Sexual Advances praises men and love. The foundation of the performance is a long, spoken poem in which I interweave the everyday, such as images of a lover of mine cooking and references to his family and home, with both the romantic and the divine. The former includes descriptions of his body, touch, words, voice, and scent, and the latter emerges through language that speaks of deities and cosmic energies.
In my aesthetic, erotic, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual elaboration of a very real man, a love poem becomes sacred text, and his body and being become archetypal. Chimes and a bright pink dress, fit for a goddess and a night on the town, complement the boldness and grace, the playfulness and the clarity of focus. (In the debut performance, the artist Paul Ramirez Jonas prepared a feast to be served by me and also eaten by me and audience members during the performance.)
While Sexual Advances partakes of the blason and the sahasranama, I invent a distinctly contemporary text. Blason is a literary term originating in the Renaissance for a genre of poems in which the poet praises a woman by selecting parts of her body and enjoying them with suitably lovely metaphors. A sahasranama is a Hindu scripture whose 1,000 lines describe the greatness, powers, and beauty of a particular deity. Each line can be recited as a mantra unto itself. The sequence of lines is non-hierarchical and attributes may be repeated in variant wording.
The title brings the idea of seduction to mind, and of equal importance, it is a call to action—to advance in human relations by loving as a conscious soul-and-mind-inseparable-from-body, to be a romantic warrior who is in the advance guard of love, a truly avant-garde lover.
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