interview and photos by ELISE GALLANT
FlucT is a radical young dance collective organized by Monica Mirabile and Sigrid Lauren, whose choreography all but attacks the typical concept of dancers on a stage. Their performance narratives draw on sex, family relations, and feminism while addressing, through dance, the schizophrenic social, political, and economic world in which people now live. The physically charged atmosphere of their performances is raw, passionate, and sometimes frightening, as they interact closely with each other and with the audience.
ELISE GALLANT — When did you start dancing together?
SIGRID LAUREN — We met in 2010. I had just moved to the Copycat Building in Baltimore, Maryland, a warehouse/theater space where Monica was living. Monica was in her room one day, upset about something, and once we started talking, that was it. We laid there, staring at the ceiling, crying, sharing our childhood stories, both of which confronted being poor in America, alcoholic/drug-abusing environments, and having to create our own value and belief systems without having real role models to base them on. Now, together, we’re the leaders of the FlucT collective, and we also both move in a similar way — our range of movements always blend, a perfect, piercing stillness against a flow that is wild and freakish. So naturally, we became partners — in our business, with our creativity, and life’s journey.
ELISE GALLANT — Why did you move from Baltimore to New York?
MONICA MIRABILE — To suffer! Vulnerability is the root of our creative energy. Vulnerability leads to possibilities. We look for and always find new ways to fall in love and to fall back into the darkness.
ELISE GALLANT — How did you choose your name?
MONICA MIRABILE — FlucT is shortened from fluctuation — because we are constantly fluctuating. We blame capitalism for our economic instability and critique its mechanisms through our dance narratives.
SIGRID LAUREN — This is both a benefit and a challenge. We wish there was an ethical model that could sustain us, but the lack of one is the source and motivation for our art.
ELISE GALLANT — How does your practice differ from traditional dance?
MONICA MIRABILE — Together we are a symbiotic power dynamic. We use an aggressive physical vocabulary that can frighten and interrupt an audience’s expectations while also allowing them room for interpretation. We relay, through dance, what we absorb from our culture and try to show how reactions are manifest in our bodies. We perform as two opposing halves of the same person, fluctuating between control and lack of control. The process leads us to a dynamic that looks like acrobatics with glitches. Sigrid’s strength forms the base while mine is like flying.
SIGRID LAUREN — It can look like young women convulsing on the floor, eyes peeled on the ceiling, or one of us digging into the other’s anus, ripping out an imaginary orifice, or dangling like we’re in a deep trance. These are metaphors for the emotions in human relationships, which become our dance vocabulary.
ELISE GALLANT — What does this vocabulary say about your experience as women?
MONICA MIRABILE — We consider ourselves feminists, because one of our missions is to represent femininity in its power as well as its struggle. Our seemingly awkward movements — Sigrid’s and mine — always represent sexuality. When you’re paying attention to media, you come upon confusing ideals and expectations.
ELISE GALLANT — What’s your relationship to your audience?
SIGRID LAUREN — We directly interact with and within the audience. Most art lacks a physical connection to the audience. We want to shock, stun, and spook our audience so that they might question their own reality and perhaps imagine a new one.
MONICA MIRABILE — We make poetic propaganda. Our relationship to the audience has to be intimate and penetrating in order for us to feel connected to them.
ELISE GALLANT — Does technology enter into your performances?
MONICA MIRABILE — Technology enters into our sphere of work more and more. We’ve been experimenting with videos and 3D-projection mapping. We also experiment as much with music as we do with dance. But we always create the dance score before we create the music, and use a visual score as a process to create an audio composition. We want to create another world for people to walk into. We’re now in the process of transforming our videos from archives to online installation pieces. You can check out our work on www.vimeo.com/thefluct, and www.sensitivpercievr.com.
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