100 Years of Cinematic Solitude in 300 Moving Pieces
Choreographer: Jonathan Osborn
Dancer: Danielle Baskerville
Filmmaker: Hannah Schallert
Rehearsal Direction/Dramaturgy: Rosemary James
Composer: Benjamin Boles
Textile Desginer: Alicia Zwicewicz
Sunday, August 14th at 5pm,
129 Spadina Avenue, M5V 2L3.
The venue is located inside an old coach house accessible through an alley off Spadina between Adelaide and Richmond. Light refreshments will be served, and an artist talk moderated by Aria Evans will take place following the screening. Entry is free or by donation.
One of the major concerns of feminist thought over the last century has been an examination of the cultural construction of female bodies and the subsequent naturalization and contestation of those constructions
through performance. More recently, feminist scholarship has recognized the reality of multiple
femininities that exist together (sometimes uneasily) across an increasingly globalized performance
landscape. 100 Years of Cinematic Solitude in 300 Moving Pieces is a 40-minute solo (choreographed by Jonathan Osborn in collaboration with interpreter Danielle Baskerville, media artist Hannah Schallert, sound artist Benjamin Boles and textile artist Alicia Zwicewicz) composed 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 (1967), and to contemporary performance trends including serialization
and score-making, this work serves as an embodied archive, challenge to the citational practices used within Western contemporary dance contexts, and interrogation of real and virtual women’s bodies, presence, and performances within Bollywood, Nollywood, Hollywood, indie, European Arthouse, avant-garde, Middle Eastern, Latin American, Pacific-Rim, Indigenous, and Canadian film over the last hundred years. Working intentionally to illuminate the performers' shared status as women, without obscuring the visibility of real cultural and ethnic differences, the solo interpreter of this work is encased in a screen-like white bodysuit - which serves as both a partial mask for her individual identity (but not her sex) and a mobile platform for the display of original footage over and around her. Through this ordering and staging of diverse female performances, the work embodies and re-contextualizes a century of women kinaesthetically enacting, responding to, and navigating male (and female) desire from within the context of specific cultural traditions. The score itself contains 300 different female icons from world cinema. An extended effort has been made to highlight both popular "stars" along with subversive figures, queer icons, and trans women (such as Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) - as well as marginalized actors within colonial and Indigenous cinematic traditions in the United States, Canada, and Europe. All figures and films referenced are presented with links to biographical and archival resources (please see score).
Because of the diverse and culturally specific subject matter, and the technical and emphatic goals of this project, this choreographic work has been staged in dialogue with women from different cultural and artistic backgrounds.We would like to thank the following outside eyes for their observations, insights, and assistance: Postcolonial dance scholar Dr. Bridget Cauthery, Mi'kmaq/Black/settler artist Aria Evans, South Asian dancer and scholar Dr. Sanjukta Banerjee, African-Canadian dancer and rehearsal director Rosemary James, Japanese-Canadian dance artist and educator Keiko Kitano-Thomson, settler-Canadian contemporary dance artist Val Calam, and settler-Canadian intermedia artist Freya Björg Olafson.