18 — 21.05.2024

Faye Driscoll New York-Los Angeles


dance / performance


Accessible for wheelchair usersSeating without backrest | ⧖ 1h05 | €22 / €18 | Contains nudity

How do we feel the impact of events which are so much larger than us, yet move through us, and animate and activate our bodies all the time? Ten performers enact a glacially morphing tableau vivant on a mobile raft-like stage. Their voices generate a score that crescendos and resonates as they clutch, careen and cleave in a space too small to contain them, spilling off the edges. The scenes shown reference at times images from classical iconography. Tenderness and violence, sensuality and brute force cohabitate. The audience sits all around as if watching a boxing match, embanking the performers, close enough to smell their sweat and feel the steam of the spiralling scenes. Celebrated American choreographer Faye Driscoll returns to the festival with a multi-sensory flesh and breath sculpture made of bodies, sounds, scents, liquids and objects. She pushes her performers to their limits in this compelling, adventurous work, presented in the impressive Horta Hall, originally an exhibition space for sculptures. Weathering is an ode to the inexhaustible physical power of queer bodies.

“The artist Faye Driscoll has always taken her performers and audiences to the edge, or tried to, but never so completely as in 'Weathering', an enthralling, epically adventurous work.”
The New York Times

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Durations of soft detail

The two following fragments have been originally pub- lished in Durations of Soft Detail. A Companionate Reader for Weathering created with dramaturg Dages Juvilier Keates at the occasion of the premiere of Weathering at New York Live Arts in April 2023.

To hold and be held

[...] Weathering is trying to pressurize our senses, to make us feel through a cacophony of sense production, a synesthetic cornucopia of bodies and stuff, the human and the nonhuman pressed together – everything at the edge of ecstasy and collapse.
There is an acute sense of risk embedded in what the performers are being asked to do: bodies fly through space to crash into each other on a constantly spinning platform, juice and sweat and dirt – various wetness-es underfoot, slipping and falling, splitting your focus between vocalizing / harmonizing and running / pushing / falling, twisting too much, holding someone else’s body up above you past your capacity to endure the force of their weight... and then there is the fear that comes from being exposed; the barriers of training and polish and distance are all stripped away. You can’t hide behind your dance technique, you can’t avoid the penetrating attention of the other per- formers, the director, the audience – your own attention to yourself. You can’t avoid yourself! It is all too slow or too fast, too intimate, too close, too wild, too demanding.
[...] In Weathering, there is no singular hero, no star soloist – every performer occupies both the center and the periph- ery of the work at all times. Even as my attention rests for a moment on one performer’s action – flower petals falling crushed out of Cara’s hands, Shayla’s face as she lifts her head and scans the space, James applying lip balm – I am aware of the churning activity around them, the wild intricate gear-like coordination of everyone moving at once. In theory, I know that everything I do impacts and is impacted by the world around me. Nothing happens in isolation. Yet, I forget this. And often, performance helps me forget this. I get to rest my eyes on the singular emergence of excellence, celebrate someone’s rare and unique gifts, let one body rise up out of the sea of all of us and claim the spotlight. This mode of attention celebrates the individual; it makes me want to produce my own individual dance and have others celebrate my selfie self. Weathering reminds me that brilliance is always produced through collectivity. My power comes through the field of relation that produces me and to which I am bound.
This is one of Weathering’s central lessons: the only way through the crisis of being alive is to pay attention deeply and humbly to a constantly shifting relational matrix of mutual aid, mutual pleasure and mutual suffering. How beautiful and how triggering to witness both the fractalization and exaggeration of this lesson. It is inspiring (we can do this! we can make life within the chaos of this time!) and also horrifying (?) /sobering (“There is no end to what a living world will demand of you”). There is no end to detail. And there is no end to the intricate, demanding processes of my body; I am bodying all the time. I move in constant relation to others; I must consider the ethics of care, of exploitation, of love - the labor of our interdependence.

  • Extracts from a text written by Jesse Zaritt

Jesse Zaritt is a Brooklyn, NY based dance artist. He is also Assistant Professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.


