Fine Tranny Ass (FTA) was an in situ duet that took place at Circuit-Est Centre Chorégraphique in Montreal at the same time as the much larger, international Festival TransAmériques (also 'FTA') was also in town. This piece was inspired by CitiBar, the now defunct Montreal dance bar that catered to trans female sex workers and their blue collar admirers. It marked the beginning of my research for the solo, THE PRINCIPLE OF PLEASURE.
*I use the term 'tranny' to make reference to porn sites and sex ads of similar names
The duet began with a street recitation by drag artist BILLY L'AMOUR of a MAYA ANGELOU poem titled, "Still I Rise":
"You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
- MAYA ANGELOU
May we all be allowed to rise.
Director, Choreographer, Dancer, Video Editor: GERARD REYES
Music: "Control" by JANET JACKSON, JAMES HARRIS III, TERRY LEWIS
Remix: TY HARPER
This video was filmed at Circuit-Est Centre Chorégraphique, Montreal
© 2013 Gerard Reyes