jerk

photos by Daniela Sanchez

photos by Daniela Sanchez

JERK is a physically vulnerable choreography that frames the male body precariously between violence and pleasure. In the work, I swing a microphone bound from my pelvis, evoking BDSM, athletics, games, and religious flagellation. Through genital hypnosis and rigorous discomfort, this dance is of pleasure, longing, mutilation and care. It is a dance to flatten and complexify the male body, to tenderize the flesh, to move beyond and to newly inhabit - a phallic solo to recompose the phallus.

 

It is built from formal possibilities of swinging a microphone from my pelvis and arms. To develop this safely, I researched safe binding techniques. I progressed in phases, first with a mic bound from my crotch, hands tied around my back, then one mic swinging from my hands, then one mic from each hand, totaling three microphones. Eventually I layered the sounds generated by the microphones, working with amplifier feedback, effects pedals, and a mike in my mouth to create a cacophonous soundscape. I view the work as an exorcism of violent white patriarchal masculinity, not necessarily posing a solution, but rather, exhausting the body through juggling unstable actions, preparing it for change.

 

'JERK' was developed with commissioning support from Gibney Dance and the Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, the Late Nite Series in Minneapolis, residency support in NYC from Chez Bushwick, Abrons Arts Center, in Portland from LACUNA, and in Buenos Aires at UV Estudios. Excerpts have been performed in NYC at Glasshouse Artlifelab, Movement Research at the Judson Church, and Draftwork at Danspace, and in it's entirety at Domingo in Lima, Peru, and Human Resources in L.A. 

'JERK' had it's world premiere in February 2016 at the cultural space Domingo through the festival Encuentro in Lima, Peru. It then toured to the west coast of the U.S. in April 2016 to Human Resources in L.A. and was performed in January 2017 at the Center for Performance Research, July 2017 in Mexico City at Huerto Roma Verde, and in Puebla at Segundo Piso. It has been performed in many shorter segments throughout NYC, in Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Oakland, and Buenos Aires.

 

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A short video created by the Performance Mix Festival on the process of 'JERK'  in 2015 - newdancealliance.org/performance-mix-festival/artist-roster/alex-romania/