. In COOLTURA
Young boy dancing group, with Maria Metsalu, Nicolas Roses, Manuel Scheiwiller, Michele Rizzo, Ofelia Jarl Ortega, Nadja Voorham.
Wednesday evenings are the worst. You’re annihilated from three days of pointless work, you feel like you deserve some fun, but your friends won’t come out because they are a bunch of washed-up queens who take their jobs seriously or, WORSE, are in monogamous relationships; you wanna get absolutely wankered but you know it’s too early in the week to show the world you have a problem, and you’re slightly horny, but not enough to actually do something about it.
Luckily I found out that all these problems can be easily taken care of by 120 minutes of show by these remarkable young performers, AKA the Young Boy Dancing Group, and their colourful, spinning, acrobatic and fluorescent stage antics.
Eager to meet them in person in order to have more chances to hit on them after their performance at Macao, we came up with the oldest excuse in the book and arranged a wee interview.
I haven’t prepared squat, so this interview will be rather free-form: I’ll ask you some random shit and we’re gonna have a lovely chat together, that’s pretty much the plan. Agreed?
Good. So I’m not gonna ask you anything specific, just tell me who you are, what you do and what you stand for.
I would say that we are a contemporary dance group…And we stand for contemporary dance.
So when was the project born? How and why?
It was 4 years ago. We started out with the laser thing, we just did a show with them and then we developed from that, basically; we added more material, people, and so on… we became a group and decided to work as a group, of course we are all individuals and everyone brings something to the table, but we act as a collective.
Was it born for fun or there was also a message that you wanted to convey?
Of course, tons of messages related to what we do, I guess. Each scene, each little detail has a bigger message. Of course there is the topic of institutionalisation of producing work and art, so we try to do it differently in terms of, like, authorship of the material. We believe in authorship but also we believe in sampling, so we get a lot inspired from other existing works which is immediately recognisable. There’s a reflection about originality, in a different way, so that’s one thing, of course sexuality, gender…
Gender, that’s where I wanted you, how important is your statement about that to the whole economy of the show and your general policy as a group?
Well, the thing about institutional critique is absolutely strong. All our friends who do similar performances rehearse for months, in a highly professional fashion, they study the venue and so on… so it’s only normal that they want to be paid accordingly, it’s like a job, you either do it right or you do it wrong. If you fuck-up your show it means you may not be able to go on with your performances in the theatres and it’s heavy. I think it’s due to how they teach you, academically I mean, while our group has a very clear message which is “hey, there is also this other way you can treat performing arts: you just practice in your studio, you do something, you get together, you have fun with it…” . What is also very important is that we do not outsource stage design, we see if we can come up with it on our own, or we ask someone else to join the group and work on it together.
Correct me if I’m wrong, it seems like you’re applying a sort of DIY, open approach here, right?
Precisely, anyone can suggest a new scene, but the final decision has to be unanimous, if everyone agrees then we introduce them to the show.
And I’d like to stress the institutional critique aspect again, which is very important to us; we don’t really rehearse, or well, we rehearse but in a different way . Mostly we all have individual training and we do lots of individual research, and many of us also work in institutionalised environments, but as a group we try to break free from such boundaries of “professionalism” and “formality” and do our own thing.
Most importantly we do not want to be boring.
Reading about you, there’s a question that always comes up, for obvious reasons, and it’s the “laser up your bum” bit… I don’t really want to focus on that, or be redundant…
But you’re gonna ask anyway (laughs).
Well, of course baby, I have to, it’s my area of expertise. How important is that to the whole show and what’s beyond it?
I think it was very important in the beginning, but now the show could be without it, but at the same time we’re aware that a lot of people who come to our shows want to see that.
You’re like you’re the Stones and you know you’re gonna have to play Satisfaction at some point, because it’s your number one hit…
Exactly! We are aware it has a very strong visual impact and people like it and we do too, but there’s so much more we do beyond that, so ten minutes of lasers is fun, but then there’s a whole lot more we offer.
Is this your first tour as a group?
It’s the first but there are gonna be a lot more. Since we all live in different cities, it’s much more convenient to do tours that one-off shows, especially for the venues, it’s way cheaper.
Do you have any fun tour stories, like anyone getting hurt or fucked or off their tits on drinks and drugs?
He broke his arm last time…
Wow how did that happen?
Were you in your right mind, or drunk, or high?
he was high (laughs)
Interesting, on what? Come on, your mum is not gonna hear this, plus we have buyer’s remorse here, if you want us to take something out we’ll do it, or at least that’s what we’re gonna tell you.
I was on Viagra and MDMA
(ROUND OF APPLAUSE)
Do you also get, I don’t wanna say groupies but, you know, I can picture people getting turned on at your shows…
Oh yes, it’s very interesting because people get super horny during the performances and they see us as some sort of sexual monsters (laughs) because of what we do on stage and it’s fine as long as they don’t cross the line, what we do on stage is very intimate, once there was this drunken dude who pushed the laser all the way inside one of the performers’ you know…
What the fuck?!?! What did you do to the guy?
We beat him up. What do you think?
That’s the answer I was looking for. Thank you for your time. If there’s anything you may want to add…
YBDG: We are endorsed by GlowFX glowsticks. They’re a lot fun, man.