Te midden van het zand en de karkassen staan vijf meisjes. Zij noemen zichzelf Lone Ranger Girl, Rock Slide Girl, Red Torpedo Girl, Swamp Thing Girl en Hot Spot Girl. Wie van hen gaat de wereld redden? Geïnspireerd door de heldin Antigone in de klassieker van Sophocles proberen ze zich staande te houden in de wereld van nu. Maar wie is de vijand en hoe ver willen ze gaan voor een echte heldendaad?
WRITTEN BY ARNE SCHÜTTLER
"The OUTNOW! - Festival opened with concentrated femininity and a courageous "Fuck you!" against the male gaze. A prelude that left questions.
The Dutch premiere of this year's OUTNOW! Festival is physically intense. In "Let Me Be Your Hero, Baby" the five performers work against femininity - the sort that's determined by patriarchy and the masculine gaze - while at the same time they work off themselves.
The performance finds its thematic framing in the Antigone tragedy which is repeatedly quoted during the evening: the ancient Sophocles piece about a woman who follows her own principles regardless the dominant male system of order and is, as a final consequence, driven to death.
The performers lie motionless and randomly spread out on a circle of sand which forms the center of the otherwise wide, darkened stage. As they slowly awaken, life returns. The women rise and start singing. Little by little, through a choreographed and choral way of physical acting and speaking, they unfold an associative-apocalyptic world full of brutality and misogynistic poses in which our “zeitgeist” is frighteningly reflected. Through the text of Lisanne van Aert they develop doomsday and healing scenarios, fictions of the woman as an authoritarian hero figure and as a rescuer in distress, and images of cheerful self-submission under the sign of the body and fitness cult.
A dear "Fuck you!"
The language of this attraction-optimization lies within neo-liberal advertising phrases: "Do it! Just do it!" Again and again, these English slogans break through the text, which is mostly written in Dutch. The performers impress through the use of their bodies, their physicality granting the language further impact. Through provocative stretched out chins and wide-legged macho attitudes they caricature the concept of a masculine-understanding that, on the other hand, equates femininity with self-sacrifice and being a victim. In an aerobic-choreography with forced-cheery face, the women join to their fate but not without subverting the whole performance with a courageous "Fuck you!"
Dressed in white underpants, crop tops and shoes they practice sexualized feminine poses. Denying the usual pop-commercial context exposes the absurdity of this. Although the almost naked performers reveal the male-sexualized view of the woman, they also objectify themselves: ironic subversive infiltration or irreconcilable contradiction? The performance aims towards the first, while also raising many other questions through the richness of association and intensity."
Concept Birgit Welink, Lisanne van Aert
Tekst Lisanne van Aert Spel Merel Severs, Annica Muller, Henke Tuinstra, Maxime Vandommele, Birgit Welink
Begeleiding Martine Manten
Foto Baldwin Henderson
Dank aan Ine te Rietstap, Luana Soro
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