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Possessed: Annie Beserra and Striding Lion Revive Valeska Gert | Newcity Stage
Annie Beserra and Striding Lion Performance Group present an hour-long dance theater piece inspired by the work of German expressionist performer Valeska Gert. Gert was a provocateur, a renegade and considered by many to be the first punk. I spoke with Beserra about the upcoming performance of "Dada Gert." Why did you choose Valeska Gert as the subject for your piece? I first fell in love with her in grad school. I had a professor who had spent most of his career in Germany and had rare clips of Gert's solo works. This woman absolutely exploded with expressivity; she was shocking and she was rhythmic, even though it was a silent film. She was such an incredible performative force it was almost like she was under possession. I'm a very theatrical performer and she more than anyone I've seen is living in both dance and theater fully. I was so moved by her I started working on a dissertation about her at Northwestern. About a quarter of the way into the process I realized that I couldn't