An exploration of the body as sensual, vulnerable and as a piece of meat
Recommended age 16+
Today, there is a deepening divide between bodies that can be used as a mere resource – labor, matter, source of pleasure – and those that are treated as protected subjects. Exploring the mechanisms of this divide is an ethical urgency. To Be Given Over has been created in collaboration with a group of local performers. Together they practice different choreographies where the body is given over to others. Vulnerability from this fundamental interdependency can turn into both destructive or caring relations.
To Be Given Over takes as its starting point the movement between encountering the other as a subject, in their worldliness, and as an object, a body. The piece borrows its title from Judith Butler’s 2020 book The Force of Nonviolence, where they write how we all are, as bodily, vulnerable beings, always already given over to others. Vulnerability results from this fundamental interdependency that can turn into destructive or caring relations.
The project invites local performers of various ages, genders, backgrounds and different kinds of bodies to investigate how these questions can be embodied on stage. Together they practice and test out different choreographies where the body is given over to others. How do the different social roles or bodies we carry influence how we experience being supported or carried? Being given over is connected to an idea of passivity, it reminds us of the materiality of the body, how we are made of flesh, meat. What results is a continuous, slow movement of repetition and slight variations, where different bodies create formations of flesh, social groupings, and images of objecthood, violence, interdependency and care.
The performance explores the complexity of the biopolitical landscape where human and nonhuman bodies are in constant suspension between objecthood and personhood, where law is arbitrary and fluctuating and where power and law do not coalesce. The aim is to evoke a sense of a kind of heartbreak, in moments of acknowledging that the person one just danced with, connected with, is the same being now being carried around as mere flesh.
The performance is part of Multiplié Dance Festival 2023
Concept by: Terike Haapoja
Directing and Choreography: Terike Haapoja & Jarkko Partanen
Light design: Jussi Matikainen & Heidi Soidinsalo
Editing: Terike Haapoja
Filming: Uwa Iduozee
Sound design in film: Jussi Matikainen & Heidi Soidinsalo
Performers in film: Alexander Wille, Arnt Roberth Leganger, Maíra Rodrigues Dança, Mia Helene Engeskaug, Oluwaseun Usman
Performers on stage: Alexander Wille , Arnt Roberth Leganger, Maíra Rodrigues Dança, Mia Helene Engeskaug, Oluwaseun Usman
Production: WAUHAUS (FI), DansiT (NO), Kanuti Gildi SAAL (EE)
Collaborators: Rosendal Teater (NO)
Supported by: Nordic Culture Point, Arts Promotion Centre Finland, The Finnish-Norwegian Cultural Foundation
Photo: Uwa Iduoze