Andrew Tay & Stephen Thompson
Make Banana Cry
In Make Banana Cry, Andrew Tay and Stephen Thompson present a subversive catwalk show examining with playfulness and criticism the Western concept of "Asianness." The six performers, including Tay and Thompson, serve the audience a series of clichés and stereotypes on a silver platter, peeling off never ending layers of makeup and costumes in an attempt to shake off the weight of fetishization. Within this entertaining, yet thoroughly confrontational format, the Western gaze is sharply examined with a magnifying glass and thrown back at the public with great ease. Through the continuous deconstruction and overlapping of a myriad of body politics, the performance becomes a protest. For the performers living in the diaspora, with an East Asian background, the runway becomes a field of tension where hyper-stylized stereotypes from western popular culture rub up against the fluid spectrum of their contemporary cultural identities. This tension materializes with the help of inexpensive “made in china” objects displayed within a striking fictional museum exhibition, created by the visual artist Dominique Pétrin.
The works of the performer, choreographer, and curator Andrew Tay, who lives in Canada, were performed at, among other festivals, the Fierce Festival in Birmingham, the Festival TransAmériques in Montreal, and at Kampnagel in Hamburg. In Montreal, Tay founded several event formats for contemporary dance, and he was the first artistic curator at Centre de Création O Vertigo. He is currently the artistic director at Toronto Dance Theatre.
Stephen Thompson is an interdisciplinary dance artist, whose association with dance came about first through his career as a figure skater. He received his bachelor's degree in kinesiology and dance from the University of Calgary; he has choreographed his own works, and he has worked with, among others, Trajal Harrell, Antonija Livingstone, Xavier Veilhan, Benoit Lachambre, and Adam Linder.
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