Created and performed by Alice Dixon, Caroline Meaden and William McBride
Performed by Fleur Conlon, Jo White, Hannah Monson, Emma Riches, Patrick Durnan-Silva, Scott Elstermann and Luke Fryer
Lighting design by Jen Hector
Sound design and composition by Emah Fox
Costume and set (premiere season) by Matilda Woodroofe
Presented by Arts House
Nominated for four Green Room Awards:
Best Performer (Caroline Meaden)
An intentionally undefined, expansive horde of stimulus is ground down, knitted into a fine weave, over a slow process guided strongly by our intuition, and our personal baggage. We offer up a semiotic field for our audiences to wander through, undertaking your own journeys of recognition and confusion, completing the work with your own subconscious.
We describe LADY EXAMPLE as ‘a dance of bodies, words and women.’ We choreograph the moving, interacting body, as well as language, theatre, reference and design. From within the broad theme of ‘women,’ we found patterns emerging around performativity, role playing, teaching and learning, inherited behaviour and expectations. Our ‘libretto’ is drawn from a bank of miscellaneous language artefacts, gathered over four years, then mashed up and merged with the dance. The resulting “denatured language” (Alison Croggon) toys with recognition, and what to make of it is ultimately up to you (Personal responsibility, honey).
As ‘Alice Will Caroline’ we are three people working in harmonious and disharmonious collaboration. The negotiation is intrinsic to our work, and aligns with a feminism that challenges assumptions about hierarchy and authority in favour of “multiplicity and complexity” (Tere O’Connor). As an ensemble, each performer’s role was created in collaboration with them, and is inseparable from them.
To deal with negative or ambivalent emotion in our work, we often dive into things that are somehow off-putting, repellent, superficial or conventional. Instead of responding to unpleasant or difficult things with denial or rejection, we opt for prickly, slippery engagement. In this, we avoid rejecting the parts of ourselves and our shared histories that might be unpleasant. At its best, this can be an alchemical process, and a therapeutic acknowledgement of what exists, and of potential, within us and between us all.
We also freely embrace those things that spark joy.
"Lady Example is a bewildering bricolage of behaviours and performances, knitted together with total assurance. You feel that it ought to crumble beneath the weight of its own spiralling aspirations. Instead, I found myself enthralled by a precision of judgement and execution that draws together this unclassifiable work into a fascinating unity."
"...a phenomenal show that works even though, by all means, it should collapse under its own towering ambitions."
Next Wave 2018
LADY EXAMPLE PREMIERE SEASON
Performed by Alice Dixon, Caroline Meaden, William McBride, Ben Hurley, Fleur Conlon, Jo White, Hannah Monson, Patrick Durnan-Silva and Emma Riches.
Lighting design by Jason Crick.
Costumes and set design by Matilda Woodroofe.
Sound design and composition by Emah Fox.
Lady Example's development and presentation was made possible with support from the Besen Family Foundation, Creative Victoria, the Australia Council for the Arts, City of Melbourne, Creative Partnerships Australia, City of Maribyrnong, Vitalstatistix, the Substation, Next Wave, Arts House and numerous individual donors.
Photos of 2019 season by Bryony Jackson
2019 season filmed by Takeshi Kondo
2018 photos and video by Mischa Baka