Alex Baczynski-Jenkins (Performing Arts: 25th Anniversary Awards, 2018)Us Swerve

Alex Baczynski-Jenkins

This award was kindly supported by the David Collins Foundation.

London and Warsaw-based choreographer Alex Baczynski-Jenkins’ work occurs at the intersection of performance and dance, examining queer politics through ideas of desire, intimacy and love. A central part of his work is the use of performance as an agent for what he describes as ‘other-worlding’, often examining alienation, affective deficits and lack.

Baczynski-Jenkins’ work is often dialogic and he develops ‘vocabularies’ in performances that range from micro-gestures to poems and ‘social dances’, picking apart the everyday practices that emerge in situations such as play and friendship. Often semi-improvisational, his work operates through ‘the pleasure of being set in motion’ and develops into fluid choreographies that see performers ‘orbiting in language’. His 2014 work Us Swerve is a strong example of this, featuring performers on rollerblades who move around each other whilst reciting and reformulating lines of poetry. The scripted words, taken from an archive of queer verse, circulate amongst the performers, their physical motion running parallel with moving articulations of desire.

A more recent work The tremble, the symptom, the swell and the hole together (Chisenhale Gallery, London, 2017/ Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2017) examines the relationships between affection, distraction, desire and loss in four episodes that each stage an encounter with ‘relationality’. Performed within a minimal set of tiered, octagonal platforms, the episodic format invites the audience to partake in the unfolding of the work, producing a ‘hybrid viewership’.