George Street, Dunedin

20/03/2013 - 22/03/2013

Otago Museum Reserve, Dunedin

23/03/2013 - 23/03/2013

St Clair Esplanade, Dunedin

24/03/2013 - 24/03/2013

Production Details

Queer Deportment: kw-ear d-port-mint: To carry oneself in a gay way.  

Two short site specific choreographies. The first explores queer expression through demeanor and mannerisms and the subversion of social rules around walking and shopping. The second is an adults only work that acknowledges gay cruising culture. At a time when men were being arrested for their queer sexualities they sought secret liaisons in public spaces.

Pretty Gay Productions was formed in 2011. In their debut show, Dances About Love, they explored the diversity of love in the queer community.

Dances About Love is a little bit like seeing a series of exhibitions – Turner, Monet and Gauguin perhaps – one after the other.” – Hannah Molloy, Theatreview 2011

Note: All performances family friendly except evening performance.

March 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
George Street (20-22), Otago Museum Reserve (23), St Clair Esplanade (24)
11:30am (George St), 10:00pm (Otago Museum Reserve), 11:00AM St Clair Esplanade
20 minutes

Absurd, delightful and challenging

Review by Terry MacTavish 21st Mar 2013

Hit town. Forget shopping, sauntering, worrying about how others are checking you out. Be your own crazy self, do your own wild thing entirely, and blow the consequences! Or, as Queer Deportment puts it with a little more class and erudition, “explore queer expression through demeanour and mannerisms, and the subversion of social rules around walking and shopping.” 

You’ll be surprised what fun you can have once so liberated, and what simple joy you can bring to others. You may even make some friends. Pretty Gay Productions is exploring the outer fringe of the Fringe with an absurd, delightful and challenging work that takes vivid, strangely-clad dancers along the main street to shake up the shoppers.

The four performers are hermaphrodite figures in bold primary colours: a svelte man in yellow with glamorous false eyelashes, one elegant, tattooed woman in a tight red dress with pillbox hat and trim beard, and another in a bright blue playsuit and sexy gold boots. The fourth androgynous figure, reminiscent of David Bowie, in green, occasionally orates messages like: “Nature doesn’t give us these options; gender doesn’t just happen, people invent it!” herding the rest as they crawl along the pavement, to the amusement and bemusement of Dunedin shoppers. 

The sensuous dance sequences, often witty parodies of heteronormative behaviour, are smoothly performed – indeed surprisingly disciplined for such a bizarre and disparate bunch – some lyrical moments drawing applause from the crowd of followers. And followers there are, most (imbued by Fringe spirit?) less stuffy than one would expect, and clearly enjoying the spectacle.

As the event is free, for once I may bring as many guests as I wish, and have recklessly invited a gaggle of teenagers, eight girls and six boys, to see what that traditionally hidebound age-group will make of it.  

They are charmed. They happily follow the dancers for blocks, becoming quite protective, indignant when someone shouts, “Is that a chick or a dude?” When, as sometimes happens, the group critiques itself: “That’s a bit self-indulgent, Brendan!” one girl calls comfortingly to him, “I think you’re fabulous!” Eventually they cannot resist joining in, and the dancers accept them easily into the group, teaching them the sequence they are repeating, asking carefully, “Is this too gay?” 

Much gayer, I suspect, will be the second performance by this group, another site-specific choreography, in the Museum Reserve this time, exploring the gay cruising culture, at a time when men were arrested for queer sexuality. It is an adults-only work, scheduled for ten at night, and may well ruffle more feathers than this family-friendly, playful take on queer behaviour. 

It is a pity the first performance, on the St Clair esplanade, was cancelled, as the sea would have been a gorgeous backdrop for the colourful dancers. Sometimes the throngs of passers-by in George St obscure the view or make it hard to hear the words. I imagine, however, that being swallowed up by the crowd is part of the plan. All the world’s a stage, and a performance like this opens our eyes to the art that is all around us.  

This sort of quirky adventure is what Fringe was created for – it will push the boundaries for more than just the intrigued teens who, enthusiastically discussing their experience, are now retracing their steps through a city they are seeing a little differently. 


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