Chariots of flesh

Guts, phone, piss, puss,
carbon emissions, asshole

Their weight is on top of me
Closed eyelids contracted sphincters
We close up their skins of fawn with writhing
snakes that lick their cheeks
Soon there are more hands on me and my own
hands stray onto others
Some ghastly messes
Forms in the bottom of the trench
You have to lie down
You can only grope your way out
When you leave I know what it is to be a man
without legs
I know for a moment what phantom limbs feel like

Pussy, dick and balls

You are looking in the mirror shaving
I am sitting on the toilet brushing my teeth
You say
My parasites are now living in you
Thank you?
I say
But it sounds like
Dank goo

My rusty kitchen knife hands find your face between them

Pollution covers mountains
Birds bump into glass
She is in agony but won’t give in
I drag the twins hair up from drains
Pluck its casual smear from pillow cases

A hand clenched into a fist
Fingers pressed against each other
Everyone is partying
You say
The back of one thigh crossed over the front of the other
One foot resting on the other

Pieces of shell flew within two feet certain of my head
It feels so good to party again after so long stuck inside
To bump and to grind
I fall with a thud
My armor
Upon me
Your pelvis rises
As if seeking something in the air

sweat, semen, milk, spit, blood

I do not want to startle anyone as I come upon
them out of the fog
Thinking I am the enemy
Pundits predict the future
Make the future make
Wildfires of
Outrage and
We are desperate to know the outcome
Desperate to know the outcome
Desperate to know the outcome
They first drew back the heads of sacrificial animals
I spit frothy toothpaste into the toilet

It was deep, warm, and very wet
fluctuating traces of caresses, memories of silk,
wool, velvet
My fingers were all but sucked inside
She takes me to her perfumed breast
Laughing as she cried
Lip against lip
Tongue against palate
Teeth touching teeth
Wrenched backwards
Your face a mask of pain

We link our hands around his neck
A scent-laden breeze fills the cavern of my mouth
Pressing for release
Luckily we are not stuck in a perpetual yawn
Rolling and rolling through us forever
Slutty Yawn always moves on
How far did she travel from?

How ancient is her roil?
I shove you all the way across the cage and into
the fence
They come and pull us apart

In feeling if they were alive
Their hands would be plunged into a gory mess
of flesh
We encountered loose limbs too
You push me face down
Then, in ecstasy, like a colt by its grazing mother,
with flushed cheeks and the spells of Aphrodite in
his eyes, we are climbing down dark, vertical wells,
descending endless ladders and inch-ing along
damp crawl ways, to low underground rooms

  • Faye Driscoll, April 2023

Presentation: Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Bozar
Conception, choreography and direction: Faye Driscoll | Performance: James Barrett, Kara Brody, David Guzman, Amy Gernux, Shayla-Vie Jenkins, Jennifer Nugent, Cory Seals, Maya LaLiberte, Carlo Antonio Villanueva, Jo Warren | Scenic design: Jake Margolin & Nick Vaughan | Lighting director: Serena Wong | Sound and music direction: Sophia Brous | Live sound and sound design: Ryan Gamblin | Composition, field recordings and sound design: Guillaume Soula | Costume design: Karen Boyer | Dramaturgy and scent design: Dages Juvelier Keates | Choreographic assistance: Amy Gernux | Intimacy coordination: Yehuda Duenyas | Production stage management: Emily Vizina | Production and company management: Lilach Orenstein | Booking: Tommy Kriegsmann, Damien Valette
Commissioned and produced by New York Live Arts as part of the Randjelović/Stryker Resident Commissioned Artist Program, which is made possible with lead funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and has been named for lead donors Jon Stryker and New York Live Arts board Vice-chair Slobodan Randjelović | Co-commissioned by Theater der Welt 2023 and The Joyce Theater Foundation’s Artist Residency Center, made possible by lead funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust and Doris Duke Charitable Foundation | Additional commissioning support provided by Wexner Center for the Arts and members of Faye Driscoll’s Commissioners Circle
Made possible with generous support from New York State Council on the Arts, Café Royal Cultural Foundation and NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, and developed with residency support from Carolina Performing Arts at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography at Florida State University, Pillow Lab at Jacob’s Pillow and Dancers’ Workshop

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