In our nursery bedroom, we are all pop stars. We feel alright when we are filtered, and every bored child celebrates the floss – the dance movement in which the arms swiftly and rhythmically make a swiping motion in front as well as behind the hips, mimicking the use of dental floss. Just like the “infinite dab”, the “Fresh” or the “Take the L”, “flossing” gained global recognition via apps, social media and videos. Such moves have long been common in urban dance. Today, new movement languages are created by means of computer games like “Fortnite”, or by way of online platforms such as TikTok or YouTube, due to the fact that the TikTok and YouTube celebrities display young peoples’ sprawling inventiveness in their homespun videos. The “bedroom aesthetic” allegedly promises a “steep career”, yet it also subordinates those early artistic steps to a direct feedback of likes and emoticons.
In “Boys don’t dance”, Düsseldorf-based urban dancer and choreographer Takao Baba investigates how viral and urban moves may pave the way to dance as well as towards the discovery of one’s own movement vocabulary. How much outside influence is felt in body language? Does shame play a part? The three dancers and one musician mutually dissect their respective movement languages with a precision bordering on microscopic acuity. Through copy and variation, new variations emerge each time. They collect and gather for a movement archive in this way, and they reveal what they found to each other on the stage as well as to the children in the audience, where it may serve as inspiration.
Duration: 60 min.
Concept: Takao Baba; Choreography, dance: Takao Baba, Felix Küpper, Solomon Quaynoo; Music, dance: Jenny Thiele; Outside Eye: Mijke Harmsen; Costumes: Charlotte Grewer; Lighting design: Horst Mühlberger; Live Tagtool, animation: Christian Spieß; Head of production: Susanne Berthold.
A piece by Takao Baba / E-Motion, co-produced by Asphalt Festival Düsseldorf. Funded by Ministerium für Kultur und Wissenschaft des Landes NRW, NRW Landesbüro Freie Darstellende Künste, Fonds Darstellende Künste aus Mitteln der Beauftragten der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien and Kulturamt der Landeshauptstadt Düsseldorf.