Shown as part of Fresh Tracks Residency Showing at New York Live Arts Studios, May 2012. Part of the Fresh Tracks Performance and Residency Program, supported, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts.
This work emerged out of a desire to touch on fundamental ideas in my work more directly and deeply. My dance training planted made me long to reach an ideal of the body, its lines, and emotional catharsis through dance. From a young age, I identified music as the basis of what it meant to feel good, finding ecstasy in experiencing music. At the same time, I grew up vocally impersonating people, leading to absurd humor.
On one side of myself is complete absurdity, and on the other a desire for ecstasy and ideal beauty. After realizing how deeply these ideas had been informing me, I decided to make them contend with each other more clearly.
In Barbara, I deal with the heightened emotionality and energy of über-dramatic pop songs, and the more quotidian nature of mediocrity, shame, and embarrassment. In this way, I utilized the mundane moments to reveal the silliness in the heightened states.
I also chose to more directly confront what being female onstage means to me. I dealt with my female body in more presentational and exploratory modes, both referencing the veneer of pop-culture sexiness vs. my real skin/hair/shape as a site of a deeper sexual energy. Tropes of femininity emerged more clearly in dealing with hyper-emotionality and hysteria.
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