Photo: Angelo Vermeulen
Death of the Pole Dancer interrogates the way we look at what we think we look at. The audience is brought to reflect on what they witness: a woman during the act of pole dancing. The performance renegotiates notions such as voyeurism and restraint, vulnerability and violence, sexuality and power.
Concept, choreography and performance: Eisa Jocson
Coach and dramaturgical advice: Rasa Alksnyte
Commissioned by: In Transit 2011 performance art festival, HKW Berlin
Supported by: Nadine, Brussels
Photo by Adjani Arumpac
Eisa Jocson is a contemporary choreographer and dancer from the Philippines. Trained as a visual artist, with a background in ballet, she won her first pole-dancing competition in Manila in 2010, and started pole “tagging” and other public interventions in Manhattan and various cities. Under successive residencies in Belgium (at FoAM, STUK, Nadine, Workspacebrussels, Wpzimmers), Eisa developed an artistic praxis that questions the stereotype and context of the female pole dancer. Her solo Death of the Pole Dancer (commissioned by In Transit Festival 2011 in Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin) toured to Beurrschouwburg (Brussels), Theater Spektakel (Zurich), Tanzquartier (Vienna), Exodos Festival (Ljubljana), Dampfzentrale (Bern), Antigel Festival (Geneva), Ai-Hall (Osaka) and Le Phare Centre Choregraphique National (Le Havre).
Eisa then trained in “macho dancing”, a popular night-club entertainment form, and premiered Macho Dancer in spring 2013 at Beurrshouwburg, co-produced by Workspacebrussels, Beursschouwburg (Brussels) with support from Wpzimmers (Antwerp). This solo creation has toured in Impulstanz (Vienna), Nooderzon (Groningen), Tanz im August (Berlin), Theater Spektakel (Zurich), Queer New York Arts Festival (NYC), Mousonturm (Frankfurt), Dampfzentrale (Bern), Antigel Festival (Geneva), Queer Zagreb, Le Phare Centre Choregraphique National (Le Havre) and in Theater der Welt (Mannheim).
From pole to macho dancing, Eisa investigates the labour and representations of the dancing body in the service industry, and exposes gender formation, seduction politics, and Filipino social mobility. Her next work will uncover the world of “Japayuki” – the foreign entertainers hired from the Philippines to perform for the pleasure of “salary-men” in clubs throughout Japan.