The poem was written out of a passion to challenge the invisibility of the many ways women are silenced and I tried it out in performance with many different audiences of women – in schools, universities, feminist groups, at poetry events and in prison. Clare and I then collaborated with three drama students at the University of Kent, Canterbury, England who interpreted the poem through movement.
This locally-produced, no-budget film has been screened internationally at feminist film festivals.
The dancer/choreographers are Kristin Bacheva, Vanessa Owusu and Elle Payne. The sound is by Daniel Battersby, with music by Jahzzar and Ars Sonor.
I’ve been championing the dance category of videopoetry for years, so I was pleased to see this worthy representative of it take the top honors at last weekend’s Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival. Written and performed by “modern-day mystic” Rachel Kann, with choreography by her and Jhon Gonzalez, and directed by Brad (Bradford L.) Cooper, it won Best Overall Production and Best Sound/Music (the work of Cooper and Atom Smith). See YouTube for the complete credits and Hevria for the text.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of “resting bitch face” (apparently it’s mainly an American expression), the Wikipedia article will get you up to speed. Once you’ve read it, you’ll understand why this response by poet Olivia Gatwood and the dancer/choreographers Rebecca Björling and Rebecca Rosier of the We:R Performance Collective is so, so good. The video was shot and edited by Tim Davis. Björling and Rosier note on Vimeo that
Our latest work ‘Bitchface’ is a dance film we made in reaction to the amazing fierceness of Olivia Gatwood’s poem ‘Ode to my Bitchface’. Beautifully delivered by Olivia in a live performance, we felt like we had to dance the chills out of our bodies as soon as we saw her original video.
And here is the original video in question, posted to YouTube on April 2. It has already been viewed more than half a million times:
This wonderfully disturbing film by Natalia Alfutova was recognized by the ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival 2016 jury as a Special Mention for the Goethe Film Prize. Be sure to click the closed captioning (CC) icon for the English translation. Here’s the description from the ZEBRA website:
The Dummy and its mirror-reflection are in the waiting room of God. They mimic the Human-talk and the God dancing.
was born in Moscow and studied Mathematics at the Moscow State University, movie directing at ‘Higher Director’s Courses’ Moscow,, and multimedia art at The Rodchenko Art School (Moscow). In 2014 she founded “Mediamead” art studio. Artworks of this studio are based on the mix of math, cinema and multimedia art. In last two years Natalia made a number of installations, which were shown in different Moscow Museums and art places.
Much to my own surprise, this is the first Mayakovsky poem I’ve ever shared a video for. I was sure I must’ve found others over the years, but apparently not.