Dance (All Night, Paris) focuses on the act of dancing in public and examines a range of meanings embedded in dancing as a collective experience. Collective dancing, is intrinsic and indigenous to all civilisations, including our own western cultures. As Barbara Ehrenreich points out in her incisive study ‘Dancing in the Streets. A history of collective joy’ (2007) communal forms of celebration and dancing are powerful rites that connect the individual to both a sense of self and a possible sense of belonging. From the medieval dance manias sweeping across Northern Europe, to the more recent ‘mobile clubbing’ networks there are many examples where dance takes on subversive qualities, challenging both social codes of behaviour and the regulation of public space. Dance (All Night, Paris) brings together ten forms of dancing, from Tango and Waltz to Hip Hop and Rock, occupying one space side-by-side, simultaneously, creating a multiplicity of movements and rhythms. Performed by amateur dancers on silent sound systems and filmed on three cameras the work both observes and creates a space where coherence and dissonance briefly coexist.
'Manchot’s methodology is based on processes of exchange, contribution and collaboration, often involving groups or communities and creating expanded portraits of people, both their individual and social selves. The work thereby poses ‘... a series of related questions on how visual art might form a dialogue on notions of personhood, and how I might contribute to the ongoing investigations into different theories of the self.’’ Parafin, www.parafin.co.uk/artists--melanie-manchot.html