Nol Simonse

Nol Simonse, Dancer with Sean Dorsey Dance, Garrett+Moulton Productions, among others. Co-choreographer, Golden Bull

Gender is imaginary, gender is a construct, and yet it is very real and how many of us perceive and identify ourselves. Is seeing a group of men dancing together odd? No. There is something slightly tribal about any group of humans dancing together, but what message does it convey when it is all men? Does the message change if it is all women? One aspect of having only men on stage is it frees the work from a heterosexual lens. If that is true, could a performed piece free itself from a patriarchal lens if the cast is all women? I don’t know.

In watching this program, one thought I had was, “how do we costume men?” Blue collar jumpsuits, business suits, loose fitting pajamas. (I have worn all of these.) why is business attire the “go-to” costume for men? What does that say about how we see men? Why are men’s bodies still such a mystery? Why are masculine clothes always based on conformity?

As a gay male choreographer, I am always looking for hidden touches between men. A way of touching that conveys more, or means more, than a pedestrian grip. In ‘Golden Bull’ (co-directed with Christy Funsch), one of the things we were interested in was how the dancers (all men) touched themselves and then transferred that touch onto another. In my opinion, quality of touch is something that can break down barriers, including our many constructs and different lenses.

  1. Golden Bull (2018)

Running time: 50 minutes
Premiered: November 2-4, 2018
Choreography by Christy Funsch and Nol Simonse
Performances by Hien Huynh, Rogelio Lopez, Andrew Merrell, Victor Talledos, Erik Wagner
Original score composed by Aaron Gold
Lighting design by Harry Rubeck