Chisenhale Gallery presents A Piece Danced Alone, a performance devised and choreographed by Alexandra Bachzetsis. Staged in Chisenhale’s main space, A Piece Danced Alone will be performed for the first time in London and for one night only.
Two performers – Bachzetsis herself and dancer Anne Pajunen - take the stage dressed in identical apparel and for the duration of the performance continuously trade a series of dance routines and spoken monologues back and forth between them. This action is punctuated by live and pre-recorded video footage, as well as an original music score. Bachzetsis uses body language as a visual material, deploying repetition and gesture-play as tools in the construction of performed identities.
In her performances, Bachzetsis takes on stereotyped modes of representation of the female body in contemporary popular culture, show business and the sex industry. Bachzetsis attempts to divert clichés of femininity-as-commodity and idolized masculinity by using their physical manifestations as building blocks for a fresh formal language that speaks of seduction and control. In A Piece Danced Alone, gestures and words are invented, embodied, and ultimately released from their original meaning.
A Piece Danced Alone draws from various tropes of theatre and dance, with the performance integrating popular physical routines from cinema, theatre, live music and contemporary dance. Gestures and movements are borrowed from such diverse figures as Joy Division’s Ian Curtis, Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, choreographers Pina Bausch and Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker and the 80s dance movie Flashdance.
A Piece Danced Alone is presented in two parts, one staged for the theatre and the other - as with the performance at Chisenhale - devised to take place in a gallery. In the theatrical version, the two dancers enter and exit offstage with exaggerated frequency as the performance directly addresses the conditions and conventions of theatre. In the gallery version of A Piece Danced Alone, there is no partition between the performers and audience and no backstage area is kept for the dancers.
Alexandra Bachzetsis (b. 1974, Zurich) lives and works in Basel, Switzerland. Solo exhibitions include Play, Kunsthaus Glarus (2010); and SHOW, Kunsthalle Basel (2008). Recent group exhibitions include Performative Structures. New Existentialism, Part 1, Alte Fabrik, Rapperswil (2010); and The 5th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art (2008). Bachzetsis was nominated for the DESTE Prize (2011) and was recently announced as the winner of the Swiss Art Award (2011).
A Piece Danced Alone is presented in collaboration with Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art, 2012, and co-produced with CAC Bretigny.
Tickets are £5 (£4 students) and are available in advance from wegottickets.com.