One of the major concerns of feminist cultural thought over the last century has been an examination of the cultural construction of female bodies and the subsequent naturalization of those constructions through performance. More recent feminist scholarship has recognized the reality of multiple femininities that exist together (sometimes uneasily) across an increasingly globalized performance landscape.
“100 Years of Solitude in 300 Moving Pieces” is imagined as a 25-minute solo (choreographed by Jonathan Osborn in collaboration with interpreter Danielle Baskerville) composed entirely of chronologically organized excerpts of movement sourced from the performances of 300 different female "icons" from global cinema. Alluding through its title to Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s magical realist reinterpretation of Latin American history “One Hundred Years of Solitude”, and to contemporary performance trends including serialization and score-making, this work serves as an embodied archive, celebration, and interrogation of real and virtual women’s bodies, presence, and performances within Bollywood, Nollywood, Hollywood, Indie, European Arthouse, Avant-Garde, Australian, Middle Eastern, Latin American, Asian and Canadian film over the last hundred years. Working intentionally to illuminate the cinematic performers' shared status as women without obscuring the visibility of real cultural and ethnic differences, the solo interpreter of this work is completely encased (face, hands, and feet included) in a form-fitting white bodysuit which serves as both a mask for her individual identity (but not her sex) and a mobile screen for the display of original footage over her.
Through this ordering and staging of diverse female performances this work embodies and recontextualizes a century of women enacting, responding to, and navigating male (and female) desire from within specific cultural traditions. Accompanying video projections created by artist Hannah Schallert will be composed chronologically from the same score as the physical dance and materialize as synchronized 5-second film excerpts mapped across the performer's body and stage backdrop during the performance (see support material for sample). These extracted sections of film footage will also form the basis of a fractured sound score which draws upon the nuances of specific voices, languages, and environmental and orchestral sounds present in the original footage. Both strategies are attempts to re-contextualize (but not completely de-contextualize or erase) significant markers of identity and culture.