ditz vs. dance
Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but who can blame Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker for not being exactly flattered when Beyonce stole scenes from her for a music video.
Last year, Beyonce released a video for “Countdown,” an inane song about a woman who is “gone in the brain” over a guy. Standard reductive eye candy for the teenage set.
If only Beyonce had chosen to actually imitate De Keersmaeker’s content rather than just steal bits of set design and choreography, young women would be better off. The De Keersmaeker dance in question is “Rosas Danst Rosas,” a four-part dance that can be seen as a critique of the way in which women’s bodies and movement are kept in check by schools and workplaces. Unlike Beyonce’s gyrating dancers, De Keersmaker’s dancers display a range of qualities, from defiance to exhaustion, playfulness and endurance. Just watch…
Notice how the repetitive gestures in this piece convey a struggle with sexual expression – the dancers reveal shoulders then cover them; jam their hands between folded legs and then lunge as if they might take flight. This is a great example of how dance film expands both genres, dance and film. The camera frames gestures and expressions we might miss otherwise. It also joins in the repetitive pulsing nature of the movement, enhancing what is already a powerful exploration of how our bodies respond to constraints put on them by everyday institutions.
Then again we could just follow Beyonce’s lead and cling to feminine ideals of the 40s and 50s as if that was a route to meaning or freedom.
Hole Dance Films will demonstrate the power of dance phrases performed while sitting – and many other wonders – on Thursday at 5:30 at The Rose for Culture Front Live. Don’t miss it!