What a Body You Have, Honey

"The body is not a nature. We have never seen a body.” - Elisabeth Grosz

What a Body You Have, Honey questions the relationship between perception and the notion of recognition. It investigates the concept of simulacra, as means of destabilizing the gaze and its reliability in the perception of reality, and to question the quality of representation. This work drives the spectator towards an intellectual, a sensual and emotional recognition that representation is always a matter of construction. It also underlines the female body’s vacillation between absence and presence.

What a Body You Have, Honey first sets the conditions: a space of indeterminacy and potentiality. Onstage is a white landscape made of a white backdrop and white dance floor. A white fabric-like object is in the white landscape. No movement. No sound. No music.

A human figure dressed in a huge white duvet-like costume with no face nor gender assignment evolves slowly within the landscape. While the figure becomes a surface of projection of desire for recognition and identification, it also refuses fixed categorization through a continuous process of transformation. Through time, it evolves in its own figuration by folding and unfolding itself. These investigations of the performer’s body produce a game to question what is there between the "really present" and the "really seen”.

Through micro-movements and via subtle reconfigurations within the body and between the body-parts, the choreography unfolds through momentary images, situations and identities. The total invisibility of the face involves the spectators in re-reading the figure and its shifting conditions. By slowly taking off layers by layers, as in a slow conceptual and sensual striptease, the performer acts out a hallucinatory capacity to flip the front and the back side of the body re-initiating the theatrical and social contract of the suspension of disbelieve.

Choreography and dance Eszter Salamon Production Le Kwatt, in situ productions Organization Alexandra Wellensiek / Botschaft With the support from TanzWerkstatt-Berlin, Podewil-Berlin and Senatsverwaltung für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kultur, Berlin and the Centre Chorégraphique National de Montpellier With thanks to Sylvie Guiresse for the costume realization and Brenda Edwards

©Katrin Schoof