Dorian C. short dance film, experimental short dance film, sophie bortolussi, eva perrotta, asli bulbul, rebecca arndt. avant garde dorian corey
With an intimate eye and exhilarating choreography, Dorian C. illustrates the frustrating struggle between the boundaries of how we are defined and our manufactured identity.
DIRECTOR - REBECCA ARNDT
My first connection to Dorian C. was as an audience member. The show was in a closed vintage clothing store, on a dark night in Brooklyn. Like cinema, a site-specific audience often feels as if they have been invited to be the voyeur of a private situation. What made Dorian C. exciting was the choice to use movement and sound rather than dialogue or text. The themes of the performance were danced rather than spoken, creating a magical reality. The scene I watched felt more like a distant memory or a dream, then a story I had to follow. And I was compelled to make a film that generated that same sensation.
What inspired me as a storyteller was the struggle between the two dancers. The characters, Dorian C and the Other, show such tenderness towards one another, seemingly linked in spirit, even as they fight, bite and drag one another all over the room. Their argument is purposefully left open to interpretation. But it is clear that they share personal and possibly painful memories. The oppression that certain memories can have on an individual is the central theme to this piece. Turning Dorian C. into a film presented me with a unique opportunity to combine dance on camera, sound and acting, into one piece, that would explore the weight of memories.
There are some memories that are too upsetting to reflect on often. Most people I know have regrets. And many people change as they move through life, and consider certain behaviors in their past, no longer applicable to their present self. And some choose to repress specific memories, because each time they recalls them, they become paralyzed by self-recrimination or doubt or sadness to react and “be” in the present.
Dorian C. invites the audience to witness one such struggle for the ownership of a past. The dancers are allegories for different types of disputes, which are better left to the viewer to decide. Some people, who have watched Dorian C., see a person suffering from a psychological break, where two parts of the same mind are seeking out their independent realties. Others see a dispute between ex-lovers. And some may think Dorian C. is a ghost story. My hope is that each viewer will have to pull from their own past, to answer this question for themselves.
ARTISTIC DIRECTORS - EVA PERROTTA & SOPHIE BORTOLUSSI
Dorian C. was originally a site-specific dance duet, created for the vintage store “Le Grand strip” located in the heart of Williamsburg in Brooklyn. The original performance took place in June 2011 and was followed by encore performances in December of the same year.
When we visited the store for the first time we were struck by the theatricality emanating from the space. Filled with memories, secret stories were unveiled through the hanging garments yearning for someone new to embody their fabric, by the forgotten dolls of children long grown up, from the favorite bracelet of a pin up girl, or from the bed hidden secretly in the back of the store, waiting for someone to rest, perhaps a ghost who has come once the shop shutters close. We deeply believed that this space held the power to reveal invisible stories and forgotten memories. It became clear that Dorian C. belonged in this attic-like atmosphere.
Dorian C. was inspired by the true story of Dorian Corey, the famous transsexual who was featured in the documentary “Paris is Burning.” In 1994, Dorian died in her apartment. When friends were invited to take clothes from her famous collection of frocks, a mummified male body was discovered in a suitcase in her closet enwrapped in leather, conserved for more than 15 years. This story inspired us to take the intrigue further and look at the latent allegory of what we all leave aside, ignore or in Dorian‘s case “murder”, in order to build a new identity. As resident artist at Le Grand Strip, we explored and slowly untangled our own understanding of this enigmatic character, and through movement brought back to life a version of the hidden story.
By collaborating with director and filmmaker Rebecca Arndt, we were able to take the magical realism of the dance one step further in a way not possible during a live performance. We gained the power to portray “the other” character who rises in and out of Dorian’s unconscious through enigmatic and ubiquitous appearances. The relationship between the two was no longer limited to body movement and spatial connection. Through the eye of the camera a more subtly complex and multidimensional awareness of Dorian C.’s world was made available to the audience.