1 Aug 2019, 9am
1 Aug 2019, 10am
“A master in embodying the affects of an entertainer’s daily grind, the sexualised, the fetishized, the underbelly of a migratory trajectory not often talked about in the open but lurking in the shadows.” - TQW Magazine
The Disney empire created its own brand of happiness with smiling and waving princesses in theme parks across the globe, and Snow White represents the essence of the “Happy Girl”.
Choreographer Eisa Jocson, who lives in Manila, observes this apparently universal performance of happiness from a particular perspective: Disneyland Hong Kong is a significant employer of Filipino dancers in the region, but because of the colour of their skin they are only cast in nameless subsidiary roles. The character of Snow White is also a domestic female role, where she tidies the house and takes care of the Seven Dwarfs – drawing ironic parallels to the many Filipinas who work as domestic workers around the world.
Jocson, together with performance artist Russ Ligtas, hijacks the physicality and speech of Snow White and creates a playing field of identities. Using strategies of mimicry and reproduction they overwrite the entertainment system’s pre-programmed narratives, corrupting this closed world with their foreign bodies. Princess transposes the Filipino body from the supporting position in the margins to the main role at the centre.
In Princess, Jocson continues to investigate the entanglement of affective labour, embodiment, mobility and the construction of racial and gendered identities that she has started with her internationally acclaimed solo works Death of the Pole Dancer and Macho Dancer.
Jocson is a contemporary choreographer and dancer from the Philippines, trained as a visual artist, with a background in ballet and pole dance. She exposes body politics in the service and entertainment industry as seen through the unique socioeconomic lens of the Philippines. Her artistic practice involves embodying personae from pole and macho dancer, to Japanese hostess and Disney princess, studying how the body moves and what conditions make it move – be it social mobility or movement out of Philippines through migrant work.
Esplanade first presented Jocson in da:ns festival 2014 in Alpha, a collaborative work, and subsequently presented her solo works, Macho Dancer and Corponomy, in 2017.
Artistic Direction: Eisa Jocson
Created and performed by: Eisa Jocson, Russ Ligtas
Music: Marc Appart
Creative Presence: Arco Renz, Tang Fu Kuen
Dramaturgical support: Anna Wagner
Light design: Florian Bach
Coaching: Rasa Alksnyte
Production management: Anne Kleiner
Assistance: Marcus P. Tesch
Technical management: Yap Seok Hui (Artfactory)
Sound engineer: Fernando Castro
Production: Eisa Jocson, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm (Frankfurt)
Co-production: Frankfurter Positionen, Münchner Kammerspiele, tanzhaus nrw (Dusseldorf)
Funding: The Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media within the framework of the Alliance of International Production Houses
Support: Pianofabriek (Brussels), Para Site (Hong Kong)
Commissioned within the framework of Frankfurter Positionen 2017, an initiative of the BHF-BANK Foundation.
Approximately 1 hour 15 minutes, with no intermission
Admission Rules of Esplanade:
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