MUTED SITUATION #2: MUTED LION DANCE BY SAMSON YOUNG FOR WHITEBOX
Curated by Lara Pan
Opening reception SUNDAY MARCH 6th | 12-8PM
Performance by Samson Young | 2pm
Live transmission BY ARCHIE SHEPP | 6pm to 8pm
Location: WhiteBox 329 Broome Street, New York. NY 10002
Stage a Lion Dance involving four or more dancers, without the accompanying percussive music. That is to say, to dance in silence. This must be done without a diminution of the energy that is normally exerted in a Lion Dance. The choreography, the costume, the scattering of lettuce and all other factors pertaining to the performative intent of the work should remain intact for as far as possible.
As a result other sounds will be revealed, including not limited to the intense breathing of the performers, the verbal communication and cues between the Lions Dancers, sounds of the lion’s head rattling, and the stomping of the feet.
Muted Situations are proposals for sonic situations to be heard anew, achieved through a re-prioritisation of different sound layers. Certain layers – in most cases the sonic “foreground” of such situations – are consciously muted or suppressed, and as a result the less-commonly-noticed layers are revealed. Instructions on how to stage these situations range from specific directives, to more open approaches that require negotiation with the participants.
Mute is not silence. Muting is not the same as doing nothing. Rather, the act of muting is an intensely focused re-imagination and re-construction of the auditory. It involves the conscious suppression of dominant voices, as a way to uncover the unheard and the marginalised, or to make apparent certain assumptions about hearing and sounding.