Dancing the ugly out at Victoria Fringe 2017.
I was supposed to be performing at the Victoria Fringe 2015 preview night two years ago when I was admitted to hospital with what turned out to be Stage 4 ovarian cancer.
With an enlarged rendering of my tumour in the background, for this year's fringe I'll be performing my latest work furthering key themes of vulnerability and embodiment: Naked Ugly Dancing.
(Yes, I asked my doctor for photos. I would have buried my tumour but, instead, opted to contribute my innards to a research project.)I will be "ugly dancing." I.e., not necessarily dancing with the goal of being "ugly" but with a goal to dance the ugly out... On behalf of myself and others. On behalf of this damaged culture.
And, I'll be naked.
There will be spontaneous interaction with the audience. But gently, with no invasion of people's space.
I'm 55, overweight, not in great shape and depleted. So there will likely be some moments of collapse. Although, recently, I started ugly dancing (dressed) on the streets as a busker and am happy to report that I'm able to last an hour. :)
As the creator of the Human Body Project and Vulnerability Vigils, for more than 10 years I've been using my naked, vulnerable body/self in performance and in public. I see it as a way to create exploration and inquiry around our mutual vulnerability as humans creating and living through a crisis of mass extinction.
It's also about pain: I experience the normalization of brutality in our culture as traumatizing. I find it an endless source of confusion/fascination that so few seem to share this sensitivity.
(Btw, I don't think it's a super far-fetched coincidence that a feminist performance artist, working with culturally-induced trauma, gets gynecological cancer.)For me, the ugly dancing ups my vulnerability. And, as an educated, middle-class, white woman, this new work allows me to express paradox more viscerally. Pain and privilege. Healing ritual/angry protest. Awkwardness and vulnerability as art.
Venue 2, Downtown Community Centre
755 Pandora Ave
18+ not suitable for children
Thu Aug 24 9:15 pm
Sat Aug 26 12:45 pm
Sun Aug 27 1:15 pm
Mon Aug 28 9:15 pm
Tue Aug 29 7:45 pm
Sat Sept 2 12:15 pm
Tickets $9 at ticketrocket.co
Link to Facebook event