This Saturday, the Chapel Performance Space at the Good Shepherd Center will be home to Danse Perdue‘s butoh performance, Attitudes Passionelles. The Wayward Music Blog hosts their description, which we crib here in its entirety and without snarky comment:
The word hysteria comes from the Greek hyster, meaning womb. For millenia it was believed the uterus moved chaotically through the body, driving women to distraction, licentiousness and madness. In the latter half of the 19th century at the Salpetriere asylum for insane and incurable women in Paris, medical teacher and clinician Jean-Martin Charcot began an exhaustive photographic documentation of the inmates diagnosed as hysterics. He held the notorious “Tuesday Lectures” during which hysterical attacks and tableaux of hypnotic suggestion would be induced/performed for an audience. (A young Freud was in residence for a time at the Salpetriere.) As perpetual subjects of experimentation the hysterics received favorable treatment within the asylum, thus were encouraged to manifest the elements of the hysterical attack in response to the clinician’s desire.
In the photographs and words of the hysterics we encounter a distorted mirror: the imploded desire of catalepsy and tetanisme expressed in exquistely tortioned limbs, the hypnotized body become a malleable toy for the doctors directorial desire, the codified performances of the attitudes passionnelles with their flawlessly repeated gestural expressions of rage, religious and sexual ecstasy, fear and anguish. As we created this work, we sought a becoming-hysteric inside our bodies to erupt in unknown voices and movements and to mutate recognizable movements and voices into strange, irrevocably compelled creatures.
Dancers: Lin Lucas, Douglas Ridings, Ariel Denham, Kaoru Okumura, and Katrina Sirena with Danse Perdue (Vanessa Skantze, Alex Ruhe). Sound collaborators: celadon, Noise Poet Nobody, and Herpes Hideaway.