Dance Critiques Essay

Dance Critiques Essay-33
century Argentine history, in particular the last military dictatorship (1976-1983).The contributions of contemporary dance, however, have not figured prominently in discussions around how performance and embodied practice transmit traumatic cultural memory.

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He disappears behind the sheets as images of post-war Europe flash across the curtains, displaying cities reduced to rubble.

She slowly begins to remove the sheets from the lines.

In each performed historical episode, the performers reiterate specific movements and fragments of text to underscore the ways in which histories of political violence draw upon what Diana Taylor identifies as repeating “scenarios” or “meaning making paradigms that structure social environments, behaviors, and potential outcomes” (2005, 28).

While scenarios include textual elements such as narrative and plot, they also involve “attention to milieus and corporeal behaviors such as gestures, attitudes, and tones not reducible to language” (2005, 28).

The images repeat in rapid succession as the couple engages in a hyperbolic (clothed) sexual encounter. He removes a sheet from the line and begins to stuff it into her shirt to symbolize a pregnancy that metaphorizes the dreams of revolution gestated by 1970s youth.

The moment turns violent when Argento’s character restrains his partner.They dart between the haphazardly hung sheets and only their legs are visible as they perform jitterbug steps.The sounds of bombs and military drills abruptly interrupt their lighthearted movement.Argento wears a polo shirt and khakis and Wigutow a peasant-style shirt and slacks as they cite movements of 1960s and 1970s, including the twist and disco.As in the first scenario, sounds of military marching halts the euphoria of their dance.A thrice-repeated heterosexual love story structures as it moves through three defined historical moments—World War II, Argentina’s last military dictatorship, and the contemporary global preoccupation with contagion—to invoke an embodied genealogy of violence and social exclusion.Conceived and directed by well-established independent choreographer Vivian Luz and performed by dancer-actors Laura Wigutow and Carlo Argento, it weaves choreography with an original script by Laura Ferrari and a musical score composed of recorded songs and original sound arrangement by Cristóbal Barcesat.Instead, gesture and choreographed movement literalize cultural memory as always already embodied and in excess of its documentation.Central to the meaning-making framework of each piece, archival materials function as dialogic components in an exploration of what it was like for the body to be moved by—and to move against—social choreographies of terror.As police sirens ring, “iconic” images of the 60s and 70s—including Woodstock—show masses of young bodies gathered together in the name of hope.The couple performs an updated love story as new projections appear featuring Argentine student and union manifestations of these decades. Wigutow wraps her legs around Argento’s neck as he stands with her inverted face toward the audience.


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