Eisa Jocson is a contemporary choreographer, dancer and artist, her practice exposes body politics in the service and entertainment industry as seen through the unique socioeconomic lens of the Philippines. She explores how the body moves and what conditions make it move – be it social mobility or movement out of Philippines through migrant work. In all her choreographed creations ranging from pole to macho dancing, from hostess to Disney princess studies, capital is the driving force of movement pushing the indentured body into spatial geographies.
Her work has toured extensively in major performing arts festivals, biennials and institutions worldwide, including Tai Kwun Contemporary, Hong Kong (2020); National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea, Seoul (2020); Sharjah Biennial, UAE (2019); Taipei Arts Festival (2018, 2019, 2020); Bangkok Biennale, Bangkok, Thailand (2018); Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai, China (2018); International Performance Art Festival, Copenhagen, Denmark (2018); Asia-Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts, Melbourne (2017); Theatre der Welt, Germany (2014); and Zurich Theater Spektakel, Switzerland (2012, 2013, 2015, 2017). Jocson is the winner of the 2019 HUGO BOSS ASIA ART Award.
Jocson currently lives and works in Manila, Philippines.
SuperWoman KTV / 2019
In Eisa Jocson’s karaoke style music video SuperWoman KTV (2019), an ensemble of three dancers comprising of Jocson herself and her two co-singers perform choreographed sequences of dance rituals to iterations of Karyn White’s “I’m Not Your Superwoman” including a Filipino pop version, a Pasyon version and a version that utilises the instrumentals of Teresa Teng’s “Moon Represents my Heart”. Through blacking out and muting selected words of the song, Jocson emphasises the imbued nuances and alters the implications of these lyrics. Amid the backdrop of their own city, the trio recontextualise the labour of movement through vigorous dance gestures, conjuring a striking image of female empowerment and resistance. Jocson intentionally foregrounds these myriad female identities, and honours the physical and emotional labour they perform. Against almost unrealistic expectation, these “Superwomen” can be whoever they want to be.
The Filipino Super-KTV-Woman / 2019
The Filipino Super-KTV-Woman (2019) is the performance documentation of the trio dancing in synchronisation and singing live to “I’m Not Your Superwoman” and other contemporary pop songs by female artists. Influenced by traditionally sung or chanted Filipino oral epics, and pre-colonial folk rituals, the act of karaoke performance becomes a contemporary homage to Filipino song and dance culture. Alternatively, it is also a critique of the exported labour of Filipino singers, hired to cover Western pop songs in restaurants, bars and cruise ships to fulfil capitalistic needs in transnational markets. The Filipino Super-KTV-Woman was performed in the Rockbund Art Museum as part of the 2019 Hugo Boss Asian Art Award, of which Jocson is the winner.