42: A STONEWALL PROSPECTIVE
PIONEER WINTER COLLECTIVE
“42: A Stonewall Prospective” featured live contemporary dance, film, and large-scale props in a multidisciplinary performance to recall the events leading to the uprising and violent gender protests of June 28, 1969, which birthed the modern-day gay civil rights movement. The image included is a still from the film “Heterodox” displayed in conjunction with the live performance. The work responds to issues of identity, stigma, violence, and liberation. Stonewall is where the impetus for change began. That night was not the first exercise of fighting for rights in queer history, but it’s a marker. Even more important than the riots were the resulting mobilization of gays in America and the campaigns for continued change. The riots could have been it. Instead, it encouraged a new era of social relevance.
The performances perpetuate the idea of constraint and forced submission through a lanky dancer atop a golden bed that appears to be melting, as he is manhandled by dancers masked behind motorcycle shields. One of the masked dancers then enters an ornate bathroom stall-the persecutor becomes the persecuted. This conveys the significance of hypocrisy and fear of forthrightness-a timid tap dance within the bathroom stall quickly becomes sexually charged. On film, two dancers in the Ancient Spanish Monastery engage in pas de deux, fighting for dominance over the other. This spurs the acceptance of identity when met with opposition by a herd of dancers happy to be fettered to fearful anonymity.