Dancing With The Obese In Australia

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Crouching tiger, hidden nothing
Image:Toby Burrows

Australia is a wonderful country. Here we have the biggest of everything. Ayres Rock is the biggest rock. The Great Barrier Reef is the biggest reef. Our kangaroos are surely bigger than any rabbit. We must have more useless desert than any other nation too. The country was even founded as the world’s largest open air jail. Now it seems the dancers are bigger too. Sydney dance company Force Majeure has topped everything with their production of Nothing To Lose. In their own words the show aims to answer the question which was on all our minds:

What does it mean when you put really big bodies on stage and call them professional dancers?

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She seems to enjoy her work. That’s one person!
Image: Toby Burrows

The answer is there for all to see in these, tasteful promotional videos. Trigger Warning! Some camera and body movements may cause nausea in some viewers, Especially in those not already appropriately educated—or should that be “marinated in fat acceptance ideology.” Judging from the videos the work does have a certain macabre fascination about it. Like a good horror movie, it’s hard to look at but it’s hard to look away too.

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The first pedestalized man ever?
Image: Kate Blackmore

Australia has always been a great surfing destination. Now thrill to this display of some of our biggest waves and rippling bodies as:

Force Majeure’s artistic director, Kate Champion collaborates with artist and fat activist Kelli Jean Drinkwater to celebrate the sculptural splendor of the fat dancing body.

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Bread making in one easy lesson
Image: Toby Burrows

It’s so comforting to learn that The Australia Council for the Arts and Arts New South Wales are using taxpayer funds to make this noble and worthwhile artistic endeavor possible. This raises the wider and more serious point that all over the developed world leftist movements and propaganda from fat acceptance, to homosexual activism, to socialism, to environmentalism are all heavily dependent on funds involuntarily seized from taxpayers. Kelli Drinkwater’s website is a kind of comedy festival all on its own. Kelli is apparently a model, who looms extra large in Australia. That’s right, here in the lucky country even the models are gigantic. She is also a mastermind of the cinema project Aquaporko!

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Ms Drinkwater invents human powered flight
Image: Toby Burrows

Aquaporko! is the story of Melbourne’s fat femme synchronized swim team sculling, egg beating and high kicking towards their first ever live performance. We follow fat activist and filmmaker Kelli Jean Drinkwater as she meets the team and uncovers a world of sisterhood, queer community and radical body politics. Nowhere is it clearly stated, but it appears that Kelli is a homosexual with a partner who scores every bit as highly as she does in the beauty stakes. What a relief it is to learn that there won’t be one of those photos somewhere of her beside some thirsty man who consented to give her some Aquaporko!

Her work is concerned with deconstructing limited representations of bigger bodies and to encourage fat positive visibility.

With literally Nothing to Lose, Kelli may have succeeded in representing bigger bodies. The bit about encouraging positive visibility may be a fail though. She explains her inspiration:

Exploring ways to reclaim spaces and platforms that are often prohibitive to ‘othered’ bodies is a huge inspiration. I also enjoy the aesthetic potential of taking up space.

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Alien abduction?
Image: Toby Burrows

So hop onto your mobility scooters and head down to the Sydney Festival. Nothing To Lose is Australia’s answer to the big game tours of the Serengeti National Park as some of our biggest and wildest life forms take to the stage. It promises to be a night of ponderous entertainment and an exquisitely unintentional self satire of the fat acceptance movement.

Published as a guest post on Return of Kings here

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