Dance Nation – 2019

Written by Clare Barron
Red Stitch Theatre
12 March – 14 April, 2019

In January, I went hiking. And encountered a lot of tempestuous weather. It was intense. And excellent preparation for my latest play, Dance Nation, written by Clare Barron.

The play centres around a group of 11-14 year old dancers, six girls and one boy, preparing for a series of competitions. It looks closely at what’s going on inside the minds of these children who are on the cusp of becoming young women and men.

What does it mean to win? To lose? Who are they becoming? Who do they want to become? Who can they become? 

Dance Nation is a comical and excruciating look at the moment when girls become aware of their own power – and of its limits. Performed by a cast of mature women, the dissonance between a 13-year-old’s dreams and what they will ultimately achieve is stark.

Written: Clare Barron
Director: Maude Davey
Featuring: Brett Cousins, Caroline Lee, Zoe Boesen, Casey Filips, Shayne Francis, Hannah Fredericksen, Natalie Gamsu, Tariro Mavondo & Georgina Naidu
Set & Costume Design: Adrienne Chisholm
Lighting Design: Clare Springett
Sound Design: Peter Farnan
Assistant Director: Angelica Clunes
Choreography: Holly Durant
Stage Manager: Stephanie Young
Assistant Stage Manager: Diane Pereira

“’Whether you admit it or not, your 13-year-old self is still living somewhere inside you like a feral demon-child whispering in the dark. It is a creature of frightening extremes, this being you once were: more hopeful and hopeless, joyous and despairing, loving and hateful than you have ever been since…”

The New York Times

‘If I could save the world through dance
If I could save the world by dancing with my body
If I could dance away my mum’s cancer
And my friend Alyssa’s depression and the way she won’t stop eating skittles when she’s hungry instead of eating proper food
If I could dance away world hunger 
And all violence against women
And all pets without a home
And all the sadness
All the sadness
All the sadness and the meanness

That’s what I would do
That’s what I would do
That’s what I want to do with my LIFE!!’

from Dance Nation by Clare Barron