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date: 15 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

By creating a recognizable domestic environment, Ann Liv Young’s experimental dance-theater piece Michael elicits the possibility for identification between the audience and the performers through a doubling of “real life.” Young then cranks up the volume, literally and figuratively, and exoticizes the familiar through hyperbolization. From a performance studies perspective, this chapter discusses how, by skewing the “real” into the “hyper-real,” Michael provides the conditions for experiencing the uneasy sensation of the uncanny. Working with and against psychoanalysis, this analysis examines Michael’s chaotic presentation of the primal scene as both home and catalyst for the development of female sexuality. The chapter then elaborates on Michel Foucault’s analysis of the sexualization of the family cell to expose how the mutual implications of race, gender, and sexuality are intrinsic to the formation of an intelligible, embodied (and in this case, female) subject.

Keywords: female sexuality, embodiment, psychoanalysis, uncanny, dance theater, Foucault, primal scene

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