CriticalDance Forum

Dancer plans epileptic seizure on stage
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Author:  Cassandra [ Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:41 am ]
Post subject:  Dancer plans epileptic seizure on stage

A very controversial decision by a dancer who has stopped her medication so that the audience may witness her having a seizure: ... 368159.stm

On balance I think this is the wrong decision as it is making a spectacle of illness and belittling what is for many a severely limiting condition.

What do others think?

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Fri Nov 20, 2009 2:26 pm ]
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This sounds like a terrible idea and I would not attend such a performance.

Author:  Michael Goldbarth [ Fri Nov 20, 2009 9:54 pm ]
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It appears they are desperate to fill the seats but who would pay to attend such a performance? Not me. This is sad but every time I read a news headline; I am reminded humanity has not advanced all that much.

Author:  Gina Ness [ Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:05 am ]
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My father had epilepsy, and I witnessed a couple seizures when I was young. It was frightening. This is a terrible idea. :? :shock:

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Tue Nov 24, 2009 4:07 am ]
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It seems like an anti-art concept, in that the involuntary movements that will arise are not decided by the artist.

I was thinking about Candoco and other companies where dancers with disabilities perform, but they and their choreographers are making artistic choices and often optimising the unusual capabilities of their performers. Vincent Mantsoe, the S. African dance artist describes how he sometimes goes into a trance during a performance (taught to him by his shaman Mother), but you certainly don't have a sense from him of a lack of control.

I haven't seen this yet in the UK's right-wing newspapers, but if they catch the story I'm sure they will have a field day with cries of wasting tax-payers money on the arts in general.

Given that epilepsy is a central part of this artist's life, I can understand that she has a desire to represent this on-stage; I don't think it is a "bums on seats" idea. Nevertheless, it still seems like an error of judgement.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun Nov 29, 2009 3:09 am ]
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A supportive article from the Guardian:

Rita Marcalo is an artist doing what artists are supposed to do: creating work that is surprising, challenging, transgressive and exciting. The point she is making, and her manner of making it, is unfamiliar; ... ta-marcalo

Author:  Toba Singer [ Sat Dec 05, 2009 6:36 pm ]
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What is the artist's motivation? One uses many devices to hide a whole variety of phenomena, organic and otherwise, from the audience-makeup, costume, medication, bandages, padding. Why, when medication can reduce the profile of an illness would one want to put oneself at risk to exhibit it? It's like not taking pain meds when one has a migraine or a swollen knee. How does it advance the art form to inflict these ailments on an audience? Is it a cheap bid for sympathy or irrepressible exhibitionism? Is it a way to exploit the name and reputation you've gotten to "conscientize" others about Epilespy? Are dance audiences sorely lacking in such consciousness? I don't think so, so why invite them to pay to see the results of medical self-neglect? I'm stymied!

Author:  Gina Ness [ Sat Dec 05, 2009 9:32 pm ]
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Hear, Hear! In agreement, Toba!

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