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Christine Hou

CHRISTINE SHAN SHAN HOU is a poet, artist, and writer living in Brooklyn.

Reclaiming Intimacy One Film at a Time

Intimacy. Why do we need it? How do we preserve it in a time when being present means being everywhere and nowhere at once, between Facebook statuses, Google, and Twitter? Masha Tupitsyn’s LACONIA: 1,200 Tweets on Film considers these questions and visual culture at large through the private/public sphere of the Internet.


He uses rulers, but not for measurements. The gentle brushing of a pant leg, the checking of a pulse, a pause followed by the simple yet elegant act of peeling white tape off a black wall—a gesture reveals the obscurity behind linear thought.


Simulating a claustrophobic media cave, seven screens are suspended from the ceiling. There are three dancers, one musician, and a singing choreographer.


It started in the church garden and I think we were supposed to move around, but it was dark and I couldn’t. Led Zeppelin played in the background and the dozen or so dancers ethereally faded into the evening’s darkness


Every movement is immediate and deliberate, despite how volatile it feels—a meticulously planned self-destruction. “I’m messy!” he exclaims flippantly, while flinging coins all over the floor in faded street clothes and exaggerated make-up, like a Victorian-era drag queen.


You are the stuff girls love. Southern hospitality, pink lattes, candies, hearts, and balloons. I saw you last night along with my friends at Triple Canopy at 177 Livingston: Sherry tries on Cinderella.

Collaborative Beginnings

Movement, like feeling, is transitory. A child is on the brink of discovery. An arm stretches out to become an extension of light. In DAY, Jean Butler—well known for her Irish step dancing in Riverdance—has ventured into new terrain led by the exceptionally talented Tere O’Connor, who treats all of his performances like collaborations.

Voguing Against Tradition

(M)imosa, an unassuming , gender-bending, dancer. Mimosa transforms. S/he is multiple personalities rolled into one: a Latina rockstar, a ballerina, a student studying abroad, a butch queen, and Prince, amongst other things: “I am Mimosa.”

Facing the Music

Atonal keynotes, dissonant chords, a sharp trill, the pleasant pop of a piano string. These are the sounds that emerge when listening to John Zorn’s musical compositions. The effect is not pleasurable in the traditional sense; rather it induces a mild sense of disorientation, thwarting expectations.

Wandering Along a Dreamscape

Like three estranged muses they emerge from the darkness. They move slowly, subtly and organically on a shallow wooden platform in the center of the stage. Their bodies, dressed in loose black shirts and leggings, rub against each other as they entangle themselves in a state of torpor.

DIY Dance

MGM Grand makes “highly structured dances” in unpredictable and often-times unconventional places. They produce work on the outskirts of institutional frameworks, with their liberating dancing anywhere, anytime attitude.

I See Myself In You

A sense of not-knowingness emanates from the bare and undulating bodies within The Smell of Want, a work by the Irish duo Fitzgerald & Stapleton, which premiered at the Abrons Arts Center in October.

Manipulative Tendencies

Rarely do I leave a performance feeling the way I did on this October night, walking away from Heather Kravas and Jeremy Wade’s shared program at Danspace Project. I felt violated.

Intimate Gatherings

Seeing Vicky Shick dance is like happening upon a beautiful secret. She was the highlight of Chamber Works I: Intimate Dances for a Small Space, a shared evening of dance as part of the 2012 La MaMa Moves! Festival.

Queer Expectations

What makes a performance queer? You can define queerness as the subversion of preconceived notions of gender identity, relationships, and lifestyles. You can also think of it as a defiant resistance to the norms that construct and reinforce our positions in society. The concept of “normal,” however, is tricky when considering it in relation to performance. For a moment, you suspend disbelief and normalcy, entering into an alternative world.

2 KILOS OF SEA (After Deganit Shemy)

Christine Hou is a poet and arts writer living in Brooklyn.

We Are People Before We Are Dancers...

What does it mean to dance and not have interpretation imposed on you—to move before you feel? What does it mean to have a story? How do you begin to tell it? Choreographer Jérôme Bel navigates these questions in his solo piece, Cédric Andrieux, which made its New York City premiere at the Joyce Theater on September 18.

Objects of Comfort

What is our relationship to the objects around us? If objects could speak, what would they say? We turn objects into possessions by imbuing them with sentiment and narrative. They become totems for our own stories.

On Blind Faith...

There are many ways to experience dance without extracting “meaning” from it. Without having to answer the questions: What am I looking for? What do I want from this? Instead, we take a leap of faith. We surrender. Thus is Sarah Michelson’s Devotion, which premiered at the Kitchen on January 13.


The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2023

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