Sunday, May 13, 2018

review . dressing in disguise by Nayana Bhat

Maayan Reiter
A woman, dressed in party-wear, imitates the casual poses of the audiences around her. Two women are dressed like men, engaging in aggressive sexual behaviour. One woman suggests secretively to the other that she is forced to choose to become a prostitute.

A woman, bound by plastic wrapping all around her, struggles as she gets out of her prison. Another plays the role of a rapper/rockstar, sits under the sign “My gender in Nirvana”, sings popular songs, increasing in pace, losing her breath, completely exhausting herself. 

Jo Hermann
Unita Gay Galiluyo's latest choreographic work “Dressing in Disguise”, created under the artistic direction of Andrea K. Schlehwein, as a part of NETZWERK AKS, is an amalgamation of symbolism and raw images. 

With this work, the artistes touch several socio-political topics, including gender politics, racism, class, and religion, while unmasking the various masks people wear in an attempt to fit in, to proclaim their identities. 

Jo Hermann
Jo Hermann
The overall atmosphere of the work is dark and intense. 
The piece performed at ART SPACE stift millstatt was extensive in its spatial offering. The performance started off at the foyer, the space marked with various direction signs. As the work progressed, the performance moved frantically and sometimes in an apparent chaos on to the other rooms in the stift. At times in the kitchen, in the bathroom some other times, in the little studio, and in the big performance space – the performers “ate” the space as they moved on with countless gestures and social codes. 
Jo Hermann
The theme of the work was beautifully adapted into a set-design by Andrea K. Schlehwein. An example that comes to mind is when dancer Andrea Maria Handler does her pop-music scene under the sign 

Jo Hermann
"My gender in Nirvana”. There are three chairs placed under this sign and the dancer sits on each chair and does a number each from different pop-artists. She embodies the physicality of hip-hop dancers or rappers, dressed in a similar manner. As she continues to repeat her singing at an increasing speed, she practically runs from one chair to another, losing her breath, exhausting herself, still trying to keep up her cool facade. This state, in contrast to the sign above “My gender in Nirvana”, is quite the irony, as the performer is being stripped off her “cool” mask. 

“Dressing in Disguise” offers several of these moments of undressing, allowing the audience to contemplate on the zillion masks we wear on a daily basis. 
Maayan Reiter
Maayan Reiter
The music used is minimal, almost like soundscapes. It would be important to note that this performance was held in juxtaposition to another collaborative exhibition in ART SPACE stift millstatt.  Photographs and paintings by artist Romana Egartner in collaboration with an installation by Andrea K. Schlehwein. The exhibitions will continue to remain open for public, while the performance had the last of its three shows on the 7th of May

Maayan Reiter
As an audience, it is exciting and positively overwhelming to witness works at ART SPACE stift millstatt, thanks to the abundance of creative works you encounter. Often, there are multiple projects at display, and sometimes they belong together and at times, not. 

In either cases, you as an audience get a chance to observe and experience the works from all these perspectives, being touched by artistic impulses.

“Dressing in disguise” is scheduled to perform in Freiburg, Germany in 2019.

Text by Nayana Bhat

dressing in disguise 
Unita Gay Galiluyo + NETZWERK AKS  I  Platform for Contemporary Dance + Art
Dance: Andrea Maria Handler . Simona Piroddi
Scenography + Artistic Direction: Andrea K. Schlehwein 
Assistant to AKS: Maayan Reiter
Location: ART SPACE stift millstatt . Austria

Production: büro für tanz I theater I produktionen 2018

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