Intercourse is a functional solo dance piece about dysfunctional relationships. Three chairs, an aloe-vera plant and a critic take part in an odd sexual play that alters from ultimate pleasure to deep trauma. Intercourse transports the audience into an uncertain experience, and asks questions of the theatrical apparatus with its cultural discourses through which choreography comes to ‘mean’.   Louise Ahl invited a range of performance critics into her choreographic process as part of a collaborative performance and research project. The lack of dialogue between performance critics and makers and the weak discourse it produces, initiated an idea to collaborate with a range of critics and to re-frame their role as an observer – towards a more participatory function. The critic and the artist have often been defined as mutually antagonistic; the performer makes work, while the reviewer consumes and reflects upon it. The aim with this project is to relocate the critical process on stage and present criticism – not as an after-birth of art but rather, a necessary part of its conception.

“It’s funny, and it’s clever. You can see it as entertaining, which is it. Or you can mull over the how, what and why of the contract/chemistry that comes into play between a performer and an audience. Layers and layers of good chewy stuff!” (The Herald 2013)

Created and performed by: Louise Ahl / Ultimate Dancer
Photography: Paul Samuel White and Julia Bauer

Intercourse was commissioned by Dance4 and developed in partnership with Dance Base, The Basement, The Work Room, Yorkshire Dance, BUZZCUT and CNDC Angers.

Intercourse was supported by the National Lottery, through Arts Council England.