Pleasure Rebel's Nastalie Bogira: "I think queerness is something that happens at a deeper level."
Pleasure Rebel, the experimental dance, performance, and video series at the Bryant-Lake Bowl, is back tonight with a new lineup of artists who are working to push experimental forms. City Pages took a moment to chat with the series' curator, Nastalie Bogira, about tonight's performance, about queerness, experimental performance, and the Twin Cities scene.
How do you define queer art forms, and how does that intersect and/or conflict with queerness and with LGBT identities?
I have worked with Hiponymous on a few previous shows. Renee Copeland and Evy Muench, the creators of Hiponymous, were in last summer's Queertopia, which I co-curated with Jeffry Lusiak for Pride. They also performed work in an evening I curated for Bedlam Theatre last fall called Making Amends.
Hiponymous has an infectious energy along with wit, playfulness, and gorgeous physicality. It has been exciting to watch their work evolve over the past year. I had seen them make shorter work for these bigger group shows, and felt it was time to see them make a more developed piece.
I have also been interested in adding experimental video to the Pleasure Rebel mix for a while. I saw Daniel Luedtke's Threshold, and felt its non-linearity, mystery, and visual beauty was a great fit for the series, so I asked if I could screen the work.
You changed the title from Pleasure Rebel: New Queer Performance to Pleasure Rebel: New Performance, although you still use the word queer in the BLB description. Can you talk about that change in language? Is it just a marketing thing, or more of a deliberate programming shift?
However, I wanted to open the series up a bit more. We have performers and audience members who don't identify as queer. That isn't important to me so much as the way that we come together and experience art. I think queerness is something that happens at a deeper level. I want everything to be queer so that there's no need to explicitly label this project that way. It's there.
There are a number of local companies and venues that support queer artists. Madame has been an amazing place for exploration and creativity. 20% Theatre and Bedlam Theatre also provide opportunities for members of the community to perform, perhaps for the first time, or for the first time in a while.
This openness is important because it feeds our creative community with new people, perspectives, bodies, and ideas. It breaks down the wall between artist and audience. This lays groundwork for deeper creative conversations and more engaged audiences. I also think this opens people up to experiencing experimental work. I throw that term around a lot. Experimenting is play. Experimental work is pushing beyond what we've seen before or what we know we can succeed at.
8 p.m. Wednesday, May 29
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