"For truth to tell, dancing in all its forms cannot be excluded from the curriculum of all noble education: dancing with the feet, with ideas, with words, and, need I add that one must also be able to dance with pen- that one must learn how to write." Friedrich Nietzsche
92Y Harkness Dance Festival: Jillian Peña
Jillian Peña is a dance and video artist based in New York whose work is primarily concerned with confusion and desire between self and other, and focuses on the most complicated relationship we all have: that of the self to the self. Inspired by Russian ballet, psychoanalysis, queer theory, pop media, and spirituality, she draws from ballet vocabulary, paying careful attention to the history embedded in each movement and letting this subtext inform the content of the work. Using a form of dance thought to be “traditional,” her work seeks to make visible what is deeply strange, experimental, and queer in ballet. She works collaboratively with her dancers, bringing out their fantasies about how they are seen.
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