empire of love, 2018
by association: abrons arts center
New York, NY
september 20 & 22, 2018 @ 7:30pm
on a shared bill with pallavi sen (9/20) and bully fae collins (9/22)
Choreographed by Elena Rose Light in collaboration with Evelyn Lilian Sánchez Narvaez, Empire of Love is a dance titled after anthropologist Elizabeth Povinelli’s study of intimacy in liberal settler colonies. Light and Sánchez face off as a femme army at war with itself. They perform the inherited physicalities of contemporary America—fighting, chest-bumping, tickling—reframing aggression as communion. As they edge toward the limits of their emotional and physical endurance, they stay entangled with each other, avoiding the neoliberal imperative to separate and find solutions. Their duet translates Povinelli’s idea of “thick life” into performance: at once combatants, friends, icons, and lovers, their tender battle reveals the dense space where representative identity politics and interpersonal dynamics collide.
Commissioned by Abrons Arts Center. Supported by the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant.