installation: Social studies- In vein


poster for the performance, photo by Nicolas Ruel

design development sketch

Design development sketch

Design development sketch

the body piece

Detail of suction cup spine

Detail of hip area

Detail of hip area

Detail of hip area

Detail of hip area

Detail of collar

detail of collar

This is a sculptural body piece for a contemporary dance solo performance. The body piece developed out of the idea of an umbilical-like tube that connects the dancer to the ground, wraps around the body at the hip and neck, and continues infinitely above. As the design progressed the tube was imagined cut from the ground and sky with the remaining vertical element becoming an exposed spine.

Birth, transformation, vegetal /insect/ reptilian/ mammalian form, and human female identity are some of themes explored. The organic effect of this sculptural collage contrasts with the dancer’s abrupt, awkward, sometimes robotic movements.

The materials used include medical paraphernalia, fashion accessories, suction cups, recycled plastic and latex aluminum tubes, toys, metal and cotton threads.

Description by Alexander Varty dance reviewer for Vancouver’s

‘’A relatively static exploration of psychic torment, this work was marked by sudden and effective shifts of mood. At times, Kwan seemed to be battling the effects of an alternative gravitational system: one of her legs, for instance, might suddenly bend at a 90-degree angle, or her whole body would compress, as if under the weight of a massive force coming from above. And in one striking pose-kneeling, her arms bound in a kind of Circassian-slave-girl waistband-she managed to depict an entire universe of longing, horror, resignation, and sexual subjugation. The effect was chilling, and compelling.’’

Clients : choreographer David Pressault Danse, dancer Ziyian Kwan and producer Danse Cité
Location: Jan 26-29, Feb 2-5, 2005 Vancouver International Dance Festival: March 24-26, 2005

Photos: Nicolas Ruel (poster and where noted on photo) and Carina Rose