EXPLICIT FEMALE (Here[begin] Dance): 2016 Fringe review 73

Zornitsa Stoyanova in EXPLICIT FEMALE. Photo credit: Mauri Walton.

Zornitsa Stoyanova instructs us to stand as we enter the AUX Performance Space at Vox Populi Gallery for her solo Fringe performance. She moves among us in gracefully affected circles of dance, asking us to consider our bodies, our individual heartbeats and rhythm. She strides to the floor stage and we take our seats. Lights dim and she undresses.

Nude for most of the rest of EXPLICIT FEMALE, Stoyanova asks us to consider her own female body as embodiment of generations of ancestral procreation, a host for the alien parasites of new generations, and—through a glass, darkly—as a sexual object. Visually appealing, the work includes an audience-participation section with strobes, foil parachutes, and silhouette and a captivating video segment which sees the body fragment, form, reform, fragment again, and merge kaleidoscopically (in giving birth “I have created… I killed my own body, I killed my old self”). “This dance will help you identify the female body,” Stoyanova tells us, now clad in puffed out foil. Repeating familiar movements supposed to show off her legs, chest, ass (hello twerk), she struggles, purposefully unsmiling and robotic, falling to the ground. As an object, her body is unfamiliar, uncooperative. She re-dresses in full light.

[AUX Performance Space at Vox Populi Gallery, 319 North 11th Street, Third Floor] September 17-20, 2016; fringearts.com/explicit-female.

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