Thursday, January 11th, 2024 @ 6:00:pm
HELLZAPOPPIN’: What about the bees? is legendary choreographer and film director Yvonne Rainer’s newest dance – which she, at the age of 88, has announced will be her last.
Performed by eight dancers, HELLZAPOPPIN’ employs Rainer’s trademark “radical juxtaposition”—her technique of layering contrasting movement, dance, text, sound, film, and imagery—to explore racial injustice in the United States.
The performance incorporates film excerpts from and movements inspired by the 1941 Hollywood musical Hellzapoppin’ and the 1933 Jean Vigo film Zero for Conduct. Rainer’s text “Dance Rant”—a monologue in the voice of the sun god Apollo losing faith in the human species—provides the soundtrack. Throughout the performance, Apollo recounts his encounters with racism on visits to Earth, while incorporating excerpts of writings from James Baldwin, Stuart Hall, and others.
HELLZAPOPPIN’ will be preceded by a screening of Rainer’s film After Many a Summer Dies the Swan: Hybrid (2002), in which the artist juxtaposes a dance she choreographed for Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project with texts by the major thinkers and artists of fin-de-siècle Vienna. Rainer’s choreography for After Many a Summer Dies the Swan initiated her return to dance after a long hiatus that had begun in 1972; like HELLZAPOPPIN’ , it represents a bookend in her career.
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