the pleasure of stepping off a horse when it’s moving at full speed
As a starting point for this short solo performance, Courtney May Robertson takes a metaphor for self-control; a rider taming a wild horse. She looks at the struggle between embracing one’s desires, and regulating behaviour in accordance with societal pressures. Visual projections encapsulate Courtney within an octagon spanning 3.5m in diameter. Through a combination of poetry, dance, and song, she travels across landscapes of personal desires, memories, and conflicts. The space acts like a time capsule; intimate home videos are spliced with samples from YouTube, documentaries and old films. the pleasure of stepping off a horse when it’s moving at full speed is Courtney’s attempt to embrace the, sometimes messy, contradictions that make up a multifaceted human.
During the HBS-FEST in the autumn of 2021, when Dansateliers opened its doors to the public, Courtney showed her solo. Especially for this occasion, spoken word artist Lin An Phoa made a reflection of this work. Listen here to her contribution with the title: Onttemmen. [in Dutch]
Courtney May Robertson (Scotland, 1992) is a performer and maker based in Rotterdam. Upon graduating in 2013, she joined Club Guy & Roni’s Poetic Disasters Club and has since performed extensively across Europe in the work of Jan Martens, Connor Schumacher and Florentina Holzinger, amongst others. She began creating her own small-scale / DIY produced performances in 2015, and as of 2020 is an ‘artist in residence’ at ICK Artist Space in Amsterdam.
As a trained dancer Courtney’s work starts with the body, but spans various disciplines including video, generative art and writing. Recurring topics in her work revolve around a widely spread phenomenon she has defined as ‘the relentless desire to dominate’ – ranging from the micro; a patriarchal figure in the nuclear family, to the macro; totalitarian governments.
The year 2020 marked a significant step in Courtney’s trajectory as a maker when she was awarded De Troff el Prijs – Festival Cement’s incentive prize for young makers – and nominated for the Roel Verniers Prijs – Het Theater Festival Belgium’s equivalent – for her first evening length solo performance THE WOMAN DESTROYED. In addition, the short solo she created prior, the pleasure of stepping off a horse when it’s moving at full speed, was selected for Aerowaves Twenty22.