In her previous works, including Magical and Pornography: A Trying Out, Anne Juren explored the topics of sexuality and the pornographic gaze within the context of theatre. With Comma, the artist now takes her creative work to the next level, away from representation and towards the audience’s immediate experience with its own body.
To this end, Anne Juren devises “choreographic sessions”, in which she examines the relationship between the written word, spoken text, physical perception, choreography and – not least – the audience. The aim of these sessions is to address and activate the body on several levels at the same time: from the little toe to the gut, from the hairline to the heart.
Comma is part of a performance series and a set of artistic research processes conducted by Anne Juren that will keep the choreographer very busy in the months to come. The starting point of this project was the performance The Point shown at the 21er Haus in the summer of 2015. With Comma, she continues her research, taking her audience on another guided dream tour through their own bodies.
Concept & Performance, Anne Juren / Foley Sounds, Céline Bernard / Light Design, Bruno Pocheron / Music & Sound Design, Christophe Demarthe. Eine Ko-Produktion von Wiener Tanz- und Kunstbewegung und Brut mit freundlicher Unterstützung der Kulturabteilung der Stadt Wien. 2016
In her recent work Pornography: A Trying-Out Anne Juren was reflecting on the terms of “sexuality” and “pornographic gaze”, which can be applied on the representational mechanisms of the theatre. In The Point the attempt is to decentralize this gaze and provoke a creative imaginative space in which the choreography is placed inside the body of the spectator.
The Point is a choreographic trip within a circulating museal environment. It tries to expand the contextual boundaries of the term choreography by proposing an introspective journey through executing the private towards a public body. The piece questions and moves around the idea of the point as the place of pleasure and desire for meaning. While doing that it explores the correspondence of the imaginative potential of language and an actual or a pictured movement.
It engages in different states of physical, sensorial and mental experience; it inspects the thin line between private and public, and attempts to balance inner desires and outer realities by teasing and delighting the limbic system of the audience.
The Point activates different images of the body in using different language approaches. The first layers of the session will be about describing body parts or using specific anatomical terms. This enables the spectator to find connections between different parts of the body, as for instance between the left shoulder blade and the right hip joint, or between the eye muscle and the toes. The language of such a session is factual in order to lead towards awareness in action, as well as towards the ability to make contact simultaneously with one’s own skeleton and muscles, and with the actual environment. This factual terminology could be used as a tool for orientation.
The next layer will be the exploration of the possible sensation within the entire body, its skin, bones, organs, muscles, nerves, secretions and excretions, for being able to dissolve the boundaries between the inner and outer spaces of the body, its structure, its functionality, and its belonging.
The text of The Point proposes a specific way to describe the body and to re-imagine the act of love, the boundaries of the body, and a poetic language. The voice becomes an undefined identity. It triggers the idea that no one is a coherent, self-sustaining element; we are all internally divided and made up of many dissimilar characteristics.
Following the notion of the division and the multiplicity of the subject, the piece deals with different choreographic strategies and body practices related to the text and it experiments within the relation between poetry, writing and choreography. It pro- poses multiple possibilities of addressing the inner and outer environments of the body, creating dysfunctional relations, uncanny images and phantasms. The project is an experimental and process-related event to be shared collectively in which the spectators are entirely involved.
Choreography, Anne Juren / Performance, Varinia Canto Vila, Charlotta Ruth, Elizabeth Ward / Sound and Music Design, Christophe Demarthe / Light Design and technical direction, Bruno Pocheron / Artistic Management, Silke Bake / Coaching Foley Artist, Céline Bernard / Choreography assistance, Sara Lanner
Production Wiener Tanz- und Kunstbewegung / Coproduction ImPulstanz-Vienna International Dance Festival / Supported by Wien Kultur, Buda/Kortrjik, UNIARTS/Stockholm and Toxic Dreams/Vienna / Thanks to Roland Rauschmeier, Martin Juren, Sandra Noeth
Premiere at ImPulsTanz, International Dance Festival, 21er Haus, Vienna, 2015
Together with the stellar American dancer Elisabeth Ward, Anne Juren introduces her new work on Pornography. In this very first of a series of tryouts, the French choreographer deals with a survey of the gestures depicted in Witold Gombrovicz’ same titled novel from 1960 and a choreographic research about the entanglements of the sexual act with power, desire and obsession. Pornography seems to be a promising title for a dance piece as it contains an ambiguous evocation. For the choreography, we experiment with different ways of transforming the body gestures that are embedded and described in Gombrovicz’ text. Based on their meaning and their density, we will derive a choreographic angle on some understandings of pornography.
Concept, Anne Juren / Dance & Choreography, Anne Juren and Elizabeth Ward / Music direction & Sound design, Christophe Demarthe / Stage, Roland Rauschmeier / Artistic advice & management, Silke Bake / Technic, Alex Wanko / Foley Artist (advice), Nils Kirchhoff / Thanks to Bruno Pocheron. Production Wiener Tanz- und Kunstbewegung / Supported by The City of Vienna and ImPulsTanz.
Premiere at ImPulsTanz International Dance Festival, Odeon, Vienna, 2014