PLAN B

Gerard X Reyes (CA)

Public Private Parts or The Origin of the World is a 60-minute dance performance and video installation which looks beyond the limiting binaries of public/private and art/pornography. A community of nine embodiment experts from various professional and cultural backgrounds create mindful body practices to awaken the senses. Through live performances and documentary videos, the group of contemporary dancers, sex workers and sex educators explore alone and expand together using the essential bodily functions of touch, breath, sound, movement and imagination. Intimate and innovative, their discoveries reveal new, hopeful interconnections that could benefit us all.

In Public Private Parts or The Origin of the World, three large, eco-futuristic sculptures are inhabited by three live performers. A three-channel video installation is projected onto silicone screens reminiscent of human skin, which transport spectators into the future to meet six virtual performers. The spectators are able to navigate the installation-performance at their own rhythm, making embodied choices that follow their curiosities, acting as witnesses, students and at times participants.

 

Duration: 75 minutes

 

Co-produced by Festival TransAmériques
With the support of Goethe-Institut Montréal + Diffusion Hector-Charland + Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques

Creative residencies Fabrik Potsdam + Tanzfabrik Berlin + Tanzhaus Zürich + Grand Studio (Brussells) + Espace Marie Chouinard + Par B.L.eux + José Navas/Compagnie Flak + MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels) + Département de danse de l’UQAM + Musée d’art de Joliette

Spirale Magazine, 13.06.2021
En réinvestissant ainsi la dimension tactile et sensuelle de leur corporéité, les performeurs·euses nous rappellent que toucher une autre personne avec respect est inévitablement un acte de réciprocité, et que cette égalité s’effectue sous une forme de partage qui ne saurait laisser intact le sujet qui s’y soumet. [...] La communion qui s’installe entre les performeurs et le public passe aussi beaucoup par la musicalité du spectacle : par le rythme envoutant de la bande sonore de Bendik Giske et Devon Bate, bien sûr, mais aussi par le rythme corporel, la respiration des interprètes, qui nous absorbe et nous entraîne avec eux dans l’expérience immersive à laquelle ils se dévouent sous nos yeux.

JEU Revue de Théâtre, 11.06.2021
Chef-d'œuvre sensoriel [...] C'est (...) singulièrement libérateur. [...] Brillamment exécuté. [...] Entouré d’interprètes en chair et en os et de performeurs et performeuses numériques généreux, généreuses et fascinant·es, Gérard X Reyes propose un spectacle indéniablement sublime et important. Libératrice et déstabilisante, cette œuvre offre une vue sur nous-mêmes. Elle s’immisce sous notre peau, s’y installe et fait vivre.

Choreography
Gerard X Reyes

Performance
Gerard X Reyes, Justin Gionet and Emmanuel Proulx

Research Assistant
Andréane Leclerc

Dramaturgical Advisor
Guy Cools

Music
Bendik Giske and Devon Bate

Sound Design
Devon Bate

Sound spatialization
Dominic Jasmin

Props Design
Jasmine Reimer

Technical Director and Lighting Design
Karine Gauthier

Voice Coach
Ann Dyer

Production Directors
Elisa Hengen, Lucie Juneau and Alice Renucci

Produced, directed, performed, editing and interviews by (Video installation)
Gerard X Reyes

Codirected by (Video installation)
Poppy Sanchez

Performance (Video installation)
Bishop Black, Jasko Fide, JorgeTheObscene (aka Jorge Benavides), Rebecca Jackson and Mara Morgen

Director of Photography and Lighting (Video installation)
Kevin Klein

Camera (Video installation)
Jara Lopez Ballonga

Sound Recording (Video installation)
Antonio Vilchez Monge

Set Design (Video installation)
Jasmine Reimer

Set Design Assistant (Video installation)
Kaitlyn Smeeth

Editing (Video installation)
Julie Favreau

Sound Design (Video installation)
Devon Bate

Color Correction (Video installation)
Max Hilsamer

Transcription and translation (Video installation)
Ingrid Vallus

Video installation, projection and programming (Video installation)
Stéphane Gladyszewski

Lighting and Sound Operator for interviews (Video installation)
David J. Romero

Gerard Reyes – choreographer and dancer – found pleasure in many places: Montreal trans bars, Manhattan vogue balls, Portland strip clubs, Berlin fetish parties. Each place offered him an escape from social norms, but each one also came with its own restrictive house rules. In The Principle of PleasureGerard uses the theatre as a place capable of transcending limits to share his first true pleasure – dancing to the seductive songs of Janet Jackson. Voguing, stripping, glorifying eccentricity and embodying glamour open up the floor to exploring the controversial power of pleasure. Gerard and spectators join together to erase the boundaries that divide audience and performer to find ecstasy within and between their bodies. 

Duration: 60 min.

