“Naked dance” at Flora (vol. I)


Dancers, performers and choreographers Teresa Vittucci and Doris Uhlich are among the personalities who are committed to an authentic image of the body in dance. They bring “normal” bodies to the stage instead of standardized ones. Bodies that contradict society's idea of classic, beautiful “dance bodies”. Instead of perfection, they accentuate diversity, otherness, which is conveyed in their works by, among others, disabled, naked or not quite thin individuals…

Doris Uhlich in her performance TANK. (photo Katja Ilner)

Zurich-based Austrian artist Teresa Vittuci (1985) explores feminist and queer perspectives on pop culture, history, religion as well as other cultural phenomena. In her committed solo Hate Me, Tender, for which she received the prestigious Schweizer Kulturpreis, she deconstructs the myth of the Virgin Mary and the feminine ideal she personifies with a great deal of irony. This fresh performance between stand-up and dance radically rewrites the figure of the Madonna and creates a new, feminist image of her.

Doris Uhlich (1977), one of Austria's most acclaimed choreographers, looks at the future of the human body in an era of surgical and genetic perfection. In her performance TANK, she takes it to the edge of science fiction: inspired by motifs from the films AlienThe Shape of Water and Avatar, she creates a scenic arrangement of body modifications in a giant test tube, which aptly comments on the relationship between the human body and new technologies. Doris Uhlich boldly demonstrates the potential of nudity beyond eroticism and provocation. She also includes individuals with diverse physiognomies and physical disabilities in her productions, contributing to the discussion of inclusion in dance.

It is therefore no coincidence that both innovators collaborated with choreographer and activist Michael Turinsky, who starred in his solo Precarious Moves at last year's Flora. Together with Teresa Vittucci, he created the performance We Bodies (2019), in which they confront the supposed monstrosity of their own bodies.

Doris Uhlich, for her part, in Ravemachine (2016, Special Mention in the Nestroy Awards), sampled the sounds of her dance partner Turinsky's electric wheelchair and translated them into punchy beats that inspired movement for each in their own way.

In the Czech environment, the choreographer and performer Miřenka Čechová is an advocate of naturalness and a vocal critic of prejudice and drill at dance conservatories.

(to be continued)

26 Flora programme:

Sat 13 May 8 pm | S-klub 
Boris Kopeinig & Doris Uhlich TANK + discussion follows the show

Wed 17 May 8 pm | S-klub
Teresa Vittucci HATE ME, TENDER: Solo for Future Feminism + discussion on the following day