“For the master’s tool will never dismantle the master’s house.” – Andre Lorde
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 strange and foreign 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 colonisation of my body. Drawing on my personal experience as a dancer of Asian origin, I look at how eurocentrism, globalization and cultural consumerism contribute to the exoticization of my body for the art market. Approaching the body as a site on which meanings, values and boundaries are inscribed, I interrogate how the exotic gaze displaces and appropriates my body, turning it into a cultural commodity and a symbol of subjugation. Exotic Animal both invites and confronts the exotic gaze. Staring defiantly back, it attempts to shift the power relation between the gazer and itself.
Co-production : English Theatre Berlin / International Performing Arts Center (Berlin, Germany)
Premiere : 3rd – 5th December 2020
Funded : IMPACT-Förderung program of Berlin’s Senate Department for Culture and Europe
Concept & choreography : Ming Poon
Dramaturgy : Dandan Liu
Composition : Farah Hazim
Lighting design : Christian Math / Martin Pilz