Man Ray: Moving the Dada Gaze

Lights. Camera. Dance! Beyond fashion, contemporary movement is my go-to art form as a spectator. I’ve been wanting to explore this medium critically as it also engages the individual body and the collective psyche in dialogue on limits of expression. After all, Post-Paris is all about deconstructing cultural narrative(s) wherever they no longer fit…

Man Ray (c) Jesus Signes, 2018

Last season, Valencian company Taiat Dansa mounted a fashion-infused production based on the oeuvre of the seminal dadaist Man Ray. It was equally an homage to and indictment of the value system codified by male gaze. Optics of dominance is key to understanding art (or, fashion) at the service of supremacist ideologies. Massive reproductions framed the Teatro Principal stage and choreographers Meritxell Barbera & Inma Garcia charged the space with obsessive grand gestures by an assembly line of male “creators”. They, like the strobe lights, relentlessly drove a female “muse” towards the cathartic symbolic act of putting a blade through an eye. #MeToo meets Un Chien Andalou. Costumes by Estudio Savage wove these eras into a black and white collage. Each pointed step then clipped it onto history’s cutting room floor. Lights! Camera! Liberation?!

Cover image for this post comes from an earlier production circa 2016. Follow Taiat Dansa for future works + Teatro Principal for its next performance season.

I look forward to sharing more dance/fashion/ideology experiences with y’all in 2019!


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