Donut Man is a multi-act ballet done in 2 iterations. I have always been charmed by ballet and classical music and they have greatly influenced my practice. The songs that structured each act are from Swan Lake and are composed by Tchaikovsky. Swan Lake is tale of love, deception, poor choices and death. The chosen tracks created the perfect sound bed for this piece offering energy and momentum. I used very recognizable themes such as a waltz and the ending song.
I am not a trained dancer so my movements were sloppy, labored and unpredictable. Ballet is meant to look effortless and graceful and I strive to achieve the opposite.
I used the donuts as a tool to explore movement, my physical limits and my changing body. They symbolize weight gain that happens in the lower abdomen. The resulting dance is a physical display of binge eating crossed with a strenuous and frantic attempt at ballet.
The performance begins with a loud burp. Donuts and shape wear are strewn about a slick, black plastic tarp. I introduced the donuts, proudly displaying them the audience, holding them over my head a twirling about. I violently stuffed my face and underwear with the donuts in an increasing panic. I incorporated the struggle to put on tights and other shape wear into the dance. I explained the premise of Swan Lake and talked about myself and my body. I hold up a series of mini donuts of varying flavors and explain to the audience,
“These are the fucks I give…
Powdered sugar fucks…
After each statement, I put another donut in my underwear. I struggle to eat and dance without choking. Crumbs explode from the waistband of the underwear and runs in my tights. I become a lumpy and bloated version of myself.
At the end of the performance, I fell to the ground and teach my audience a song. I struggle to breath and sing loudly.
“Do you know the donut man
The donut man – the donut man
Do you know the donut man
Who doesn’t even like donuts…”
I bang on the floor to keep the beat and break several nails in the process. I ask my audience to keep singing along with me.
The Ear – The Blue Rose – Plastic Cocktail Launch Curated by Polina Riabova – Photo and video by Karl Cooney – May 19, 2018