****1/2 A Tour-de-Force (Limelight Magazine)
JULIA is a powerful and gripping solo work performed by one of Australia's leading contemporary dancer's, Natalie Allen, co-created with director Sally Richardson and an exciting team of collaborators.
…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 (PM Julia Gillard, 2012)
Drawn from the parliamentary record, media reportage and public commentary around the political leadership of Australia’s first female Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, this show directly reflects on Gillard’s story. Positioned in a form of ‘public’ gallery, the mood is one of intimacy and exposure. Lighting and sound, a blend of sampled voice, news bite and original composition, recreate both the world of Gillard and the media circus she was a part of. Allen dances in and around the audience, every move she makes, every gesture is visible. A timely and compelling portrait that reflects on female leadership, personality, power and the body politic. An "unmissable" dynamic dance theatre performance.
...It is a delicate thing, mixing art with politics. However, the themes in JULIA are far broader than one woman’s experience, making the performance entirely relatable. This is thoughtful and unapologetic, a truly fine creation. (Dance Australia)
JULIA is accessible dance theatre that doesn’t shy away from the politics and the story. In a post #metoo world, and with the full support of Gillard’s post-prime ministerial office, we have access to Gillard's words which Natalie brings to life through her daring physicality and dynamic theatricality to create a dramatic live portrait of one of Australia’s feminist heroines.
Sally Richardson is one of the country’s finest creative collaborators, a compassionate and imaginative powerhouse who draws truth and power from all who have the privilege of working with her. She is creating Julia with the wonderful Natalie Allen, a dancer whose synthesizing of the dramatic and the physical makes her one of the most sought-after performers both here and overseas. Rarely has a work been so timely nor so necessary as Julia is in 2021 – an enraging reminder of the generational and institutional failures of our political class. It’s a must-see work. (Iain Grandage - Artistic Director Perth Festival)
World class performer Natalie Allen transforms, she’s no longer Julia Gillard, she’s every woman. Powerful and defiant (Out in Perth)
'Cream of the Crop' 2021 - Nina Levy (Seesaw Magazine)
Audience Engagement - in conversation
The work offers an exciting engagement as we reach out to local women, business, community and leadership groups. With each performance, in a hosted conversation, we invite women of all ages from business, arts, politics and sport to reflect on their experience, role and influence within their communities.
It has never been more important to continue to advocate to change the status quo and actively support women's leadership and female empowerment.
Director: Sally Richardson
Performer: Natalie Allen
Set design: Helen Fitzgerald
Lighting Design: Joe Lui
Costume design: Nicole Marrington
Creative producer: Libby Klysz
Executive producers: Steamworks Arts with Feisty Dame Productions Tania Chambers
Publicist: Tracy Routledge
Social media: Sian Murphy
Stage Manager: Georgia Smith
Associate artist movement: Samantha Chester
Associate artist dramaturgy: Humphrey Bower
Associate artist (Harvey): Charlotte Otton
Documentation video: Deborah May with David Vincent Smith
Allen is a tour-de-force..Allen’s physical agility, was enhanced by the anguish and the luminous power she threw about her and her bruises were testament to her bravura...On this night the standard was more than better – it was riveting – no more evident than in the reluctance of the audience to leave at the final defiant brandish of Allen’s outstretched fist. Julia is one of those productions so topical to the feminist battles of the moment that if you miss it you might, to paraphrase Shakespeare’s Henry V (one of the best battlers ever) “think yourself accurs’d you were not there. (Rita Clarke - Limelight Magazine)
...Every movement is measured, focused and the command Allen has over her body is incredible...Richardson notes that the body can tell stories differently, highlighting how, unlike other creative mediums, dance can communicate what misogyny feels like. It’s a powerful statement and one that does not fall on deaf ears, thanks to the fiercely dedicated, dynamic duo of Allen and Richardson. The performance garnered a standing ovation, and the pride beaming from Allen on stage was well-deserved. Get your tickets while you still can! (Grok Magazine)
...an extremely clever piece...the choreography had the exact right amalgamation and blending of subtle nuances and tongue in cheek squirm in your seat sudden blasts of shock tactics (Fourth Wall Media)
Allen dressed in a snazzy 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, 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. (The Australian)
- STRUT Shortcuts King Street Arts Centre 2018
- Move Me Festival NEXT STRUT/STCWA 2018
- DANCE MASSIVE Open studio program 2019
- Creative development WAAPA ECU/PLWA Creative Hub 2020
- Circuitwest showcase 2020
- Harvey Creative Arts Residency March 2021
- Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival May 2021
- Premiere season STCWA May 2021
- Albany Entertainment Centre June 2021
- SHOWCASE APAX/PAC Australia September 2021
- INDance Season, Sydney Dance Company August 2022
- York Festival October 2022
- WA regional/outer metro tour Sept-Nov 2022
WINNER 2022 PAWA AWARDS
BEST INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION - DANCE
OUTSTANDING PERFORMER - Natalie Allen
FINALIST 2022 PAWA AWARDS
OUTSTANDING NEW WORK
OUTSTANDING SOUND DESIGN - Joe Paradise Lui with Annika Moses (+ Rachael Dease)
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body
JULIA is supported by Creative Partnerships Australia through Match Lab and the Australia Cultural Fund
The 2022 WA regional tour is supported by Playing WA through the State Government’s Royalties for Regions Program as part of the Regional Arts and Cultural Investment Program.
We warmly thank and acknowledge our supporters:
The State Theatre Company of Western Australia, Perth Theatre Trust, City of Perth, STRUT:National Choreographic Centre, Harvey Arts and Recreation Centre, Margaret River:Writing & Reading Festival, Margaret River Arts, Albany Entertainment Centre, WAAPA ECU, Kinoki Films, Feisty Dame Productions, Performing Lines WA, Darin Cooper Foundation and others
We would like to thank and acknowledge our Champions of Julia fundraising group; Tania Chambers OA, Ali Heppenstall, Libby Klysz, Sian Murphy, Charlotte Otton, Tracy Routledge, Catherine Resnick and Aine Whelan along with our many individual donors.