The Girl Box (2020)

Photo by Miguel DeLeon

Choreography, Performance, Prop Design: Elle Hong
Scenic/Sound Design, Videography: Cipriano Ortega
Music: Britney Spears, Britney Spears x Charli XCX x THY NEIGHBOR

The Girl Box was supported by a Floorspace Studio Residency (Boulder, CO); premiered October 2020.

To view the full piece, please contact ellehong[dot]art[at]gmail[dot]com.


The Girl Box is an experimental performance work choreographed and performed by Elle Hong. Inspired by experiences of indicating their gender on administrative documents, or selecting gender options through online drop-down menus, the artist physicalizes the experience of trans invisibilization and dissonance whence called to identify. Through movement, spoken word, and lip-sync performance, Elle considers the embodied (im)possibilities of “boxing-in” one’s identity: what liberatory somatic frameworks might become possible through a commitment towards monolithic identity?

Choreographer’s Statement:

In this dance between a girl and a box, the dancing girl is trans but also identifies as a box. The trans, dancing girl explores various methods of boxing in, or containing, her live body within a cubic performance space. She places herself within the confines of the space’s storefront window, holding her pose like a live mannequin. She places herself inside of a literal storage box such that the box becomes literally anything other than a box: a bathtub, a black hole, a cloak of invisibility. The girl hides inside the box and animates the box from within, the box and girl becoming one. The girl grows tired of being a box; the girl sings about wanting to be a woman, but is both not a girl, and not yet a woman. Throughout the trans-dancing-box-girl’s dance, she works to physicalize the impossibility of making legible her gender performance. Instead, she opts for the messiness of her identificatory performance as made possible through the various containers she places herself within.

The girl is a box is a girl.

Photos by Miguel DeLeon