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TCU 360

TCU 360

All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

    Dallas Contemporary hosts U.S. premiere of a ‘raw, human’ dance show

    The+dance+space+for+the+live%2C+site-specific+performance+located+in+the+Dallas+Contemporary+museum
    The dance space for the live, site-specific performance located in the Dallas Contemporary museum

    Challenging the limits of the body’s endurance, exploring the necessity of cooperation and displaying extreme feats of strength to forge growth.

    These are a few themes explored in Matty Davis and Ben Gould’s “carriage, bearance and severance.”

    The “carriage” section of the work (Photo courtesy of the Dallas Contemporary)

    On Friday, Oct. 20, the Dallas Contemporary hosted the United States premiere of Davis and Gould’s live dance performance. With audience members’ eyes rarely straying from the hour-long performance, it was evident it was one that was captivating, provocative and fresh. The performance never stopped and neither did the audience’s fascination.

    According to the Dallas Contemporary’s website, the performers’ collaborative work started as an “investigation of reliance, control and care.”

    Their different lived experiences have allowed them to cultivate work that explores ideas such as “the tension between our fragility and our fortitude.”

    After a late-in-life diagnosis of Tourette Syndrome, Gould started using his experience with the neurological condition to explore the abandonment of control over the body, as well as the ability to resist bodily tendencies.

    The “bearance” section (Photo courtesy of the Dallas Contemporary)

    Vast amounts of difficult partnering in the performance exemplified the capacity the body has to endure physical hardships. The nature of the partnering showed cooperation, struggle and growth between two people.

    Through usage of bodily connection, Davis and Gould captured the tougher side of maintaining and progressing relationships through trust, risk and care in high-stakes situations.

    the final section of the work, “severance” (Photo courtesy of the Dallas Contemporary)

    Davis, one of the creators and performers, said he and Gould started the project in 2016 and completed it in 2021. He said the performance was choreographed, but it was important to leave room for raw and spontaneous moments to present themselves.

    The performance’s final part, “severance,” was inspired by the forced separation and adaptation people had to navigate in relationships during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Davis said due to the length of the piece, they had to plan where to conserve their energy because a big part of the piece was about navigating and testing the limits of endurance.

    From the atmosphere of the lighting to the incorporation of props and costuming as carefully cultivated performance elements, the “carriage, bearance, and severanceperformance opened eyes to new ideas of what it means to grow alongside someone, to push boundaries into the unknown, and to be authentically, vulnerably and beautifully oneself.

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