Virago-Man Dem: Shape-shifting

Written by Zhenbang.

With their radical and dizzying movements, the dancers showed us the shape-shifting of human-beings.

Photo by Zhenbang

On November 15, Krannert Center for the Performance Art held a dance theatre: Virago-Man Dem, choreographed by Cynthia Oliver with sections in collaboration with the dancers.

In the beginning, I felt really confused about the performance: some dancers moved weirdly, while others even stood among the audience peacefully. However, as the performance goes, I started to understand what the performance wanted to convey to us. I especially like the use of projector during the performance. Strong lights project the shadows of dancers to the background. By projecting, every movement of dancers was dramatically enlarged and thus created a strong emotional scene.

From the BAM website, I found “The Latin prefix ‘vir’ means ‘man’; the suffix ‘-ago’ indicates female. Thus, the term ‘virago’ has, since ancient times, suggested that elusive flicker between genders we know so well and deny so violently.” During the performance, with their radical and dizzying movements, the dancers showed us the shape-shifting of human-beings: from prehistoric society to civilizational society. And it also gave me a glimpse of how human-beings interacted with nature during the process of shape-shifting.

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