PLAYLIST is a new Australian work devised by PYT under the Direction of Karen Therese.
The company of five performers, five young women: Ebube Uba, Mara Knezevic, May Tran, Tasha O'Brien and Neda Taha, part of the diverse cultural community in the outer Western suburb of Fairfield, have developed a 'show' based on their conversation about the artists, not exclusively female, but mostly, that have helped shape their everyday lives and social and political worlds, under the guidance and Direction of Karen Therese, the Artistic Director of the company.
It is says the program:
PLAYLIST is a feminist adrenaline rush. It's Beyonce meets the women's marches meets Australian Idol. It's full of suburban dreams and pop star fantasies; a 21st century call to action about the critical issues of our times.
Who is going to shape the future for women in Australia? Living in the #MeToo world, PLAYLIST explores the experiences, ideas and power of young women. PLAYLIST brings together the diverse skills of the performers, street dance forms and pop songs to offer an unconventional dance form experience.The movable Set blocks by Zanny Begg are manipulated by the company as a sub-conscious means of propelling the experience of the work with Show-Biz Lighting by Verity Hampson.
The strength of this work is the disciplined dance work of the company, Choreographed by Larissa McGowan, tight, spunky and seemingly effortless in its energies and rigour - the 'joy' of moving - the company love it.
However, the weakness of this work is the content of the material, prepared by Director Karen Therese, that though it is fun and delivers insights into the growing-up influences on these young women, is, cumulatively, shallow in its concerns and the politics feels 'grafted' onto the event.
Or, was it, at the performance I saw that the performers delivered an oral performative affect of a lightly, trendy, hashtag, robotic commitment that is being 'mouthed', rather than coming from a core revolutionary belief of their espoused politics? At my performance, at least, the text did not seem to be authentic, not organically revealing in-the-moment truths. It seems well-drilled but not owned - pop - popular - propaganda, which they seemed to 'flaunt'. We were definitely at a performance.
Unlike the integrity of TRIBUNAL or the authentic simplicity of revelation in the work JUMP FIRST, ASK LATER, PLAYLIST feels more like a Musical Theatre escapade. Of delightful fun and immense skill but not attached to the usual PYT sense of social and cultural 'mission'. Still worth catching.