Michigan Artist Creates Sexualized Visual Poetry through Dance
If all heterosexual matches between man and woman took place on a dance floor, society might stand at a cat’s game. Sara Holwerda’s performance, visual burlesque poetry, that tackles exactly this dynamic, spoke worlds of traditional malefemale sexual dynamics and power struggles, using monologuestyle dance accompanied by fervent viola (by Johanna Wiesbrock) to address the nature of this game.
Documentation of the action translated literally to paper follow thusly and chronologically.
Donning heels, leggings & relatable tee,
female artist twirling vertically accompanied by
violin. Contorts to Vshape
up submissive pushes chair and falls.
Wraps leg around chair on floor
Holds onto chair with arms on floor
Flips chair over head to left on floor
Crawls on floor with leg in chair
Gyrating with chair, chair falls over head
Struggling on floor with chair over head like suffocating
Kicks chair off while on floor
With head in chair twists herself up off floor
Violinist is crawling on knees
Getting closer to and spawning action
Artist kicks chair off body finally after long time on floor
The chair slides across room
Her hair is messy
The she bows.
Sara quite literally interpreted and expressed the dominantly held perception of how a female should behave sexually through choreographed movement. Submissive, forgiving but direct, her body fell in check with the dominating chair. The classic symbol of the chair in burlesque, clearly an inanimate object, cradles the capacity to insert control over these social situations through interpretive, artistic discourse. The question that remains is why this conception, ringing true throughout the course of centuries, still looks so familiar in contemporary society.
Photo by Arjuna Capulong
Whitney Richardson fell upon Defibrillator when looking for a home for No Lights No Lycra Chicago, a weekly dance in the dark jam, at the beginning of February. She works as a writer, community builder, food justice activist and interdisciplinary artist. She founded the Kite Collective out of New York City in 2012, using kites as a way to engage with the environment, community and the self in a way that is transient and magical. You can find her dancing at DFB on Tuesday evenings