Julie Cunningham & Company comes to Lilian Baylis Studio to present m/y-kovsky and fire bird, two queer responses to the music of Western classical composers on Thursday 10 and Friday 11 November.
m/y-kovsky is set to music from Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 (first movement) and performed by four dancers. Originally conceived as part of an exploratory evening of work for Art Night 2019, Cunningham draws on a traditional dance canon to play with queer ways of relating to each other, space and music. .
Exploring the relationship one might have with the classical score today and the power of music to change us, the work examines how Tchaikovsky’s piece is made relevant through today’s bodies. Cunningham’s queer choreographic reading constructs a gender repertoire that moves away from patriarchal codes to center an alternative perspective.
fire bird, a solo, is Cunningham’s most personal work to date. For a gripping moment hearing Stravinsky’s iconic Firebird in New York, the piece resonated deeply with Cunningham – who brings salient motifs from the classical score to life in this rendition.
Coming to the end of a journey to discover who they are, Jules Cunningham offers here the beginning of something new. Originally performed more than a century ago, the score of this dance piece supports a choreography of emancipation. The exhibition is a raw attempt to present the varied and fragmented pieces of the artist’s own identity.
The production revolves around a web-like structure that delimits the space through which to dance, and with – ultimately watch what happens when one tries to contain the parts of oneself. Cunningham’s Firebird is a reappropriation of the theme of freedom.
Speaking about the series, Cunningham says, “Here are all the parts of me coming together, ever changing, unstable and fragmented. I’m faced with contradictions – capacity and collapse, wanting to hide and wanting to be seen. I’m defenseless and undefeated.”
Jules Cunningham is an acclaimed dance artist and National Dance Award winner, formerly of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and the Michael Clark Company. They have also performed in projects with Boris Charmatz, Pauline Boudry/Renate Lorenz and Thick & Tight. Cunningham’s work explores gender, identity and the body and its emotional states. They work at the intersection of movement and text from sources ranging from popular culture to literature and classical scores.
Casual performances on Thursday November 10 and Friday November 11 at 8 p.m.