Lead artist/researcher: Jane Turner

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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.

The line wields power, aggression, but also binds the dancers to repetition, sameness and exposure. These paradoxes yield interweaving narratives of identity, desire and difference.

Repetition 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.

"What 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



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