The Lac of Signs
The Lac of Signs is a solo for dancer Chrysa Parkinson. Based, in one way or another, or another, or another on the classic Swan Lake (Le Lac Des Cygnes), The Lac of Signs will be presented in two separate formats, a libretto- booklet and a hologram video projection.
At what point in the history of dance was it that the use of narrative became unpopular and moreover, un-cool? The historical avant-garde of dance rejected fiction as an apparatus which distracted viewers from the real and from real materiality- of the body, of thought, of new modes of experience. Fairy tales were clearly no longer acceptable, and their legacy in dance and performance still remains dubious at best today. But did we throw out the baby with the bathwater when we got rid of storytelling in our attempt to rid performance of its simplistic illusions? How might a performance based in the act of storytelling be a means to eventually cope with the complexities of our contemporary narratives?
With these questions in mind, artist and choreographer Andros Zins-Browne has launched a new performance, The Lac of Signs, in a virtuosic and failing attempt to retell the story of Swan Lake (Le Lac Des Cygnes).
If one were to try to tell a story today with only movement, how would one do it? Drawing on methods more closely related to contemporary fiction writing than choreography, Zins-Browne and his collaborator Chrysa Parkinson have begun by writing a libretto. This libretto attempts to tell and retell the story of Swan Lake employing a cast of ignorant narrators, unauthorized characters, and deviating, digressing, and dissenting google searches. In the absent center, stands the original narrative of Swan Lake, a plot which seems almost accidental as it perpetually attempts to locate itself.
How might the poverty of dance as a sign system encounter such textual complexities? If a book composed of many voices were a body, with all of its multiplicities of persona, grammar, and lexicon, how would such a body speak? In an absurd gesture towards both the intimacy and impotency of dance’s ability to tell a story, The Lac Of Signs reinterprets the story ballet, by multiplying the stories being told and reducing the storytellers telling it to one body. In fact, it reduces the storytellers to less than one body. The final result, which will exist in two formats- a printed libretto which is given to the audience, and a holographic video of Parkinson’s performance projected into the middle of the space- presents us with the analogue body telling the story, disappearing into its virtual double.
Concept & choreography Andros Zins-Browne
created with and performed by Chrysa Parkinson
artistic assistance Sandra Iché
video and lighting design Wim Temmerman
sound design Peter Lenaerts
technique Geert Saman, Peter De Goy
costumes Ada Rajszys
production wpZimmer (Antwerp)
co-production Atalante (Gothenburg), Dansstationen (Malmö), MDT (Stockholm), HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin), Kaaitheater (Brussels)
supported by Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie, the city of Antwerp, Departs & the Culture Program of the European Commission, ActOral (Marseille)
– A House On Fire Project, with the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union