Upon arriving to Young Jean Lee’s Untitled Feminist Show, I was incredibly surprised to see a room packed full of people of all ages and all genders waiting for the doors to open. The reason being is that I had always assumed “Feminism” to be somewhat of a “bra-burning” mentality, something that “men” just couldn’t understand. What I am incredibly pleased and ashamed to report is that: I WAS COMPLETELY WRONG. The performance I witnessed represented not the “Feminism” I had always understood it to be, but rather the essence of humanity as a whole.
Young Jean Lee’s Untitled Feminist Show opens to a dimly lit room and bare stage, with five women and one gender non-conforming person entering the theatre completely nude. At first, this is shocking, as our society has become far too comfortable hiding our bodies under layers and layers of clothing, especially in this harsh winter, but soon, you forget the nudity and the naked bodies become the costumes representing each of the characters that the dancers portray. There are no words to describe the immensity and beauty of this show, and interestingly enough, the show, although without any words, is unbelievably funny and the message is simple to understand: we are all people, not just men, not just women, and surely not specific to any roles society has placed on us.
The show itself portrayed a variety of scenes with effective uses of tableaux and miming, and a huge shout out must be given to the Light and Sound Designers and Crew, consisting of Chris Giarmo, Jamie McElhinney, Leah Gelpe, Ryan Seelig, Bart Cortright, and finally, Jimin Brelsford, who all did an impeccable job of allowing the music and lighting to highlight and accent the Untitled Feminist Show, and the message being portrayed.
The six dancers: Becca Blackwell, Amelia Zirin-Brown (Lady Rizo), Katy Pyle, Jen Rosenblit, Madison Krekel, and Desiree Burch, used nothing but their bodies, bravely, effectively, and cheekily (no pun intended), to showcase every emotion and every thought. And each crevice, dimple, and jiggle of their beautiful bodies perfectly represented the message of the essence of humanity, and what it means to be a person.
Young Jean Lee’s Untitled Feminist Show absolutely MUST be seen, and is playing only until February 15 in the Fleck Dance Theatre at the Harbourfront Centre. Tickets are $39 and can be purchased online at http://tickets.harbourfrontcentre.com/production.aspx?id=21975.
Advisory: Full Nudity
Photo credit: Blaine Davis