On May 3, Canadian actor/dancer/director/choreographer Emma Portner will perform in the Benton's courtyard and pavilion in an activation of her collaborative installation with artist Iva Gueorguieva called Tumbling Rose. The performance is free and open to the public.
Tumbling Rose has roots and inspirations across cultures and artistic genres. One is the Yupik word Ella, for example, which is the same for “self,” “weather,” “other,” and “wind”; it suggests a sort of motion that intertwines interior space and the exterior world. Another is the essay “Wind Daruma” by the founder of the Japanese dance genre of Butoh, Hijikata Tatsumi. In the essay he describes a figure of wind sweeping up and through discrete bodies, transforming, erasing, “immolating” them. Like the “Wind Daruma” Portner, in the films and performance, continuously transforms into multiple characters reminiscent of feverish dreams or the daily news: the executioner and victim, the lover and the beloved, the maker and destroyer. Perhaps most trenchantly, Tumbling Rose finds a first-degree relative in the early 20th century art movement of Dada, born of the chaos and destruction of World War I. Dada artists forged an aesthetic strategy out of disruption, disillusionment, and the embrace of uncertainty.
Content warning: nudity