Steven Cohen is a full-scale artist working on installations, scuplture, performance, video and dance, who has been developing a peculiar type of performing work since 1990. He started off with the transformation of his body by wearing very elaborate costumes and an incredible make-up that used objects such as feathers, jewels and symbols of his Jewish identity, to turn him into a powerful, enigmatic and poetic creation. Recently moved to France, he is back to Danae for the Italian premiere of his latest heart-rending play, a reflection on loss, pain and absence, inspired by the death of his long-time partner and artistic collaborator. Cohen asks Nomsa, his 96-year-old nanny and adoptive mother, how he is supposed to live after such a loss, and the woman’s answer becomes the title of the play: “Put your heart under your feet and walk!” Steven Cohen builds an installation by using beautiful artefacts made by himself and placed on stage, on which he treads as if on the edge of a precipice. A great performing effort, a vital art celebrating life, a poignant duo where one of the protagonists is missing.
concept and performance Steven Cohen light design Yvan Labasse produced by Cie Steven Cohen
co-produced by CDN Humain trop humain – Festival Montpellier Danse – Dance Umbrella, Johannesburg – Aide aux projets de la Drac Nouvelle Aquitaine
duration 50 minutes
Cohen was born in 1962 in Johannesburg, South Africa, and lives in Lille.
He has performed extensively on the festival circuit, at such prestigious venues and events as Montpellier Danse; the Festival d’Automne, Centre Pompidou, Paris; Festival d’Avignon; Munich Opera Festival, Bavarian State Opera; Festival Escena Contemporánea, Madrid; Bozar in Brussels; Oktoberdans, Bergen, Norway; and Canadian Stage, Toronto.
Cohen participated in the 11th Havana Biennale (2012) and the first Aichi Triennale in Japan (2010).
From 2003 to 2008 Cohen was an associated artist of the Ballet Atlantique/Régine Chopinot in La Rochelle, France. He has participated in residencies at the Baryshnikov Arts Center and the Center for Performance Research in New York, and conducted workshops in Body Scenography at CIFAS (International Centre for the Performing Arts), Les Brigittines, Brussels, and Haute école des Arts du Rhin, Strasbourg, among many other institutions.