Paris Work Week, Amanda Piña

in Field Notes/Presentations

Work-week: Amanda Piña’s performances

Kadist Art Foundation, Paris, June 11, 2014

Inspired by the performative practices of “Fake Healing” and “Les Soins esthétiques” developed by choreographers Jennifer Lacey and Keith Hennessy, the performer and choreographer Amanda Piña led two explorations on Tuesday and on Thursday, conceived as “new ways to mobilize our bodies towards well being, aesthetic experience and transformation of the self”. After giving minimum instructions to the participants who formed groups of three, each group chose the place they preferred in the space. The first exercise dealt with mobilizing perception towards the development of different human sensitivities and was intended to give each other an aesthetical ‘treatment’, something pleasant and immaterial. The second exercise proposed to explore the physical gaze that organizes perception as well as the way it feels, “including the visual perspective of the person being treated as a way to go beyond wellness into more blurry zones of performativity”.

On Tuesday afternoon, Amanda Piña also performed the dance piece Valse Indienne in the darkness of the third room of Kadist’s exhibition space, imbuing this “meeting room” with a very special ambiance. After removing all her clothes, her body painted with white indecipherable inscriptions and part of her face painted red, Piña performed an extremely fast dance, spinning in circles until she stopped from exhaustion, accompanied by rhythms created by three percussionists using pairs of forks as instruments. After the performance Piña explained the (hi)story of the transformation of the waltz after it was introduced to the Yámana people of Tierra del Fuego around 1830, following the native Fuegian Yámana Jemmy Button’s return from his ‘journey’ to the English Court where he was supposedly taught “good manners”.

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