CHAIR DANCE (ADAGIO)
“Chair Dance” is an exploration of the chair as a prop and as a metaphor in sexualized performances. A classic chair dance sets up an idealized relationship between the female performer and a male audience member—who is implicitly seated on the chair receiving the performance. My “Chair Dance” is an intimate reinterpretation—I am surrounded closely by the audience on all sides and accompanied with improvisational acoustic violin by Johanna Weisbrock, who circles me slowly, pointing the arm of her instrument toward me. We perform an eight minute movement narrative where recognizable, sexualized movements devolve into violence as the violin melodies become discordant and the violinist falls to her knees. Throughout, I utilize movements borrowed from burlesque, strip teases, self defense and stage combat.
The role of the female body as a sexualized performing object shifts during the piece and the idealized heterosexual relationship modeled with a classic chair dance is destroyed. It is replaced by violent, absurd and triumphant movements in a narrative constructed with a female body that falls intertwined with the chair, drops the chair over her head and moves across the floor with the urgent and awkward movements of disorientation and fear. I struggle, tumble and pull myself across the floor, with the chair locked in my twisted limbs. The piece ends with the chair kicked away from my body, screeching across the floor on its side as the violinist drags the bow a final time across the horsehairs.