Hitch's Bitches (2001)

Cindy Cummings Performance/Choreography
Todd Winkler Sound/Video/Programming

Hitch's Bitches

“Hitchcock finds women captivating but dangerous. She allures by nature but she is chief artificer in civilization, a magic fabricator of persona whose very smile is an arc of deception”.

-Camille Paglia

Detailed Description

Hitch’s Bitches is a parody of the suspense and horror movies of the 1950’s. We are particularly interested in those heightened moments of emotion, when the killer arrives or someone falls off a cliff, and how they are played out with movement and musical clichés. Some of the best examples of these stylized moments can be seen in the portrayal of the tormented blonde starlets in the films of Alfred Hitchcock. lessmore

Hitch’s Bitches refashions these images and gestures to create a new narrative. The story begins with our heroine trying to escape an unseen monster. At first, the monster seems to be the “perfect” woman: an evil Barbie character who will always be more beautiful, more glamorous, and more desirable than any mortal woman. But, as it turns out, the performer is pursued by the most dangerous of all enemies, herself. As she tries to compete with blonde perfection, she is tormented by her inability to realize her ideal self-image. Even in a blissful state of love, unconscious voices constantly peck away at her self-esteem. Eventually, she is consumed and destroyed by the media images she strives to become.

Computer audio/video playback and motion-sensing technology are used in this work to develop a physical relationship between the dancer, the sound, and the projected images. The video screen is intentionally places on the floor so that the dancer can have maximum interaction with the video image, at times touching the screen image, using her body as a projection surface, or using shadows to participate in the projected image. Video clip selection, speed, direction and audio are influenced by the dancer’s movements so that, at times, she appears to be controlling the video clips, and at other times they appear to be controlling her. The choreographic language is influence equally by these classic moments in film and by video looping and stuttering techniques.

The original sketches for Hitch’s Bitches were created for a 1998 Crash Ensemble Concert in Dublin, Ireland. The piece was completed in 2001 and was subsequently performed at the Project Theatre, Dublin; Yale University Interfaced Culture Festival, USA; Colchester Arts Centre, UK; Cambridge Drama Centre, UK; and the Cork International Arts Festival, Ireland.