Reconstructing Identity in ”Layers” (2010)

  • Abstract:

    In Performing Arts the concept of identity plays a central part either in a declarative and assertive way or in a less obvious and visible manner. Starting from a Contemporary dance piece, Layers , a solo work by the Romanian choreographer Cristina Lilienfeld, we will interrogate the relation individual-society, discussing the cyclic process of building identity which consists, in the context of the presented performance, of the following phases: construction, deconstruction, re-construction. Lilienfeld appears on stage affirming the ontological identity emphasised through her naked body which sends to the original state of being. During the performance, the process of socially constructed identity becomes visible once the spectators are invited to act by scribing their thoughts on the performer’s body. Follows the denying phase in which Lilienfeld peels off the fake skin on which the society imprinted identity on the individual. The final phase is that in which the individual appears in front of the audience-society clean and shiny, re-constructing the individual identity, an acknowledged and affirmed identity, the result of the confrontation with the society. Illustrating with recorded sequences from Layers, our perspectivation brings forth the possibility to refine the understanding of the individual identity as a consequence of the confrontation with the society, confrontation which could be read as conflict or as opportunity in the sense that provides the necessary tool, that of a mirror, for re-constructing the individual identity.