Fitzgerald & Stapleton have made a name for themselves over the years as a contemporary dance duo who confront issues of gender and politics with “full-frontal intensity”, as one critic put it. Having honed their craft in New York to more dance-literate audiences, they have been well-received across the pond for their performances that almost invariably involve nakedness. Now back in Ireland and filling an important lack in the Irish dance scene, their new show WAGE kicks off tonight for the first night of the Fringe Festival. Aine Stapleton explains why they decided to focus on the gender wage gap in this latest show: “The piece examines what it means to be a woman or man in contemporary Irish society. EU figures tell us women, or people who identify as female, earn 13.9% less than men. Right now, the prostitution industry makes 180 million annually from reducing women’s bodies to soulless commodities.” In light of that figure, the show will be offering a 13.9% discount to female audience members. Never ones to shrink away from difficult subjects or a confrontational medium of expression, Fitzgerald & Stapleton set themselves the difficult task of using nudity to articulate their intentions. But according to Aine, “by performing naked we bring the fact of our anatomical gender to the fore-front. In this dance our movements, voices and values are not filtered through the distorting lens of a culture which denies female reality in favour of male fantasy.” The dance piece will also involve a discussion with founding member of Space International, Justine Reilly, on the prostitution and its implications. Well-worth a trip to the theatre, and guaranteed to get you thinking.
Thursday 5th September-Tuesday 10th, 9pm, The Project, €12-€14.
Roisin Agnew @Roxeenna
Photo by Ewa Figaszewska