Description: On April 21, 22, & 23, 2022 from 7pm-8pm (MST), Elle Hong, in collaboration with Art Gym Denver and Square Product Theatre, presents the solo contemporary dance premiere of “lightness has a call that’s hard to hear.” Utilizing dance, text, and sound, Elle crafts a psychospatial performance reckoning with their gender transition and mental health journeys. Suspending their audience in the heaviness of their lived realities, Elle considers the role of “lightness” in rewiring towards continual self-care, ease, and possibilities for embodiment and liberation. Through multidisciplinary performance, the artist aims to demonstrate the difficulties of separating lightness from darkness; how in the pursuit of lightness, there exists an ever-looming reckoning with the dark forces that prevent individuals from actualizing self-determination. “lightness…” will ask both the artist and audiences to consider their situatedness within (self/exteriorly)-imposed coping mechanisms. How do different bodies cope with their social worlds, and how is coping made less possible for certain individuals? In this performance, Elle demonstrates how dance might serve as a venue for reparative healing, vulnerability, and transformation in real-time.
This is a dance about lightness, which conjures its contrasting force—darkness. This is a dance about the chase for utopic levity, and reckoning with the crushing weight of reality. This is a dance about my GI tract, secrets that are not-so-secret, the letter “Y”, and opting for rest in the face of hyper-capitalism. I ask for what I need, I take my time, and contrastingly, I perform through duress and work past points of exhaustion. I want to show viewers what it is to be both many things at once and nothing at all. I need to know if it’s possible to be nothing at all, or, something that may transcend the confines of my own body.
This is a dance about that moment when you are singing through a song and find that you can’t finish because you begin to feel choked up by the emotions the song sends you through.
This is a dance that conjures ghosts, circles and cycles, the psyche as physical space, and the things we project onto others versus that which gets projected onto us.
Light and dark. Self-care and self-obliteration.
When do we push, and when does the pushing lead to pulling back?
Receding back into darkness to, once again, find the light.
Bio: Elle Hong (they/she) is an anti-disciplinary artist, writer, and educator from the occupied lands of the former Hawaiian Kingdom (Honolulu, HI). Currently based in Cheyenne/Ute/Arapaho/Sioux Territories (Denver, CO), they received their MFA in Choreography from the University of Colorado Boulder with a graduate certification in Emergent Technologies & Media Arts Practice. Their work spans through dance, media arts, writing, music, and pedagogy – often collaging them into hybrid performances. Elle’s work has been shown both nationally and internationally, including the Thessaloniki Queer Arts Festival (Greece), SPEKTRUM (Berlin), the Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation (Seattle, WA), Counterpath Press (Denver, CO), and the Ezra & Cecile Zilkha Gallery (Middletown, CT). Elle is a current Create Award resident artist at Art Gym Denver, researching convergences of improvisation, mental health, and somatic techniques.