Bay State Banner: ‘See | Be Seen’ upends expectations of female dancers
By Celina Colby
On Saturday, December 21, an enormous crystalline inflatable dome rose almost to the ceiling of a performance space in the South End’s Calderwood Pavilion. Inside the inflatable dome, three nude dancers reclaimed their bodies and their artistic agency in “See | Be Seen,” a new piece by artist Emily Beattie.
The seeds of the show were planted three years ago when Beattie began considering her experience as a female dancer. Trained in ballet, modern and improvisational dance, she found that very specific rules came tied to each form. Her thought process aligned with the beginning of the Me Too movement, which further spurred her work.
“There are patriarchal expectations put on dance. That you need to look a certain way, that you need to move in a certain way, that the audience needs to necessarily feel welcomed,” she says. “There are power dynamics in that.”
In “See | Be Seen,” those power dynamics are flipped completely in the dancers’ favor. The dome in which the women perform can be looked into but not with complete clarity. Audience members are encouraged to walk around the dome in the round while the performers are dancing. If they want to be involved and to witness the piece, they have to work for it.
“I think it takes a team to say go beyond, go beyond where you think you should go,” says Beattie. “We’re proud that we have an all female show.”
Read the full article in the Bay State Banner.
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