Hofesh Shechter – Political Mother: Unplugged

Hofesh Shechter – Political Mother: Unplugged

Hofesh Shechter presents a reworking of his masterpiece Political Mother with his new generation of young dancers adding to the original title the word Unplugged.

I am intrigued!

Who then is this political mother? Is she the dictator of the video projection, the enormous screaming mouth, the shaking fist? Yet these are all male figures of oppression which dissolve and melt in fury. I see no mothers here.

Are the dancers the mother’s children; frail tormented prisoners constantly holding up their hands in supplication? Curling towards one another in moments of tenderness and play; the political mother present in their tribal dances of belonging and togetherness. A remembered oneness which has been made powerless in the absence of the maternal feminine.

What does it mean to unplug the political mother? There are layers of meaning; a suggestion of unmooring, a cutting off, a severing of or from some sort of energy source. It feels final, possibly fatal. Yet looking at it from a different perspective could it also suggest an escape, a freeing, a ‘no longer in need of’, a finding of independence?

Isn’t the very act of motherhood a political one? A total giving and sharing of self; a plugging in; a giving and taking of energy; a symbiotic relationship of love and care. So that when the political mother becomes unplugged and this totalitarian state unleashed, the feminine is repressed and raw unfettered emotion is released.

Shechter II were mesmerising; visceral and emotional. The dancers somehow managed to infuse the dark themes of the work with such intense physicality as to leave us feeling energised and wanting to reengage with our own bodies. Possibly to reconnect the mother.

By Anna Mortimer

Photo by Agathe Poupeney