PARAMODERNITIES #2 / TRAUMA, INTERDICTION, AND AGENCY IN "THE HOUSE OF PELVIC TRUTH"

  • Initial Presentation: June 2017, River To River Festival, National Museum of the American Indian
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  • Created and Performed by Netta Yerushalmy, Taryn Griggs, and Carol Ockman (Williams College)

 

Running Time: Excerpted version, 20 mins. Full Version 35 mins.

 

 

"My exploration of Night Journey begins in a dental chair with a personal, if small, tale of bodily trauma. As I underwent oral surgery, I realized that I was reclining at the same angle as Noguchi’s bed for Jocasta and Oedipus.

Along with physical and emotional trauma, central themes in my essay are Graham’s woman-centered world (the “House of Pelvic Truth,” the “vaginal cry”) and its subversion of traditional male narratives—shifting the focus to a female protagonist, using symbolic spaces to explore the female psyche, the universal psyche interpreted by Freud, Jung, and others, as well as Graham’s and Jocasta’s inner feelings. 

I also talk about what Netta is doing with Graham and the ways in which the eroticism and female-centeredness of Graham’s work anticipate Second Wave Feminism by twenty years. Her bloodthirsty repertory, her bad girls or anti-heroines who defy expectations much as she did, not only make Night Journey relevant today but also help us consider questions central to representation now. 

The rigorous distillation of form a la Graham and a la Yerushalmy opens veins of deep emotion and shocks us into thought. What does it mean to create work that exposes the body’s discord? To give form to psychic trauma through the wordless language of the body? Can it make us see, feel, even do what we might not otherwise?" - Ockman

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  • Paramodernities #2 was co-commissioned by Jacob's Pillow Dance and Trinity College and was created in part during a Jacob's Pillow Creative Development Residency, a BAC Space residency at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, and a residency at the Djerassi Art Program. Paramodernities is commissioned by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and developed as part of LMCC's Extended Life Dance Development program made possible in part by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (LMCC.net). It is made possible, in part, by Harkness Dance Center’s Artist-in-Residence Program at 92Y, and was developed through the Movement Research Artist-in-Residence Program, made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
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