Extracts from generous reviews by Ann-Sofie Öman and Shannon Cochrane about La Pocha’s recent worshop & performance at City of Women festival.
“(…) She [Dani] conveys a number of aspects of how a woman can be restrained, from the strings of a pair of ballet shoes in a grotesque physical exercise, over a row of clothespins pinching the skin of her arms, to a non elastic dress shaped by cones made of transparent plastic, where she uses apples to push up her bosom even higher, while she with her body language all the time expresses how much she hates these restraints. All the costumes and all their details are very cleverly put together, with a true artist’s skillful, and very aware, mind and hands.
It’s very aggressive, but it’s more than that. The whole time there is a vulnerability over the performance, that without any hesitation gives the impression that there is a cause for this aggression – it’s not a mad feminist going nuts. Maybe it’s the memory of a mother who has been abused by her husband, maybe her character is a daughter that was abused by her father, maybe it’s just a reaction to a consistent sophisticated oppression by a very male society – or maybe a little of everything. Whatever it is, the symbol for it was a very red penis of average size and shape that she strapped on to herself. The catharsis was of course when she persuaded a male member of the audience to get up on the stage and melt the penis with the help of a gas burner for cocking. The penis, it looked as if it was made of stearin, slowly became smaller and smaller, to the obvious delight of the artist. Her final very intense washing of her naked genitals enhanced the impression of a cause connected to sexual violence of some kind, and the need of trying to wash away the disgust this violence has created within her, towards herself and towards men. (…) by Ann-Sofie Öman, covering for the Swedish magazine Danstidningen – CLICK HERE TO READ FULL REVIEW by Anne-Sofie
” (…) The body knows when the action is done. The Pochas cajole and remind the participants to trust their bodies, in spite of the fact that you cannot know what the entire image looks like while on the inside, but trust that your body will know intuitively when to shift, or change, or hold a pose. The Pochas walk back and forth constantly describing the action outloud, shouting adjustments, telling people to hold when something is working, and tapping people out when something is no longer groovy. Guillermo proudly booms, “This is working very badly!” It’s impressive the way they keep the energy swirling around the room by keeping all the bodies moving, reminding everyone to look at the image from every angle; to have a variety of action in the image – one person moving and two static, one durational and three short duration action, one on the floor, one in the foreground, and something tall in the background. It’s a living and breathing image, and they participants are practicing trust: in their ability to create in collaboration, and most importantly, to contribute to the tribe.
This motif repeats during the performance: CORPO INSURRECTO 3.0: The Robo-Proletariat. If a proletariat is one whose super power is their ability to simply work, the Robo-Proletariat in Corpo Insurrecto is called upon to do more than work. The Robo-Proletariat in Corpo Insurrecto is called upon to “work it”. This runway stomping super creature is the perfect love child born of a performance art affair, one-half artist (trans-national, borderless, genderless) and one-half audience (willing participant, open-hearted witness, lover).(…) By Shannon Cochrane, Artistic Director of FADO Performance Art Centre, Canada – CLICK HERE TO READ FULL REVIEW by Shannon
Photos: City of Women festival 2013 – by Nada Žgank
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