The Black Swan
Queer Manifesto for Hau Berlin
I never wanted to be the Prince,
I wanted to become the Swan.
Why uphold the Patriarchy,
When you can transform in the Moonlight!
Perhaps the Prince chases the Swan,
Because he too hopes to be Free?
Free from the gender binary of Ballet training and narratives,
Free to fully express grace and vulnerability
Free to fall in love with another, or several others,
who also explore and express their unique gender and sexuality.
The transgender movement is going to revolutionize Ballet.
It is already making unstoppable waves of change around the World!
We just have to learn to Surrender.
The transgender movement in Ballet will remove the smoke and mirrors illusion that is 'gender' all together. It acknowledges that every Body is fundamentally, scientifically and expressively fluid in gender and between all other binaries. Dance itself is between, trans and the act of becoming.
I first began to disassemble my own tension patterns developed through Ballet training with intensive Feldenkrais training. However it was with the ecstatic discovery of my transgendered identity that the oppressive mental and emotional tensions of many years of being told how to express or limit the expression of my own body based on it's misperceived gender, became painfully clear to me. Writing this, all I can do is cry.
My vision for the queer future of Ballet goes well beyond appointing more female directors and choreographers into leading positions. It foresees dismantling a system, that till now, doesn't even question it's own right to dictate to it's dancers precisely how, where and why to move based on binary gender conventions.
More often than not, Ballet training trains out a dancers natural instinct. If we were all trained less like good little princes and princesses and more like real swans; beautiful and wild, then mere physical artifice would make way for the true transformative power of Art.
Ballet like all art, must delve deeper than its aesthetic value and rediscover its soul!
As well as breaking down gender stereotypes, my queer vision for the future of ballet shifts focus from the present patriarchal narrative to give voice to economically, culturally, sexually diverse voices who are sick to death of hearing about Prince Siegfried's white privileged heteronormative heartbreak! Why is it his privilege to choose a bride from such a huge cohort of princesses from around the world? The reverse opinion of how any of these women feel about his character or, more to the point, appearance, is made completely inconsequential. Maybe he doesn't even want to make such a choice? Perhaps falling in love with a wild swan is an expression of his deeply held desire to transcend his patriarchal privileges in favor of his soul's freedom?
For Classical Ballet narratives like Swan Lake to transcend it's patriarchal history, it must transcend dualistic notions of good and evil, black and white. It must learn to be beautifully complex with many shades of grey. These new complex stories will better prepare young audiences for a world in which female, queer, black, non-binary voices are finally heard.
In an attempt to bring this utopian vision into a present bodily reality, I have began a collaboration with film, photography and sound artist Klaudia Monika Domurat of a non-binary multi-disciplinary artist from Poland. We have made Berlin our home and have began developing abstract expressionistic performances, responding to architecture and audience presence.
We are both deeply immersed in queer communities in Berlin and online, with a commitment to question the patriarchal status quo, and the courage to be vulnerable in our artistic expression.