‘Since David and Venus, we’ve put the human body on the highest pedestal, shaping and perpetuating an unattainable beauty standard. Through this distorted lens of beauty, our natural form has been sexualised, demonised and sometimes shamed into a taboo. Why is the naked body offensive? Does it hold a political charge? Are we not more than meets the eye?’
‘Eye Candy’ came about as a response to ‘Baby don’t hurt me’. Where ‘Baby’ delves into the layers of what makes our identity, ‘Eye Candy’ examines our physicality and body. What does it mean when you strip a body of its identity and what is the political charge that entails? This is partly about the alienation of human nature and our natural form. The naked body is often seen as shameful, is sexualised and alienated. Through time there have been beauty ideals that put pressure on how we see ourselves and experience our bodies. The lengths we go to perpetuate, conform and pursue these ideals is unmatched, partly through the influence of the media/camera. This work tries to expose this in a surreal and sometimes absurd way. The many facets of being physically human and how that relates to each other and the world. By exposing the problem and creating a disassociation in both the physicality as the connection to the audience, the work asked us to examine our own relationship to our bodies. The setting of the work is both tangible and elusive, old and new. It takes place somewhere in the middle between our early origin but possibly also what we are moving towards in the future.
Eye Candy was created for the dancers of Rambert Dance Company in 2021. The work was created for their Summer livestream program and later made available on MarqueeTV. In spring 2022 it was part of Rambert’s regular programming and toured through the UK.
‘Imre and Marne van Opstal’s Eye Candy, which opens the programme, is a dark, clever work about body image that was originally premiered online but looks more impressive live.’ – The Guardian
‘Eye Candy was violent and erotic, but at the same time it was gentle and emotional. The piece ends with our naked female form stood on ‘the highest pedestal’, zooming out to see the crew watching with intent. The piece is able to comment on beauty standards and taboo issues without being too difficult to follow.’ – the Edge
Choreography/ Concept / Direction: Imre van Opstal & Marne van Opstal
Music: Amos Ben-Tal
Set and Costume Design: Imre van Opstal & Marne van Opstal
Light Design: Fabiana Picciolo
Performers: Aishwarya Raut, Simone Damberg Würtz, Guillaume Quéau, Juan Gil, Liam Francis, Daniel Davidson, Antonello Sangirardi and Conor Kerrigan.
Duration: 30 minutes
Premiere: Rambert Dance Company, 2021