2013 Macho Dancer



Macho Dancing is performed by young men in night clubs for male – as well as female – clients. Macho Dancing, with its specific movement vocabulary and physicality, is a unique phenomenon in the Philippines. An economically-motivated language of seduction that employs masculinity as body capital.

‘Macho Dancer’ is a solo work in which a woman performs macho dance. By embodying a macho dancer, she challenges our perception of sexuality and questions gender as a tool for social mobility: Through his practice, the macho dancer is relegated to a marginal and weak position in society, even though the image he simulates is that of a strong male. The woman performing a macho dance thus assimilates the role of a strong male; and by transgressing gender, the performer also appears to up her social status. Nonetheless, as she engages in a marginal practice that is macho dance, she remains vulnerable and weak, and maintains the status of an objectified woman. The performance thus generates a “gender loop” in which the performer and audience are entangled.

The very act of this woman performing a gender loop veers attention towards her body as a product. By emulating and becoming the Macho Dancer, she also disembeds the sociocultural and economic frames that ultimately expose this perfect normative body as a constructed body.

“He realizes his potential, and exercises his individual empowerment, only to return the following night. Desire and performance of social mobility, after all, are only posed in simulation. In gay bars, as in the Philippine nation, real mobility is evasive, restricted, and temporary. Yet every night, the desire and the performance of social mobility are re-enacted.”

– Rolando B. Tolentino , ‘Macho Dancing, the Feminization of Labor, and Neoliberalism in the Philippines’


Credits: Concept, Choreography and Performance: Eisa Jocson Light Design: Jan Maertens Music composition: Lina Lapelyte Coach: Rasa Alksnyte Dramaturgical advice: Arco Renz

Songs: Devil’s Dance by Metallica, Total Eclipse Of The Heart by Boney Tyler, Pagbigyang Muli by Erik Santos. Duration: 45 minutes

Co-production: Workspacebrussels, Beursschouwburg Residency and support: Workspacebrussels, Beursschouwburg, Wpzimmer


Working Title Platform #05 Workspacebrussels ©GianninaOttikerMachoDancer1_EisaJocson_©GianninaOttiker


Performance Dates



May 18-19-20-21: Macho Dancer, Maillon, Theatre de Strasbourg, F

April 23: Macho Dancer, Vooruit, Ghent, BE

March 11-12: Double bill of Death of the Pole Dancer and Macho Dancer, Teatro Municipal do Porto, P

January 27-February 5: Macho dance workshop at School for New Dance Development, Amsterdam, NL


December 18-19: Double bill of Death of the Pole Dancer and Macho Dancer, Counterpulse festival  in partnership with SF MOMA, San Francisco, USA

November4-5: Double bill of Death of the Pole Dancer and Macho Dancer, LIVEWORKS: Performance Space, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia

May 24: Macho Dancer, Festival Explicit, hTh CDN Montpellier, FR

May 13: Macho Dancer, Tanzhaus nrw, Dusseldorf, DE

May 10: Macho Dancer, Tanz! Heilbronn: “Männer unter sich“, Heilbronn, DE

April 30-May 1: Macho Dancer, Frascati Issues: Mr. Mrs. MX., Amsterdam, NE

March 14: Macho Dancer, DeSingel, Antwerp, BE

February 8-9: Double bill: Death of the Pole Dancer and Macho Dancer, TPAM, Yokohama, JP


December 7: Macho Dancer, December Dance Brugge, BE

September12-13: Double bill of Death of the Pole Dancer and Macho Dancer, Time-Based Art Festival, Portland Institute of Contemporary Arts,  US

September 4-5: Macho Dancer, Theaterfestivalbasel, Basel, CH

August 9: Macho Dancer, Conference: Fantasies that Matter. Images of Sexwork in Media and Art, Kampnagel, Hamburg, DE

July 26: Macho Dancer,  Ten Million Rooms of Yearning. Sex in Hong Kong at Para Site, Hong Kong

July 18: Macho Dancer, Manila Premiere at Wifi Body Independent Contemporary Dance Festival, PH

June 7-8: Macho Dancer, Theater der Welt, Mannheim, DE

May 24: Macho Dancer and Death of the Pole Dancer, Le Phare, Centre Choregraphique National Du Havre Haute-Normandie, FR

May 16: Macho Dancer, Queer Zagreb, Zagreb, HR

February 17-March 8: Philippine Macho Academy, Vargas Museum,  Solo exhibition at UP Vargas Museum, University of the Philippines, PH

February 11-12: Double bill of Death of the Pole Dancer and Macho Dancer, Festival Antigel 2014, Geneva, CH

February 7-8: Double bill of Death of the Pole Dancer and Macho Dancer, Dampfzentrale, Bern, CH


November 8-9: Macho Dancer, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, Frankfurt, DE

October 30-31: Macho Dancer, Queer New York International Arts Festival, New York City, USA

August 22-23-24: Macho Dancer34th Zurcher Theater Spektakel, Zurich, CH         Zürcher Kantonalbank Acknowledgement Prize 2013

August 20-21: Macho DancerTanz Im August, Berlin, DE

August 16-17-18:  Macho DancerNoorderzon Performing Arts Festival, Groningen, NL

August 7-8: Macho DancerImpulztanz 8tension Series, Vienna, AT

April 24-25:  Macho Dancer, Make-up, Beursschouwburg (Premiere), BE




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