Arts of cabaret, dress up, glamour and the shadow part, the abject, are a the liminal space where we play make-believe, a liminal space where a dialogue between the polarities is possible and the erotic, humor, disgust and a social discourse create an undescribable blend of sweat, moans, joy, intellectual (dis-)engagement, glitter and laughter.
-fan dance, wild excessive feminine, the grotesque side of beauty, aerial hoop, splits, eye rolling, wet creases, body hair, sweat dripping, ass-shakin, glamour stays on, weirdly attractive-
Performance which makes the unseen visible, creates `notions of exaggerating, condensing, highlighting, revealing, concealing, of guise and disguise, of social, political and spiritual boundary-crossing, of transgressive behaviour, […] common to all forms of performance. […]Notions of exaggerating, condensing, highlighting, revealing, concealing, of guise and disguise, of social, political and spiritual boundary-crossing, of transgressive behaviour, are common to all forms of performance. [performance] makes death a laughing matter and relieve sorrow; cross-gender performing makes the male female, the female male; the powerless performer becomes an entranced other – powerful, central and dynamic.‘ (Harding, Frances 2002)
▽ Maria Santa (improvisation)▽
Santa Maria ora pro nobis! You who combine the worst and best of the female and the worst and most loathed in the male and transform it into grace by love, stand by us when the days are rough with a firm hand handle our human pain, yourself hurt in love. You who show our human darkness, and having tripped over the rim of your skirts restore the connection to others around you, Santa Maria ora pro nobis! You who love yourself and loath yourself, and whose soft heart stays soft even as you strike, stand by us, play with us and take care of the hearts we offer to you, spontaneously, those hearts aflame. And when the moon is dark and my dark strivings leave me myself agasp, stand by me and laugh, laugh, laugh at the human mess we are. And then shed your tears, all the water of your eyes from the ocean in your cranial cavities.
(password ‘maria santa’)
Video by Henrique Antao Ponderosa drag night
Note: All spanking was consensual, all strikes awarded from a place of an open heart and love, with much of respect for other’s integrity and happened on a request of members of the audience/community who volunteered their bottoms willingly, with fun and light-heartedness. (It was not planned as the part of the performance.)
▽ A different type of a girl▽
a dance inspired by wild dances of Josephine Baker, showgirls who throw knives and lick flames, jumping flesh, by the bizzare side of the feminine beauty, a fetishization of insanity and feminine pain, smudged lipsticks, cut stockings, gypsy music, swing era and frantic, sweaty, real dancing. An embodied research in the eroticism of the female upmost ‘hysterical’, ‘insane’ and thus powerful self danced on Django Reinhardt’s version of ‘Dark Eyes’.
▽ Intertextual Shaving, Intellectual Masturbation▽
-soundtrack mixtape by Spencer Bamborough-
The feminine about femininity. The erotic and the unpoetic. An intelectual show off. Hold your bookworm glasses tight! Non-burlesque performance asking difficult questions. A razor advertisement and Pergolesi’s morbid Oedipal stirrings. Fetish or abject? Erotic? Grinding? Intertextual armpit shaving. – With love.
A dramatic performance with a special track mixing Pergolessi’s Stabat Mater, misogynist rap, Erykah Badu, Bananarama track known from The Gilette Venus advertisement and electronic sounds finishing off with an audio of Audre Lorde reading an excerpt from her pillar text ‘The Uses of The Erotic’.
‘The erotic has often been misnamed by men and used against women. It has been made into the confused, the trivial, the psychotic, and plasticized sensation. For this reason, we have turned away from the exploration and consideration of the erotic as a source of power and information, confusing it with the pornographic. (…) The purpose of the erotic is to encourage excellence.’ (Audre Lorde)
▽ ‘At heart I am a gentleman’▽
‘’They will never let us in and say: ‘Boys will be boys’ ‘, because even Marlene ‘at heart is a gentleman’.”
A fan dance with a strap-on surprise booty shake. The invisible female queerness, bisexual struggle, femme-butch confusion, flesh moving, pegging, joie de vivre and the fan dance classy glamour accompanied by tunes from Marlene Dietrich, Leonard Cohen’s ‘I’m your man’, wilderness by Sainkho Namtchylak and heavy breathing routine by Tanya Tagaq (mixed by Spencer Bamborough). Love has never been so good. Love has never been so torturous.
▽ Carnival Revolution 2015▽
a brainchild of nights curled up together and talking mess by Isabella Shirley-Miller and Tereza Silon. This is a celebration of The International Women’s Day: ‘Bring your femme out!’ https://carnivalrevolution2015.wordpress.com/
The event bridges worlds of the sensational, pleasures and social work. It combines a dress up party, an experiential blindfolded dinner, cabaret and an auction of artworks from incredible artists for The Art Box London, a charity working with artists with learning disabilities.
The realization of the party was mightily supported by Hannah Peaches Stapleton and Daniel Hernandez as well as by a community of London-based artists. Credits and thanks to all menitoned in the event’s website.
▽ Carnival Mass Disco▽
at The Open Air Festival Hradec Králové
in a collaboration with The Psychedelic Kidnap Experience (Daniel Hernandez) and Dance Love Be (Roisin Greene)
‘Carnival is not only a time of celebration, but also an interplay, a dialogue between otherwise polarized categories of a ‘normalcy‘ and an ‘anomalous‘, ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’, ‘sacred’ and ‘profane’ or even ‘deep down and dirty’, but always centred and in an alignment between the body, heart and mind… This interplay creates a dialogue of surprising outcomes, it brings creative responses and sweet sweat on our bodies as we move to funky tunes.‘
read more here
▽Stretching into pleasure, breathing into pain ▽
An experiential anatomy and physical and energy bodies’ mapping. A research into the interrelatedness of physical training and BDSM, the energy body and the physical one, about the beauty of physical strenght and vulnerability, the affirmative properties of feeling, learning bodies boundaries and transforming sensations through breath, softening tensions in muscles and surrendering, creating open ‘spaces’ between issues and bones, which is a deeply healing and expansive experience. The relationship between breath, mind-focus and physical comfort known from yoga practice, positions and resistance-pressure application known from a contotion/flexibility circus training.
Building self-connection and self-responsibility as well as understanding physical limitations and boundaries of your stretch-partner and your own. Communication.
The smallest micro dances of electric currents in nerves, breath in, slow down, open a body to another’s pressure.
Have you ever noticed how any extreme sensations in body (pleasurable or opposite) cause us to panic? Have you ever noticed that if you relax you can have more? More of everything? To create an abundance of whatever, if you wish so?
The inspiration beyond my critical cabaret pieces and platforms is ‘…the shadow of the spirit, that had to be mastered; a subtext always present in the text’s denial of the body . I read classical antiquity as carnivalized antiquity, defining ‘carnivalisation’ as the intrusion of play, humour and folk culture into high discourses such as philosophy. I focus on mimicked speech, rhetoric and the sexual body.’ (Shannon Bell, ‘Tomb of the Sacred Prostitute: Symposion’)