By Liz Aggiss, Billy Cowie
Liz Aggiss and Billy Cowie, recognized jointly as Divas Dance Theatre, are well known for his or her hugely visible, interdisciplinary brand of dance functionality that includes components of theatre, movie, opera, poetry and vaudevillian humour. Anarchic Dance, together with a publication and DVD-Rom, is a visible and textual list in their boundary-shattering functionality work. The DVD-Rom features extracts from Aggiss and Cowie's paintings, together with the highly-acclaimed dance film Motion keep watch over (premiered on BBC2 in 2002), rare video pictures of their punk-comic live performances because the Wild Wigglers and reconstructions of Aggiss's solo functionality in Grotesque Dancer. These films are cross-referenced within the book, allowing readers to check functionality and observation as Aggiss and Cowie invite a wide variety of writers to envision their concert and dance monitor perform via research, concept, dialogue and personal response. generally illustrated with black and white and color photos Anarchic Dance, presents a complete research into Cowie and Aggiss’s collaborative partnership and demonstrates a number fascinating techniques by which dance functionality should be engaged severely.
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Additional info for Anarchic Dance
In other words, Aggiss had no direct contact with the tradition, which makes her achievement even more remarkable. Valeska Gert was one of those mythical ﬁgures that attracted as many performers as she repelled others. Aggiss had a tenuous connection to Gert through her teachers Hanya Holm and Hilde Holger. Holm, a pupil of Mary Wigman, had built and headed in the early 1930s the ﬁrst Wigman School in New York, and Holger was also an expressionist dancer, an Austrian Jewess who ﬂed from the Nazi regime in the late 1930s.
She has been described as the ﬁrst grotesque dancer, the ﬁrst dancer of expressionism as scream, the ﬁrst dancer embracing surrealism, the ﬁrst dancing social critic, the ﬁrst realist dancer – in fact she believed herself to be the only dancer (Peter 1987: 45). As she escapes any precise categorization, her work and ideas have to be rethought completely if they are to be incorporated into contemporary dance aesthetics. To simply re-create her characters, the ghosts of the underworld, the outcasts and social ﬁgures of 1920s Berlin, would make little sense.
Short black hair, cut to what is known in German as Bubikopf, black rimmed eyes, bright red mouth. Is this a heroine from one of the silent movies? Is it Asta Nielsen perhaps, or the nightclub dancer Anita Berber? Or is it some ﬁgure out of a George Grosz painting? Is it Valeska Gert? It could be any one of them. We are gazing at a generic invention of Berlin in the 1920s. Then 28 marion kant ■ gradually the mouth breaks into a coquettish smile and the rest of the body is revealed. Dressed in a white T-shirt, black shorts, white knee socks and black gym shoes the ﬁgure is ready for physical exercise.