Exotic Animal

Work-in-progress
Premiere: 26th & 27th  November 2020 at English Theatre Berlin / International Performing Arts Center (Germany) 

“For the master’s tool will never dismantle the master’s house.” – Andre Lourde

Exotic is warm and spicy. It is one letter away from erotic. It promises adventure. Exotic is somewhere far away and foreign. It is always over there, not here; them, not us; you, never me. Exotic is dark and mysterious, but its threat is tamed and contained. Exotic is a rare and strange animal, but also a very appealing one.   

For me, the exotic gaze is a form of soft colonization. This performance is an attempt to resist the colonization of my body. Drawing on my own experience as dancer of Asian origin, I look at how eurocentrism, colonialism, globalization and cultural consumerism contribute to the exoticization of my body. Approaching the body as a site on which meanings, values and boundaries are inscribed, I interrogates the exotic gaze that displaces and appropriates my body. Exotic Animal both invites and challenges the exotic gaze. Staring defiantly back, it attempts to shift the power relation between the gazer and itself.

Support: Fonds Darstellende Künste (Berlin, Germany)