The ice bear turns into a swan: Eleanor Bauer’s ‘(BIG GIRLS)’

‘You’re an ice bear dancing like a swan.’  That’s what somebody once told American dancer Eleanor Bauer. Whoever goes to see Bauer’s new performance (BIG GIRLS DO BIG THINGS) will notice that it is a phrase that has stuck in her mind. Because the ex P.A.R.T.S-student starts off as an ice bear and ends her performance dancing like a swan. In between she does some wonderful things in that striking ice bear costume and she throws in some references to, or imitations of Ice Cube, Karen Finley, Patsy Cline and Martha Graham. Whoever has seen Bauer in Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s The song – she is the only girl on stage, singing Rocky Raccoon at one point – knows that she’s a talented performer. But to me (BIG GIRLS DO BIG THINGS) isn’t entirely convincing. The performance, which premiered last weekend at Vooruit (Ghent), clearly has its moments, but it has its flaws too. Bauer will perform (BIG GIRLS) during Kaaitheater‘s new festival WoWmen!, which starts tonight (Brussels). WoWmen! focuses on gender and performing arts, with performances by Alexandra Bachzetsis, Maria Hassabi and Marijs Boulogne.

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