Performance for Alternative Spaces (2024)

In 2023, Lenio Kaklea was commissioned to create a performance for La Peniche La Pop in Paris, based on the legendary song I'm Coming Out, written and composed by Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers and performed by Diana Ross. Having never performed a coming out herself, she was rather perplexed by this invitation. Looking at the work of queer artists that are dear to her, such as Ulrike Ottinger, Jill Johnston, Jean Genet, or the neo-realist painter and scenographer Yannis Tsarouchis, she realised how this coming-out performance relates to a situation she had been led to explore in her work. When the New York dance critic Jill Johnston made her outrageous contribution to a panel on feminism at New York City Hall, she said: "All women are lesbians, even those who don't know it yet"- and Kaklea was convinced by that. For Untitled (Figures), the choreographer decided to embrace everything that is queer in her through a catalogue of danced figures (the cowgirl, leather culture, disco and the figure of the sailor) and pay homage to the capacity of queer cultures to teach us to love the female body.

Duration: 40 minutes

Choreography and Performance: Lenio Kaklea
Sound Light and Technical Direction: Éric Yvelin
Costumes: Olivier Mullin
Dramaturgy: Lou Forster
Voice: Jill Johnston
Music: Hornpipe en do mineur by Henry Purcell, interpreted by Martin Fröst, Express Yourself by Madonna
Administration and Production: Olivier Poujol
Production: abd
Coproduction: Peniche La Pop for the festival (Re)Mix 2023, WEILS Centre d’art de Bruxelles, Festival + Genres/KLAP Maison de la Danse de Marseille

In the performance, Lenio Kaklea dances short extracts from Rodeo (1973) by Agnes de Mille.

Photos: Marikel Iahana