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Ming Poon


“The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house” – Audre Lorde

Exotic is warm and spicy. It is one letter away from erotic. It  promises adventure. Exotic is somewhere far away and foreign. Exotic is  strange, but also very appealing and desirable. It is always over there,  not here; them, not us; you, never me. Exotic is dark and mysterious,  but its threat is tamed and contained. The exotic industry has become a big and lucrative market, offering  goods and services ranging from food, fashion, music, books, health  products, workshops, collectibles, antiques to cultural attractions,  theme events, tourism and corporate branding. It has often been touted  as a fun and light way to promote the appreciation and experience of  foreign cultures. But is it as innocent as it appears? What lurks  beneath its foreigner-friendly surface? This collaborative performance  invites the audience to see what it takes to create the ideal exotic  look.

Drawing on his personal experience as a dancer of Asian origin, Ming  Poon looks at how eurocentrism, globalization and cultural consumerism  contribute to the exoticization of his body for the art market.  Approaching the body as a site on which meanings, values and boundaries  are inscribed, he interrogates how the exotic gaze displaces and  appropriates his body, turning it into a cultural commodity and a symbol  of subjugation. Exotic Animal both invites and confronts the exotic  gaze. Staring defiantly back, it attempts to shift the power relation  between the gazer and itself.

Warning:  The performance contains references to cultural stereotypes and the  racialised (white) gaze, and may be triggering to people who are  effected by racism.

Co-produced by English theatre Berlin / International Performing Arts Center.

Supported by Fonds Darstellende Künste with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.


Concept & choreography: Ming Poon
Dramaturgy: Dandan Liu
Composition: Farah Hazim
Lighting design: Christian Math

16. Dez. 2022

With kindly support of

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English Theatre Berlin | International Performing Arts Center

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