04/28/2015 MAPstaff
Photo by Colin Danville

Photo by Colin Danville

Gesel Mason Performance Projects collides the genres, bodies and cultures of postmodern and erotic dance in order to challenge how female sexuality is perceived, performed, and (re)presented. antithesis, which builds upon poet Audre Lorde’s essay, “Uses of the Erotic”, is an embodied attempt to explore and mine the erotic – the uniquely passionate, sensual, and feminine energy within oneself. The project embraces the sometimes messy, gritty, tactile, growling, chaotic, engulfing, and tender edges of female expression, and cultivates what Lorde calls “the yes within ourselves”.

Where are the spaces and opportunities to explore female eroticism that are not designed for consumption or subject to policing? What information about sexual expression, defiance, survival, joy, pleasure, creativity, subjectivity, and agency can be culled from that exploration? The task is to train for the inevitable moment when we bump up against racist, sexist, and heteronormative structures and find choice, strength and resilience in spite of them.

antithesis can be staged in multiple venues, from the concert stage, to the strip club, or an alternate space. Participants, audiences and performers alike, are asked to embody the contradictions of the cultures and the space and witness the precarious practice of holding on to “the yes within ourselves”, amidst the gaze of postmodern audiences and strip club patrons, managers, and staff. The process and performance of antithesis inhabits the creative possibilities informed by the seemingly oppositional cultures of postmodern and erotic dance.

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