marcela levi


Ana Kiffer
Rio de Janeiro
December 2017

deixa arder [let it burn]

taken by the piece "deixa arder" [let it burn] by Marcela Levi and Lucía Russo, i wrote this text in a state of trepidation. there is something in it that needs to be seen. or better put: to be experienced. by many, many people. in this case, we see that the dance manages to effectively disorganize bodies. a few times, as it is the case at stake, by means of shock-sensations. that hardly allow themselves to be recounted. but that. and this is the most amazing of it. by making us live or relive - in shock - our camouflaged ways of being - in this case our atavistic racism - it incites us, once disorganized, to remake ourselves perhaps a tiny bit different - in another interlacing with our own and appalling ferocity.

deixa arder [let it burn]
direction Marcela Levi and Lucía Russo
performance Tamires Costa

when we are no longer able to find the words to say - we describe. or invent. poetry. it was a black box. a ceiling, walls. and floor. the chairs were white. made of plastic. so as to blaze the asses. maybe. flammable. the sound perforated high. maybe. not. in the beginning was the body. the black body. somewhere between a girl and a woman. between a girl and a boy. maybe. not. one certainty. a black body danced to exhaustion. the tongue danced. it's not as if the tongue spoke. or the face. the mouth. the teeth. the eyes turned over as if they were all there to express. something. for us. in her own face. an interior world. or not. a world meant for us. one's exterior. or to externalize. yours. ours. better. our feeling. and emotion. no. each part of the body danced. to exhaustion.
[danced to what?]
wait. laughed at her face. turned over. in orbit. would they be grimaces? my daughter looked at me. was it really made for laughing? what's the limit between laughter and the? atrocious. stop. it was impossible not to laugh. let it burn. of jitters. of disgrace. maybe. i laughed as well. and at the same time, i started feeling. no, not feeling. the feeling doesn't feel. nor allows itself to be recounted. it wouldn't stand. how to continue. laughing? maybe. locked in that dark room. with that black body dancing to exhaustion. [dancing to what?]. facing an audience almost entirely white. almost entirely. because maybe that day her parents were there. the only two black bodies. right next to me. thank you. and you dancing. [danced to what?]. the audience. almost entirely white. that laughed. i started to feel something in my belly. soon it was already strangling my neck. between the belly and the neck. a nodal core. thalweg. anxiety is a hand twisting you from the insides. i should laugh for my daughter. after all. she went with me. she wants to be a dancer. it is always a time that inhabits an almost entirely white world. the desires. the dreams. the bodies. the audience. the laughters. the anxiety.
the dance. maybe. but the body impels a dance. that gathers it. and piles up bodies. between one and the other. maybe. in a few moments. there is a piling up of many other bodies. it expropriates itself by giving us back. in our white faces. yes. just like we pillaged. and we laugh. and continue to pile up. the black bodies.
Josephine Baker. was a smiling caterpillar. the eyes turned inside out to keep our atavistic strabismus. and to make us laugh. because seeing. after all. is atrocious. it's better to laugh. nervously. about the story of the pillage of black bodies. by white hands. the white robbery. the white evil. but what about my daughter? she is good. and white. how can i be part of this evil? and try to dress it up even now. wait. blackface. yes it was a white mouth. on a black body. pillage. there once was a white body hindering the black one from dancing. it would still be necessary to retrace - in the historical-political curve of racism - its affections. what is the relation between envy and racism? because we will never dance like that. [danced to what?]. to exhaustion. the implacable resistance. the pep of life. the fire. the dance before the dance. what makes us live. the force of surviving. when one remains.
in a single moment the dance interrupts itself. [danced to what?]. for her to speak.
maybe. she tries to speak. a series of swallowed words. guttural gestures of the tongue in the strangled body. by the mask that white people put on black female slaves. writhing the entire dental arch. fastening the tongue. all the ones we have already looted. i can no longer write. the day is dawning. it was fun. we burn in the fire where we burned the bodies. and pillaged. the black ones. and laughed. maybe. a language previous to the tongue. because we looted their right to speech.

by Ana Kiffer. december. christmas. white? 2017. in brazil. a white country [a country of whites]? what do we dance to?