Retrospective Exhibitionist and Difficult Bodies (2005)

Retrospective Exhibitionist and Difficult Bodies is an emotionally charged evening of two works presented as a diptych, back to back. This evening looks at the two sides that are in every performance: what the performer presents and what the performer feels.

In Retrospective Exhibitionist, a landmark solo for Gutierrez, he shuttles through his own real and imagined performance history, excavating the vulnerability that emerges from being watched by others. Using a TV/VCR, boom box, mic and amp, video camera, and other simple props, Gutierrez looks at the merciless unraveling of time and its impact on live performance and a life spent on the stage.

In Difficult Bodies, Gutierrez continues his confrontation between performer and viewer. Three women move together in a simple, formal design that makes the kinetic power of their bodies and their connection to each other unmistakable and immediate. Their insistent actions fill the space with the rhythms of attraction and repulsion, as they continually approach and resist the audience. Gutierrez creates the live music for the trio in which sounds and words are looped incessantly to create a symphonic, epic delirium.

Created by Miguel Gutierrez in collaboration with Anna Azrieli, Michelle Boulé, and Abby Crain
Music by U2, Interpol, Irene Cara, Kate Bush, Destiny’s Child, and Miguel Gutierrez
Text by Miguel Gutierrez, Reza Ali Shad Herati
Lighting by Lenore Doxsee
Set/Video by Miguel Gutierrez (my dad), MG, and two unknown videographers
Marissa Perel is briefly featured in the Jacob's Pillow video
Costumes are performers’ own clothing and the dresses are from Beacon’s Closet

Duration: 100 Minutes
Performance recording by Character Generators, December 2005

Retrospective Exhibitionist and Difficult Bodies is a co-commissioning project by Dance Theater Workshop in partnership with Diverse Works and the National Performance Network Creation Fund. The Creation Fund is sponsored by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, Altria, and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency). Additional support provided by The Josephine Foundation and individual donors. This piece was developed at residencies at Ensemble Studio Theater's Lexington Center for the Arts, Hollins University and in Pittsburgh, PA with LABCO Dance.

background and performance photos by Alex Escalante