Finding a language: The effect of racialization in intimate interpersonal relationships. Marianne Tuckman and Isidora Oyarzún

In this project we are developing an interdisciplinary performance piece that combines dance and bio-drama, a performance genre in which people (often non-performers) perform their own life experiences.

Between August-November we were supported by Dis-Tanz-Solo to develop a methodology to devise movement and text tasks to prepare for working with the participants in the next phase.

The topic is urgent and hard to talk about: the effect of racialization in intimate relationships. Although this issue is present in the daily lives of countless couples and friendships, it is often overlooked, and rarely talked about. The research work we have been doing so far explores how the experience of racialization can be present in a person’s most intimate moments; history and politics can invade even the closest relationships, pre-determining conversations and conflicts.

Through a participative project we are searching for a text and movement language expressing people’s personal experiences of the issue. This vocabulary will form the basis of the choreography with a focus on duets to be performed by a cast of people (6-8) with relevant life experiences. We will work with couples in which one/ both have experienced racial prejudice, e.g: romantic, close friendships, grandparent/child.

Foto: Maluva Pictures

We came into the work with our own research material. We then questioned, filtered, categorised and went deeper into this content, as well as the new research material that appeared, to create what is considered the script in the genre of bio-drama. The approach is to research a specific topic with participants by facilitating workshops that encompass interviews, conversations and physical/ imaginative explorations. The structure of the piece is then assembled from the material found in these workshops.

After three months of researching a methodology for working with the participants, we closed the first phase of the project by applying our findings through interviews and physical explorations with some very generous people. With this material, we put together a video of their reflections and physical explorations on the topic of sharing a racialized experience with a loved one. This is the result.

Choreographer, Facilitator: Marianne Tuckman

Bio – Drama director: Isidora Oyarzún

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