Maguy Marin’s posthuman “Cendrillion”

Grotesque masks replace powdered noses, blushed cheekbones, and false eyelashes. Padded suits expand thin body lines. The doll costumes in Maguy Marin’s Cendrillion (Cinderella) push the boundaries of late 20th-century Western ballet aesthetics. Simultaneously, they raise questions about the ballet dancer’s role as subject and object onstage.

Combined with Prokof’ev’s Zoluška score, Marin’s characters, movement, and costumes expose and challenge multiple layers of dancer objectification. Situating the choreographer’s tactics within a feminist framework illuminates how Marin’s radical strategy centers on posthuman philosophy, paradoxically suggesting that a ballerina, through her thingness and cyborgian relations, can function outside of object-subject constraints.

This according to “Maguy Marin’s posthuman Cinderella: Thingness, grotesquerie, and cyborgs” by Mara Mandradjieff (Dance chronicle XL/3 [2017] 374–92; RILM Abstracts 2017-56181).

Today is Marin’s 70th birthday! Above and below, excerpts from productions of Cendrillion.

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