Backs, Backsides, and Asses as Dance Anachronisms

A 1931 untitled nude by Edward Weston.  I always found Weston's photography as severly lacking the sophistication of his contemporaries in other disciplines.

A 1931 untitled nude by Edward Weston.

I was never particularly fond of Edward Weston’s photography, lacks the sophistication of contemporaries in other disciplines.  Nevertheless, this image strongly resonates with those appearing in contemporary dance.

bolero_01

Raimund Hoghe's 2007 "Boléro Variations."

platel_backs

I am currently writing about this piece, Alain Platel's 2008 "pitié!." There is a similar moment in which his performers display their figurative "backsides"-- it looks just like the Weston photo.

It is hard not to be reminded of this canonical image...

It is hard not to be reminded of this canonical image...

There is even a whole book on the subject, “Am Rand der Körper,” (literally and inelegantly “At the Edge of Bodies,”) recently been written in German by Susanne Foellmer.  It is possible to read the table of contents and introduction on the publisher’s website.  (My thoughts on this when I read it.)

UMS1089TSFoellmer-neu.indd

A related area of inquiry has been taken up by Austrian choreographer Willi Dorner, whose “bodies in urban space,” is presently been toured in Europe and the U.S..  There is something so predictable about its appeal to institution festivals.

dorner_backs

Willi Dorner in Nottingham.

In the courtyard of Paris' Bibliothèque Nationale François Mitterand. I want to be skeptical of his work, but I like this.

In the courtyard of Paris' Bibliothèque Nationale François Mitterand. I want to be skeptical of Dorner's work, but I like this unobtrusive transformation of otherwise sterile and monumental public space.

***

Update September 2009

fridgehead

I discovered this on rhizome.org recently, as part of a daily tumblr conceptual project by a (presumably young) artist named David Horvitz. It's much less sophisticated, but seems nevertheless like an interesting addition to this collection.

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