GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS REVIEW by Elise Lawrence

Bonnie Curtis Projects uses dance, theatre, and spoken word to present a satirical piece that deconstructs the construction of femininity.

After sell-out shows in Sydney, Bonnie Curtis Projects embark on their first tour to Queensland, and the nature of the performance defies definition – it’s not dance, it’s not theatre, it’s GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS.

Hosted by the charismatic Mistress of Ceremonies, who did a fabulous job in widening the boundaries of conventional theatre and encouraging the audience to participate when appropriate, GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS uses a variety of mediums to convey its message about how women relate to themselves, to the invisible audience of ‘society’, and to each other.

For a company barely twelve months old, all of the dancers had excellent rapport with one another, and their trust and chemistry was clear onstage. Their strong classical technique shone in the dance routines, and each of them demonstrated their strength and versatility as performers by switching seamlessly between contemporary dance in a traditional sense, tricky floorwork in heels, overlapping spoken word segments, and physical theatre and comedy. Interaction with props was also used effectively to create and emphasise meaning.

The work dealt a lot with the theme of outward constructions of womanhood and femininity, from cosmetic surgery to the idea of being ‘dressed’ and rules for the perfect selfie. The contrast of recognisable and classical music like Vivaldi and Edith Piaf against the highly physical contemporary performance created a dissonance that brought the intentions of the performance even more clearly into focus. Creating the same effect, the audience was also actively encouraged to participate in the objectification of the women onstage, from viewing them as literal objects in the first part of the show to cheering and wolf-whistling for their favourite beauty pageant contestants, who were stereotypes personified.

Satirical, surreal, and sometimes confronting, this show takes a look at some of the pressures placed on modern Australian women and the way that the rules, expectations, and insecurities have changed less than everything else around them. GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS is an entertaining and interactive night out that will give you plenty to talk about afterwards.

Bonnie Curtis Projects will be performing GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS at Newmarket Hall in Ashgrove on May 18 at 7:30pm, May 19 at 3.30pm and 7pm, and at Eudlo Public Hall on the Sunshine Coast on May 20 at 3.00pm. Read more and book tickets on the event page.

Review of May 18 performance.

Image credit: David Vagg