Lead artist/researcher: Jane Turner
TROOP explores the
theatricalised female form and the power of the dancing line.
An erotic, exotic projection evolving in time, the Showgirl is a chameleon who
adapts to fit the frame. Glorying in the viewer's gaze she returns the stare.
En masse, an impenetrable line of flesh, pattern and vigour dances to the
relentless rhythm of industrialised society.
line wields power, aggression, but also binds the dancers to repetition,
sameness and exposure. These paradoxes yield interweaving narratives of
identity, desire and difference.
foregrounds individual nuance - physicality, race, history. (In Josephine
Baker's day, before the homogenised 'ideal' represented by 1950s post-McCarthy
American film, showdancers were of all sizes and skin tones, satisfying all
tastes). Madonna, Kylie, lap dancers, pole dancers, all draw on her iconic
power to get seen and paid.
particularly interested me as I created this new work, TROOP, is what
does the enduring showgirl mask - as appropriated by endless women
past and present from writer Collette to singer Madonna, offer?
Visibility? Power? A mastery of her own moving image on stage…
TROOP looks behind the smiles and appreciates the brilliant craft and
skill of the alluring, dancing female troupe telling some of the
stories that lead women to the stage from so many different
continents and cultures. TROOP celebrates the thrill of dancing a
dazzling, disciplined drill." - Jane Turner