Dangereuses, Julia B. Laperrière ©DorotheaTuch

Dangerous Bodies

Dangereuses by choreographer Julia B. Laperrière runs in Ballhaus Ost from 30 November until  3 December 2023 and conjures up the dangerous female entity in all its facets.

Closed eyes, gentle movements, fingers stroke the skin. Accompanied by swelling disturbing noises. I rarely see a single narrative in Dangereuses. Beautiful moments that draw me in with their lightness stand in contrast with another side of events. Paradoxes emerge. Boundries are blurred. Or is it simply the reality of things that through our everyday narratives, rarely reach the complexity they actually need? The five dancers, Rachell Bo Clark, Lisanne Goodhue, Arantxa Martinez, Elvan Tekin and Julia B. Laperrière transform moments of strength into vulnerability, intimacy into violence, unite lust and anger and pay attention to each other. These seemingly contradictory elements flow into each other, complement and build on each other. It is particularly in these moments, in the transition between one state and the other, in the fusion of two incidents, that the unexpected arises.

Touching again. First playful, then combative, erotic, violent. Followed by moments of liberation. As pieces of clothing fly through the air, I realise that it has happened again. Where I just was thinking about how anger is not something that is generally associated with the female body; how dangerousness has strong masculine connotations but is also amplified by class and race, I am now in a moment of lightness and am brought back into the emotionality of the piece. I feel how the performers have appropriated this anger, are dangerous and erratic, and feel the empowerment that comes with it. As there are no simple narrative perspectives, anger is not one-sided and the image of the dangerous woman is not common in society, opening up ambivalent room for interpretation.

I find liberation that turns into coercion, which gives rise to strength, then struggle, but also support. Solidarity even in moments of individual vulnerability. Risk. Rhythms are created by moving together, by breaking out of this togetherness. All of this is skilfully combined into a soundscape by sound artist Amund Ulvestad. Suddenly stones are involved. A moment of irritation. Rounded stones as objects of affection and care? A game with these skimming stones that awakens childhood memories in me. A renewed rhythm sets in. Then hints of throwing. Suddenly we, the audience, are in the game. The performers turn towards us. Will the whole thing escalate? Who will throw the first cobblestone? And then it happens. Fireworks, a thunderstorm, an attack, brute force. Bodies and objects rise up in protest, in an attempt to define new rules of the game, to create a new order.

In between, I find myself again in calm moments, the silence equally as telling as the previous commotion. I am allowed to witness the intimate moments of a ritual. Is that an unknown body on the stage, is it my body, a single body or all of our bodies?

English translation by Isabel Robson

Dangereuses by Julia B. Laperrière (Co-Choreography, Performance by Rachell Bo Clark, Lisanne Goodhue, Arantxa Martinez, Elvan Tekin | Sound design by Amund Ulvestad) premiered on November 30, 2023 with furter performances from December 1-3, 2023 at Ballhaus Ost. Tickets: ballhausost.de.