Venom (4:20) Texas, USA
Choreographed by: Drake von Trapp
Performers: Drake von Trapp
Videographers: Shelby von Trapp
Music: Venom by Ricky Marano
Additional Credits: Belt is by Sigel Designs
Video editing concept was inspired by Kimberly Larkspur and Ariel Celeste’s video project from Halloween 2020.
What dance styles are being fused?
Raqs sharqi, contemporary dance, modern dance, West African vernacular dance
‘Venom’ is an interdisciplinary dance video project that demonstrates a dialectic relationship between someone and their inner demons. As a dancer, I’ve never been one to be driven by narrative. However, as the project was materializing, a personal narrative emerged from the editing process, and I realized that it was a visual representation of me warring with mental illness.
The movement choices for this project were intentional, as they were intended to emulate the characteristics of the primary character and the antagonist character, or ‘spectre’. For the primary character, they maintain composed, serpentine raqs sharqi. For the spectre, they lean into creepiness with glitchy, erratic arm and hand gestures paired with posture that is antithetical to the primary character, presenting as hunched, off-kilter, and disjointed. When they confront each other, it shifts to contemporary dance fused with West African vernacular dance to create heightened tension and intense dynamism.
Previously, I’ve relied heavily on technical maximalism for my choreographies. With this piece, I wanted to demonstrate how simplicity and legible technique can create visually stunning textures. I am often worried that if my work isn’t as complicated as possible, I am not worthy of taking up space. This project was a way for me to reconcile with that insecurity, and provide an outlet for others to project their own inner struggles onto. ‘Venom’ takes the viewer through a narrative arc that leaves them both enthralled and unsettled.