Polite Structures, La punta Bianca
Saturday 9th of November 2019
Polite Structures :
Polite Structures is a performance series which incorporates movement, sculpture, and sound to create an immersive, uneasy, sexually charged atmosphere. The female performers are hobbled by exaggerated, sculptural leg braces which I cast, welded and shaped in aluminum and steel. These contraptions are both provocative and uncomfortable to move in. Each time a dancer tries to take a step forward the braces drag her feet to the floor — such that progress can be made only through labored half-steps. Their calves are elongated, the line of their upper thighs extended, and their movements become muscular even as their feminine forms are emphasized. These tensions, both physical and aesthetic, result in a movement-score that is full of physical intensity and disturbing visual beauty.
Formally and normatively my structures might be considered a warped evolution of the high heel. Heels originated during medieval times when they were worn by both men and women as a sign of elevated class. They also elevated their wearers above the muck on the streets. The heel’s role in the contemporary mainstream can be attributed to the nascence of mass market pornography and the industrial revolution, which made steel and prurient fantasies similarly cheap commodities. My own heels, which look something like metal appendages supported by armatures, are likewise a confluence of romantizations, contradictions and literalizations. They both sexualize and diminish, elevate and invalidate, and they give physical manifestation to social constrictions while granting entirely new powers of movement. My work is informed by my own participation in a labor force that both taught me to weld and devalued those skills as secondary to my sexual identity.
Artistic Director: Emily Smith
Dance Artists/ Collaborators: Nola Sporn Smith and Elyse Desmond
Sound Collaborator: Alex Noreilli
Performance Featuring: Effy Grey
La Punta Bianca (Detriti Records)
Francesca Diprima and Philippe Brown, who are currently located in Paris, had been collaborating in various other musical projects before deciding to call into existence what is now La Punta Bianca. With their music, which has been released on the New Wave label Detriti Records, they revive and pursue the timeless sounds of France’s minimal wave movement.