playful explorations in which solos, duos, trios and group work, in their labour, pleasure and invention, echo the human condition.

An aesthete beyond norms, Marie Chouinard presents her ideas on the way the indefinableness of the Other and the flagrancy of Beauty brush up against one another through an interpretation of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Subtle and extravagant, sumptuous and wild, the work’s movements plumb the insoluble mystery of the body, of the living being.

Watch the whole performance >

a portrait of hans bellmer, by unica zurn (1965)

HANS BELLMER: The female body…is like an endless sentence that invites us to rearrange it, so that its real meaning becomes clear through a series of endless anagrams. (1)

UNICA ZÜRN: If woman is to put into form the ‘ule’ [Greek: matter] that she is, she must not cut herself off from it nor leave it to maternity, but succeed in creating with that primary material that she is […] Otherwise, she risks using or reusing what man has already put into forms, especially about her, risks remaking what has already been made, and losing herself in that labyrinth. (2)

A Portrait of Hans Bellmer
Unica Zurn, 1965

References
(1) Webb P.& Short R., Hans Bellmer (New York: Quartet Books, 1985). Cited in: Miranda Argyle, “Hans Bellmer and The Games of the Doll” (Online Publication, 2004).
(2) Quote cited in: Subversive Intent: Gender, Politics, and the Avant-Gardex by Susan Rubin Suleiman (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1990).