Within this framework, one or other of the partners will dissolve in erotic activity.
Vancouver Danny is a dancer too. He knows all the words to the Dylan ballads. We are not in love. We get stoned and hang out together on tour.
One night, after the performance, we drop acid and go swimming in the hotel pool. After the usual god-like-hallucinations-andphilosophical-outpourings-of-oneness-with-theuniverse that I associate with acid trips, we have sex in the shower. As the day proceeds these turn into purple-blue bruises. By the time I arrive at the theatre for ballet class, they are not a pretty sight — but a site that blatantly tells its tale. The ballet mistress is visibly shocked. That night we are performing Swan Lake and I am one of the swans.
I look in the mirror. I think about the swan. I think about the night before. A swan who has sex. A swan that proves she becomes human at night. A swan who is alive on earth and living in sin. An interesting performance proposition maybe, but not tonight. As a fallen swan I take stock. I will have to white up tonight. It is built into the choreography and the grand pas de deux.
It is built into the classical ballet stories, the consummation through death.
Most of all, it is there in performance between spectators and performers at the moment of performing. In this timeless zone, where adrenaline rushes, a total giving and taking occurs, a little death between performers and spectators. At the moment of performing, held by the eyes of spectators, I could feel myself dissolve through and transcend the pain to become something else.
In ballet, the moment of performing provides the climax: the height of pleasure, the release of withheld desires, the loss of oneself into another form. This is the reward for the sweat and tears. Here it might appear that the ballerina is the one to dissolve in erotic activity. But she does not. As Bataille says, the woman pretends that she is being raped. The ballet dancer performs the act of submission from a position of power. She, like he, possesses the famous phallus — the language.
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Zooming forward and looking back, stepping out of the clutches of beauty and ballet, I am about to skim over the radical feminist deconstruction of eroticism, swerve to the side of X6, to a later time of queer subversion. From the s onwards, we could play, laugh and juggle with the intense relations of pleasure and pain. Here I could acknowledge the seductive engagement in the eroticism of ballet, as a performer, director and spectator. In Virginia Minx at Play , I explored the erotic desires behind various personae including a housewife, a Latin lover, an opera diva and a mad woman with knives.
Yes? No! Maybe... : Seductive Ambiguity in Dance
Fantasies of perfection The most thought provoking work is Sweet Rage. By , these inherent memories were tools with which to play in performance. At the end of the piece, Helen hangs upside down from scaffolding, blood dripping from her belly, above the dinner table. He shifts deviously through the spaces between other characters, a shadow of lurking chaos. She hunts Kuldip. Celeste stands and walks independently, but within a contraption that encases her. We see Celeste alone on stage, facing the back, walking upstage precariously, and rocking from side to side as she goes, summoning enormous effort to move the steel frame.
She is singing gaily, joyous and innocent, her pain and pleasure made vulnerable to our voyeuristic view. As a spectator I allow myself knowingly to collude with the eroticism of ballet. I watch a class at the RBS.
- Digital Satellite Navigation and Geophysics.
- Alkoholabhängigkeit bei Jugendlichen (German Edition).
- Mavis Freestone.
- Paper In My Pocket from Both Sides of the Fence;
- Alter Ego #4.
- 1 Night Stand | Awards | LibraryThing;
- Taken on the Train.
I face a row of young girls standing at the barre wearing skin-clinging pink tights and pale lilac leotards: clones of each other — almost. I look at the girl closest to me; I read a petite delicate innocence on her body. After six years of training, her tiny, constructed, jewel-like image has become inseparable from her real body.
With her hair drawn away from her pale face, I observe a sophistication of expression way beyond the vulnerability of her body. She steps towards the barre into arabesque and her left leg rises behind her. The rest of her body remains delicately poised and shows no sign of tension. Her face transcends the effort. There is the edge of violence, stealing through the sweetness. I feel the thrill of pain and pleasure run through my body as my eyes grasp her vulnerability.
My gaze pierces her image and my eyes burn. I feel a wrenching shock open an abyss between tenderness and violence.
Her leg lifts as an unfolding quietness of violence, she is a demure diamond exposed to glaring sunlight; a fragile smile stretched into a screaming grotesque. The effect on my body is sudden, gut wrenching and breathtakingly wondrous as I take charge of the dissolution of her body into my memory. Performing, watching, directing and writing, I re-claim pain and pleasure with an ironic awareness of subversion and performativity. But collusion came later. As I grew up in the s and s, the myth of beauty enticed us, simultaneously tantalizing and cruelly deceitful.
Rise above the madness, chaos and self-destruction to a sanity that was madness in disguise or fail. Fantasies of perfection 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 for the dazzling image that was always just over there. The dualism was right inside the bodies that were feeding Western aesthetics of beauty. It was also what made the ballet presence so seductive. For many of us, the chaos that was our real bodies would sooner or later stake its claim, as it did for me in the s.
I perform with members of the Martha Graham Company, modelling and baby-sitting to earn a living. She taught class just once. I sit with my legs open wide to the side. I lift my arms above my head, open my hands, palms up, lifting my face to look at the ceiling. I am told that if I have more sex my dancing will improve. I wonder how much more that could possibly be.
I am invited to join the newly formed Martha Graham Company but I cannot. It is too late.
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My body can no longer lie: emotional and physical chaos is cracking the surface. I am treading the waters of cockroaches, drugs, sex and bulimia. I leave New York in and return to Toronto.