The mirror of the body
3 different cycles will enable the discovery of both traditional and contemporary choreographed presentations, conferences, films and various events that address the animal body, the body as a mirror of femininity and the acrobatic body.
Along with the voice, the body is the primary instrument of expression. Today, it has lost many of its functions and much of its identity. Despite a permanent interest in appearances, the body is no longer the first reference of a codified social identity. Its modes of expression -except perhaps within the choreographic space of a performance- have become trivialized and replaced by a sporty or erotic function; or a costume, which is only aesthetic according to the current fashion; this is far from the fertile image of traditional societies.
The body as a vessel for a soul or a prop to be adorned perhaps occupied, deified, transformed, possessed, animalized, martialized. It can transgress nature or imitate it, it can paint itself, tattoo itself, transform itself, become a cultural, differential and personalized entity within itself.
Through music, dance, fashion shows, martial arts, acrobatics, masks, puppetry, ceremonies of possession or art workshops, this program opens the door to Ancient India and its ancestral cult of the snake, up to hip hop and urban expression of the body.
Finally, the different aspects of ritualization of the body all have this manner of reaching eternity through the ephemeral in common, this possibility of becoming the Other for an instant.
cycle 1: The animal body
cycle 2: The body as a mirror of femininity
From 13rd to 23rd March 2008
The body in drag: femininity without the woman
This theme will address the drag rituals of Myanmar with, for the first time ever, a presentation of the ceremony of mediums in drag: Naq-Pwe.
In a process of inversion, the masculine body transgresses its nature and adopts, or highlights the mystery of a femininity, which is both close and inaccessible.
The supernatural occurs during the Naq-Pwe ceremony: in order to embody the spirit of Naq, who has decided to ‘marry him’ the Naq-kadaw, beomes the fragile dolly from another world. She is delicate and made-up to the extreme because the Naq-Pwe is a veritable fashion show from the beyond.
Like shamanism, The Naq Pwe reminds us how the feminine possesses the privilege of nature, a place of animal survival and of the sacred. Femininity, like an invisible key justifies and transcends the disguise.
The Taiwanese dancer, Lee Ming Cheng is part of a long tradition where the masculine and the feminine are interchangeable. He and his troop: Body Expression Dance, supply a new, refined and comic vision of the crossover between masculinity and femininity.