The Disney imperium made Snow White the epitome of the happy girl in films and leisure parks. Audiences from Los Angeles to Hong Kong are enchanted by their waving and smiling princess actresses. Choreographer Eisa Jocson observes this apparently universal performance of happiness from a particular perspective: Disneyland Hong Kong is one of the most important employers of Philippine dancers in the region but, because of their skin colour, they are only cast in nameless supporting roles. Together with performance artist Russ Ligtas, Eisa Jocson hijaks Snow White’s physicality and speech and creates a playing field of identities. By means of mimicry and reproduction they overwrite the entertainment system’s pre-programed narratives and corrupt a closed world with their foreign bodies. In keeping with her previous solo works, Jocson continues in Princess to examine the interrelations of emotional labour, embodiment and the construction of racial and gender identities.
investigates the labour and representations of the dancing body in the service industry, and exposes identity and gender formation, seduction politics, and Filipino social mobility from pole to macho dancing to hostess work. Trained as a visual artist, with a background in ballet, Eisa Jocson won the title of 2010 Pole Art Champion in Manila and presents her performances at acclaimed theaters and international festivals in Asia and Europe, e. g. Tanz im August, Theater der Welt, Mannheim, TPAM Yokohama, Asia Triennial of Performing Arts, Melbourne, Beursschouwburg Brüssel, Zürcher Theater Spektakel.
Princess, her first duo, is part one of the series HAPPYLAND, a performance trilogy that examines the labour and performance of happiness in the overall production of fantasy within the context of a globalized entertainment industry. Jocson is already known to the Viennese audience from earlier performance projects at TQW and ImPulsTanz.
Eisa Jocson &
Following Princess, choreographer Eisa Jocson and performer Russ Litgas offer insight into their artistic approaches in conversation with Carolina Nöbauer, dramaturg...