‘Take Me Apart’ -- A Fierce and Playful Exploration of the Feminine
by Emilee Lord
2020 brought us a whole new set of definitions for “live” and “performance” that I had not expected to have to parse through in such short order. There is constantly new work and new places for it. I had not, until now, taken these virtual spaces very seriously as they did not appear on my radar as professionally used or recognized places for art work. Lately, I have been deliberately investigating and mining this work for what we can learn about attention and liveness once we are in performance spaces again. Social media has shown up at the forefront, providing a number of ways to create and present. From performers using live feed capabilities, to posting and advertising zoom performances and new video projects, to releasing new work onto the platforms themselves, it has allowed for work to continue and to engage. The work of Caitlin Green on IGTV has placed itself among all this as a fierce work of high caliber.
Take Me Apart is a film featuring a trio of female dancers: Caitlin Green, Sophiann Moore, and Camille Halsey. Each dancer has a few cameos at the Painted Bride Arts Center , the building surrounded by Isaiah Zagar's mosaic tiles and mirrors. Green’s choreography flows, hip centered, through the piece with a sense of effortless timing and exploration of the sensual body. It gives focus to each woman and to the ensemble piece as a whole, never making any one seem the lead vs the chorus. The work derives its name from the title of the accompanying music by Kelela ft. Rare Essence, a slow groove with a lot of seductive power. It follows the music carefully while not giving in to mimicry or a storytelling that tracks the lyrics.
The structure of the film, shot and edited by Jasmine Lynea, moves from intimate, interior space to public space seamlessly enough, with straight forward shots and edits that become quicker over time. The film opens with the dancers laying on a rug. This space was never seen again or contextualized, and it remained unclear why the makers chose that image. This was, however, the only visual element that did not feel as carefully stitched together as the rest.
The work celebrates the female body, its desires, and its power. There was a refreshing lack of self-consciousness among the dancers who moved with unabashedly sensual play. They weren’t performative in the sense that they were performing for a partner or voyeur. Their movement came from power and self-worth, an uplifting way to witness female sexuality.
Specific to film as a medium for dance is the ability to rewatch. I love absorbing this form because I can go back to it from new places within myself and from new points of interest in the work. Take Me Apart does not disappoint in this way, as it seems to let you in immediately and fully but does indeed have more at play upon revisiting. I look forward to seeing what CG Choreography produces in the future.
Take Me Apart, CG Choreography, IGTV, released Dec. 1.
By Emilee Lord
January 18, 2021