anne collod … & alters

Alternative bodies

New Production Summer 2022

A documentary project by Anne Collod, in collaboration with the videographer and director Jacques Hœpffner

Alternative bodies is a documentary web series (online) and installation (for theatre entrance halls and exhibition spaces) on the figure of ‘the other’ in dance.

Alternative bodies is a documentary series exploring how representations of ‘the other’ are manufactured and assimilated in dance.
It is designed for online distribution and as an installation for theatre reception areas and exhibition spaces.

Alternative bodies is based on a critical reinterpretation of the works of the US choreographers, Ruth Saint-Denis and Ted Shawn. Considered to be the founders of North American modern dance at the start of the 20th century, the two choreographers were the first to take an interest in non-western dances, which they drew on extensively to nourish their conception of a new form of dance. The cultural and gendered representations of ‘the other’ found in their shows, raise fascinating aesthetic and political questions for today’s world.

Alternative bodies is an extension of the choreographed show Moving alternatives created by Anne Collod & Guests in July 2018 for the Montpellier Dance Festival and performed by six dancers/performers.

The documentary web series consists of six 26-minute episodes, each focusing on a different theme.
Each episode creates a dialogue between the viewpoints, questions and concerns of the performers who interpreted the dances by Ruth Saint-Denis and Ted Shawn, and the analyses of around twelve French, Indian, Brazilian and American university researchers and scientists in the fields of anthropology, history of dance, philosophy, and gender, cultural and post-colonial studies. 
The episodes provide a forum for exploring and debating the current issues of these dances, which touch on questions of identity, mixed cultural heritage, cultural appropriation, exoticism, colonialism, gender stereotypes, and how dance works to configure or transform these representations.
Filmed interviews are interwoven with archive documents (photo, film, and sound), filmed extracts of the Moving alternatives show, and visual and written references suggested by the interviewees. A diverse range of images and sounds are combined to create the rhythmic, visual, and reflective dynamic of each episode. 

Performers: Sherwood Chen, Ghyslaine Gau, Nitsan Margaliot, Calixto Neto, Pol Pi.

Scientists: Homi K. Bhabha, Uttara Asha Coorlawala, Anne Décoret-Ahiha, Jane C. Desmond, Fabiana Ex-Souza, Federica Fratagnoli, Julia L. Foulkes, Olivia Gazalé, Olivier Marbœuf, Cécile Proust, Rodney William.

Production: Association … & alters.

Coproduction: Centre national de la Danse (French national Dance centre) - Pantin (Scheme for Aid for Reseach and Heritage), the ACDCN network, the Nîmes theatre, the French Ministry for Culture - Ile-de-France DRAC (Regional Division for Cultural Affairs). The company receives Aide à la structuration en danse.