The five components to this movement piece could loosely be interpreted as portraying the different ages of woman. As one Red Lady reads John King’s ‘Human Punk’, a dysfunctional jolting anarchic movement breaks out in the the group. A wise septuagenarian Red Lady who has ‘seen everything’ and played all roles ‘in prose and rhyme’ comes on to break up two ladies fighting over wearing the same patterned dress, and reads to the slowly writhing group about birth symbolised by the metamorphoses of insects.
Another interpretation of the piece is that it represents how humans use group dynamics to nurture the individual. The ladies swirling as a group is reminiscent of starlings swooping. The blast of energy from the co-operation of the group is felt literally as a shot of air in the front row. The turbulent nature of existence is conveyed when the comfortably seated knitting group, after listening to an endless recipe for onion tart, where you simmer the onions for 2000 years, breaks into a frenzied run. The choreography, directed by Suzy Willson, is inventive and draws on gestures such as pulling on tights, tripping over and turning the pages of a book.
Before a rip-roaring drum solo punctuates the end of Clod Ensemble’s intelligent production, the Red Ladies stand on red buckets to be described equally convincingly as ladybirds and dust, illustrating how ephemeral definitions of women are. The Red Ladies make it clear as they talk to the audience through out the dance performance that, ‘Whatever you think we are, we are not that’. Besides proving post-modern feminism is alive and well, in the shape of powerful women being true to themselves, another lesson is clearly demonstrated. If you dress with uniformity you’ll be surprised with what you can get away with. Expect the unexpected.