Side Step Festival 2023 | Harald Beharie: Batty Bwoy
Harald Beharie’s Batty Bwoy is a dance solo which doesn’t start with a question, or a critique, but from a place of play and desire, entangled in violence and charming cruelty. Batty Bwoy is a corporal fiction, inseparable from queer blackness.
Batty Bwoy is the Jamaican slang term for a queer man and means “butt boy”.
Batty Bwoy is a predator, a murderous and flaming queen. They invoke ruthless batty energy and their desire, while crawling, swallowing and inhaling. Batty Bwoy are a rogue creature, and uncovers the love and the horror of their condition. Their dance dives into absurd queer monstrosities and the demonic and mythical dimension of these displaced bodies.
The performance is a collaboration with artists Karoline Bakken-Lund, Veronica Bruce and the prog-rock band Ring van Möbius. The project is a co-production with Dansens Hus, Oslo and RAS, Sandnes and premiered January 20th, 2022.
Batty Bwoy attacks and embraces sedimented narratives about black queerness, and the fear of the queer body as a perverse and deviant figure. The expression “Batty Bwoy” is used to evoke an ambivalent creature that exists at the breaking point between the precarious body, liberated power, joy and batty energy.
The work has found inspiration in mythologies, stereotypes, feelings and fantasies of the queer body and identity, homophobic dancehall lyrics, 70s Giallo films from Italy, “gully queens” and queer voices in Norway and Jamaica that have visited and taken part of the process.
Choreography: Harald Beharie
Performer: Harald Beharie
Artistic collaborators: Karoline Bakken Lund & Veronica Bruce
Sculpture: Karoline Bakken Lund & Veronica Bruce
Composer: Ring van Möbius
Sound designer: Jassem Hindi
Outside eye: Hooman Sharifi, Inés Belli
Supported by: Kulturrådet, Fond for lyd og bilde, FFUK, Sandnes Kommune, Oslo Kommune and TOU.
Co-producers: Dansens Hus and RAS
Thanks to: Tobias Leira, Ingeborg Staxrud Olerud, Phillip McLeod.
Helsinki visit supported by The Finnish-Norwegian Cultural Institute.