“ With Icône Pop […] Mélanie Demers has given us a very daring portrayal of the Virgin Mary, veering between the sacred and the obscene. Wearing a blue plastic dress with a copper collar around her neck, she looks like a diva or a pop star. The layers Mary hides behind slowly peel off and reveal a pure, liberated, but timid woman.
” Mieske van Eck, BD, August 17, ’s-Hertogenbosch (The Netherlands)
- NAC Livestream
- ≈ 30 minutes · No intermission
Presented live from the NAC Loading Dock
Icône Pop is a work in search of unusual settings, where religious and pop iconographies, the sacred and the profane, collide.
Choreographer performer Mélanie Demers combines the auras of the Virgin Mary and Beyoncé. Together, they invent a kind of Barbie doll under the influence. Both divine and throw-away. Inspired by the religious postures of the Pietà and the blazing colours of the voodoo divinity Erzulie, Icône Pop also flirts with the subversive image of the Black Virgin. Pagan effigies that have their origin in fertility rites, these Negresses are at once reviled and desired.
This, then, is the landscape of Icône Pop, a slippery terrain between saintly glorification and self-glorification. Between the female archetype of submission and the improbable first feminist model. Between motherly devotion and the sexual allure of a pop star in full control of her powers. Between an arrogant need for freedom and a sordid need to be validated, we witness an undermining of the female identity, with all its clichés.
In short, the work is a striptease.
But of the utmost modesty.