Seattle International Dance Festival kicked off last night at Raisbeck Hall with two inquisitive and challenging performances. Friday night’s opening program began with a dance performance from Khambatta Dance Company (Seattle), a piece called Vice and Virtue. Through the use of an apple as metaphor for our special jewel of self-love and a classic representation of temptation, audiences were shown the human struggle to maintain our own love and desires in relation to others. The work began with two people fighting over one apple and ended with each person having their own—a suggestion that we all have our own fruits.
The second dance piece presented a much more challenging show that drove some audience member immediately out of the theater. Paulo Lima’s Experimentus (Brazil) is not for the faint of heart. Certainly a more rhythmic and violent tone, Lima’s work provoked the audience with full male nudity, aggressive pointing gestures, mud, high-anxiety sound, monologue and a composition of movements that had a sound of their own. A repeated monologue that included the phrases “My pussy is burning!” and “You know Frank Sinatra? He is dead!” and “I am gay!” established emotive language to match the bold imagery of the male figure. Together they presented a rebuff of popular culture and social norms which for the audience presented a challenge, a question to about one’s comfort with male genitalia and the body.
Watch clips of Experimentus: