new-york

Jane Comfort

Joyce Theater

Jane Comfort’s dance extravaganza, S/He, 1994, shows us what the latest gender wars actually look like when danced and set to music. Every movement is a loaded example of how men and women inhabit space—do they simper or strut, cross their legs or spread them—which raises the age-old nature/nurture question to the point that you want to spend time in front of a mirror, weeding out your own politically incorrect gestures. Take the way you prop your chin on your hand, as though staring dreamily our the window without a care in the world—that’s not natural, it’s just another white woman’s pose. Or a certain way of holding your head, moving from side to side, that grew out of hip-hop culture and was popularized by MTV, again a culturally specific “body language.” In this way, Comfort compiles a repertoire of movements that reflect gender roles and specific ethnicities, which, through repetition

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