A Gerard X Reyes production. With support from Canada Council for the Arts, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, New York State Council on the Arts and Office of the Government of Québec (Berlin). Residencies: The Door (New York), The Spectrum (Brooklyn), MAI (Montreal), Studio Mange Mes Pieds (Montreal) and Dancemakers (Toronto).

Concept, Choreography and Performance
Gerard Reyes

Original Composition and Remixes
Devon Bate

“Control” Remix
Ty Harper

Featuring the music of
Janet Jackson

Light Design
Karine Gauthier

Costume design and tailoring
Vincent Tiley and Leigh Gallim

Make up
Christopher Lee

Helmet design
Persona non Grata

Artistic Advisors
Archie Burnett, Ami Shulman, Jose Xtravaganza, Benoît Lachambre, Amazon Leiomy, Kristina Marlen, Jordan Hall, Matjash Mrozewski

Gerard X Reyes is a choreographer, dancer, teacher, video artist, somatic sex educator, intimacy coordinator and Montreal’s kiki ballroom scene pioneer. Based in Montreal for over twelve years, Reyes’s practice lies at the intersection between embodied art, cultural sociology and advocacy.

Gerard spent seven years as a dancer with the Compagnie Marie Chouinard, and in 2009 he received a Gemini Award from the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television for “Outstanding Performance” in Chouinard’s film bODY_rEMIX. He has lived in Montreal, Toronto, New York, Los Angeles and Berlin where he collaborated with established contemporary, hip hop and vogue choreographers including Jérôme Bel, Benoît Lachambre, Bill T. Jones, Shen Wei, Luther Brown and Leiomy Maldonado.

In 2013, Gerard was the Québec/New York State Artist-In-Residence and received a grant from Le Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec to study Vogue with legendary teachers including Archie Burnett Ninja, Amazon Leiomy Maldonado and Danielle Polanco in New York City. After years of teaching Vogue classes in Montreal and in Berlin, he returned to Montreal in 2017 to pioneer the city’s Kiki Ballroom Scene. He led weekly practices for local LGBTQ+ youth and hosted regular kiki balls, including balls for Canada Pride (2017) and Fierté Montréal (2018).

His first solo work, The Principle of Pleasure, explores the themes of control and seduction by melding together Voguing, stripping, eccentricity and glamour. Set to original remixes of songs by pop icon Janet Jackson, the solo premiered in 2015 and has since toured across Canada and Europe, including Festival TransAmériques (Montréal), SummerWorks (Toronto), P•rny Days (Zurich) and Tanzfabrik (Berlin).

Recently, Gerard completed a certification in Sexological Bodywork via the Institute of Somatic Sexology (Australia). This certificate allows him to teach somatic sex education privately and assist in projects as an Intimacy Coordinator for stage and film. Gerard is trauma-informed and able to safely coach clients and performers in breathwork, body awareness, boundary-setting (consent), communication, anatomy and touch. Through this practice, he guides people towards deeper embodiment and connection with their sensual self.

Currently, Gerard is preparing a new group piece titled Public Private Parts or L’Origine du monde, which will premiere at Festival TransAmériques (FTA) in Montréal in May 2021.

My work honours the often hidden parts of our society – participants in underground subcultures, people with alternative sexualities, members of visible minorities. These are my people. We live by our own queer ideals of pleasure, agency and equality, and we seek to make this manifest in every part of our lives. Seeing no separation between life and artistic practice, I reject artistic hierarchies. No cultural form is inherently better and more worthy of attention than others. For me, all modes of human expression have equal weight. As a choreographer, I want to redistribute power in the theatre and on screen, and give centre stage to social issues that deserve more attention. By building communities around dance and embodiment I hope to inspire everyone to reap the benefits of their own sensual expression.  – Gerard Reyes

Spirale Magazine, 13.06.2021
En réinvestissant ainsi la dimension tactile et sensuelle de leur corporéité, les performeurs·euses nous rappellent que toucher une autre personne avec respect est inévitablement un acte de réciprocité, et que cette égalité s’effectue sous une forme de partage qui ne saurait laisser intact le sujet qui s’y soumet. [...] La communion qui s’installe entre les performeurs et le public passe aussi beaucoup par la musicalité du spectacle : par le rythme envoutant de la bande sonore de Bendik Giske et Devon Bate, bien sûr, mais aussi par le rythme corporel, la respiration des interprètes, qui nous absorbe et nous entraîne avec eux dans l’expérience immersive à laquelle ils se dévouent sous nos yeux.

JEU Revue de Théâtre, 11.06.2021
Chef-d'œuvre sensoriel [...] C'est (...) singulièrement libérateur. [...] Brillamment exécuté. [...] Entouré d’interprètes en chair et en os et de performeurs et performeuses numériques généreux, généreuses et fascinant·es, Gérard X Reyes propose un spectacle indéniablement sublime et important. Libératrice et déstabilisante, cette œuvre offre une vue sur nous-mêmes. Elle s’immisce sous notre peau, s’y installe et fait vivre.

Public Private Parts or L’Origin du monde

The Principle of Pleasure