Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sway Youngston's Ottomon Empire at Performance Art Houston

pictures by Craig Hart Christie jr.

pictures by Rico Svaughn

The first performance of this piece at Notsuoh last fall featured the talented NICKTEEL and had a different theme where the female character retains her power over the male character throughout, though she does break down a bit at the end in her own sense of self-loathing. The most recent performance, however, sought to explore the possibility of a power shift mid-piece. The female reluctantly relinquishes power as the male takes it in a moment of passion. She is a slave to his physical prowess, and only when he forces himself on her is she able to let go of her dominant position. I really enjoyed performing with my lover, David Davis, but during rehearsal, the characters started to become more like us in real life. Since this piece is about two characters who don’t really like each other much but still retain the monotonous lives to which they are dedicated, I removed elements I believed alluded to my relationship with David and was able to regain control of the original characters and intentions. As apprehensive as I was about performing a strip tease, I had great support from David, as well as inspiration from the incredibly sensual song, “Feelin Love” by Paula Cole, and wound up enjoying myself quite a bit during the dance. Thanks to Julia Wallace, El Rincon Social, and David Davis for your encouragement and passion for art in all its forms. I’m really enjoying performance art and can’t wait for the next event!

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