The pure gold is seeping out of me
“I would like to become a mother,” Renata Piotrowska-Auffret says at the start of The pure gold is seeping out of me. While infertility and social obstacles to motherhood are discussed increasingly openly in some countries, they remain taboo in Poland. The Warsaw-based dance-maker’s latest work comes from a place of justified anger at that situation, but allows it to overwhelm the movement.
Her personal story is woven into a series of others, told from a lectern. They are interspersed with excerpts from the pieces Piotrowska-Auffret was creating as she struggled. Contrast is clearly the aim, yet it enhances neither the text nor her past choreography.
Piotrowska-Auffret, who brings a loose, ragdoll-like quality to steps, is joined onstage by two other women. They do ultimately stage a memorable childbirth scene – all possessed grunting and writhing – but their manifesto lacks the choreographic raison d’être to truly resonate beyond its own birthplace.
Disciplined bodies have started t o rebel. With its poetic title, The pure gold is seeping out of me is also a statement in favour of indiscipline and renewal. Renata Piotrowska-Auffret stands at a lectern ,her water bottle and microphone acting as bodyguards. “I would like to become a mother,” she says. But what does it feel like to live with infertility w hen you are a choreographer doing residenc ies ? What about when you are a lesbian couple in a country where in vitro fertilization is forbidden? Her speech is clear, direct, almost clinical. When she does start moving, her dance is bony, dislocated, driven by her past research into skeletons. With two other dancers this documentary-like first part dives into fiction; the cast turn into alien creatures, crawling, prowling, rolling, whispering and breathing loudly. Piotrowska-Auffret’s piece acts as a scream, a gut punch.