project image
Rebecca Steele

first performed on August 8, 2012
Place Gallery, Portland, OR
performed once in 2012


Andra Rotaru, Dicky Dahl, Thomas Thorson

Portland, OR / Bucharest, Romania


“Lemur Study” was a three-hour dance solo at a visual arts gallery space in a busy downtown shopping mall. I initiated this project in order to test out various modes of embodiment, relationships between video recording and projection, and designs for set and costume that punctuated the development of a choreo-poetic collaboration with Romanian writer Andra Rotaru.

This durational work conveyed the transformation of Lemur from a work-a-day pedestrian with a dependence on private dance rituals to an increasingly assertive figure of poetic imagination, culminating in the lunacy of an embodied fetish. This arc reflected my basic understanding of the loose narrative in Rotaru’s book of poetry, which at the time of performance was still being developed in Bucharest.

Over the course of the performance, I traveled between two separate but adjacent gallery spaces,―at first performing alone in a large, concrete-floored space, visible through the floor-to-ceiling glass displays that bordered the walkways on the top of the three-story shopping mall atrium. During the latter half of the performance, I performed in a dimly lit space tucked away in a smaller corner of a second gallery where an hour-long video loop documenting previous “Lemur” dance rehearsals―from two related works: “PROTOTYPE: XXXXX” and “XXXXX: PTOLIRWYSETWTOLIRWWS”―had been projected since the beginning of the performance on a large piece of lightweight white board balanced upon the handles of a dolly which served as a screen. In this second space, I would enter and exit a utility door at various points in order to access a ladder and additional costumes and props, including a rose-printed bed sheet, a self-made golden mask, an empty aquarium, and two large metal bars with heavy chain and C-clamps used to hang the bars from the ceiling supports.

The performance was free to attend and ended much earlier than anticipated―around 6:20 rather than the scheduled ending of 8:00.