Lady Example is part contemporary dance, part theatre and part madness. Created and performed by Alice Dixon, Caroline Meaden and William McBride with an ensemble of collaborating artists, the show unfolds before the audience as a deranged and curiously imperfect ensemble.
Now, by imperfect I by no means suggest it’s flawed. The movements of the dancers are precise, the light, exquisite, the stage design, impeccable. But through its metaphor of ‘perfection’ it is not harmony that arises, but chaos. Dancers move to silence because songs finish mid-act. Dialogue takes place in an ethereal fashion, with no thread to pull them from beginning to end. Bodies rise, fall, and rise again eloquently. All for what?
Lady Example portrays the social constructs we’ve built four ourselves and exposes them in all their imperfections. By exploring the historical and contemporary feminine, it seeks to describe what has made and now makes a lady ‘exemplary’ and thus reveals the absurdity behind the irrational social demands that are placed upon our shoulders.
The critique goes far and wide. It does not confine itself to the clichéd notions of house-wives or of sex-objects, but questions demands that are placed now equally on women and men, such as the glorification of productivity, the obsession with ego-enhancement and our constant necessity for self-marketing and self-assurance.
The show ends as it starts – a chaotic mess. Because what else could arise from an obsessive search for perfection when we’re inherently human?
Lourdes Zamanillo is a Melbourne-infatuated journalist. Originally from Mexico, she loves words, travelling, and (above all) feeling surprised.
The venue is accessible.
Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of Starling Communications.
Image credit: Dance Massive