The New Punk, (La)Horde Style: Working ‘for a Brighter Future’

The New Punk, (La)Horde Style: Working ‘for a Brighter Future’

“We do believe that the whole process of us creating this group and a show at the same time,” the collective said, “was very entangled.”

For “Room,” they wanted to explore ideas around climate change, but struggled with nuance: “How do we talk about the world without being preachers or giving too many lessons or being into a form of accusation or guilt?” the group said. “Or even in kind of a performative activism?”

(La)Horde began to focus on the notion of collapse, which they said, “is sometimes for the worst, like when we’re talking about ecology, about human rights, about the killing of women.” But what if bad things collapsed too? “Like the fall of patriarchy or police brutality.”

In other words, what if the chaos of collapsing structures could create openings? In “Room,” relationships get blurry; there are states of submission and power, but as it progresses, dynamics change. Club dancing shifts into scenes featuring the performers paired up — their bodies tangled and twisted in rage and despair — which eventually leads into emphatic, unison choreography. (La)Horde said they owed much to Rone, or Erwan Castex, for helping to guide the work’s development. He felt strongly, they said, that “Room” end not on a sad note, but with the possibility for hope.

“This idea of having hope is starting to be very criticized — like, oh, you’re delusional, you’re naïve, the world is going to flames and there’s nothing you can do about it,” the group said. But now, that idea of hope is at the core of (La)Horde’s work. “We’re keeping it forever,” they said. “The way to be punk today might be to work for a brighter future.”

For that new direction, they revisited classic musicals, which they see as political vehicles — unlikely places to talk about weighty issues like race and immigration. That influence can be seen at the end of “Room,” as well as in the “Age of Content,” whose finale will be shown in New York. It features “viral gestures you can see on TikTok and Instagram,” they said. “But we’re creating formations that are sometimes like Lucinda’s — super geometrical. It’s nuts! We were so excited by this whole mix of us referencing someone we love so much, but still staying in tune with our times.”

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