#thatwomanjulia

A solo dance theatre work that explores misogyny, sexism and the political body
Video:
Marshall Stay
Credit:
Marshall Stay

Performer Natalie Allen transforms, she’s no longer Julia Gillard, she’s not ‘that woman’, she’s every woman. Powerful and defiant (Out In Perth)

#thatwomanjulia is a powerful dance theatre solo work created from the parliamentary record, media reportage and public commentary around the political leadership of Australia’s first female Prime Minster, Julia Gillard.

 

“…And I say to the Leader of the Opposition I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. I will not. And the Government will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. Not now, not ever…and if he wants to know what misogyny looks like in modern Australia, he doesn't need a motion in the House of Representatives, he needs a mirror. That's what he needs…”

 

#thatwomanjulia is structured in stylistically diverse sections to reflect upon selected aspects of Gillard’s story. It is designed to be performed in/on/around a large board room style table with audience either in a traverse or in-the-round configuration. Positioned as a form of ‘public’ gallery, visible and yet also voyeuristic, the mood is one of exposure. Lighting and sound (a blend of sampled voice, news bite and original composition) re-create both the world of Gillard and the media circus she was a part of, providing a sense of both isolation and high stakes drama. Allen moves in and around the audience, every move she makes, every gesture is visible, this is a timely and compelling portrait that reflects on female leadership, personality, power and the body politic.

 

Current format (short work) – 15mins duration

Seeking further development, producing and presentation partners

Creative Team:

Created by: Natalie Allen

Director: Sally Richardson

Performer: Natalie Allen

Lighting & Sound: Joe Lui

Producer: Steamworks Arts

..an extremely clever piece...choreography had the exact right amalgamation and blending of subtle nuances and tongue n cheek squirm in your seat sudden blasts of shock tactics. (Fourth Wall Media)

Allen dressed in a snazzy grey pantsuit, bright red wig and high heels stands in front of the desk and is power personified…the talented Allen twirls and strides and rails at her detractors. Richardson’s clear-eyed direction, the colour scheme (red, grey, blue), the sound composition and Allen’s intermittently frozen movements make you feel you are watching the pages of the newspaper come to life. It’s fun, farcical and cartoon-like, treating contemptuously the culture of misogyny and sexism, and reminding us that it is still prevalent. (Rita Clarke, The Australian)

Timeline:

  • STRUT Shortcuts, King Street ArtsCentre, 2018
  • Move Me Festival, NEXT (STRUT/STCWA) 2018
  • DANCE MASSVE Open Studios 2019

Awards:

Image / Video Credits:

Images: Emma Fishwick

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