Scum Ballet is a patchwork of power, desire, violence and tenderness. The female body has always been sympathetic to secrets, magic, transformation and cruelty, and gatherings of females have always produced fear and mystery, or the fear of mystery. Scum Ballet is a choreography for five dancers. More than a lone wolf, but not quite a mass, five is a gang, and gangs make their own rules. Scum Ballet slows down, but with an accelerationist attitude, not in order to produce new futures, but instead to assemble a multiplicity of fantasies. In Scum Ballet, fantasy is the weapon, the body is the ammunition, and the target is forever transforming. The beauty and the horror is that the danger is always moving, reforming, and shapeshifting, like an ethereal being, unable to be named but definitely real enough to be felt. A bit foggy, like a forest glade, a half asleep dreamstate, or maybe a mirage. Continually forming and unforming notions of control, Scum Ballet uses seduction as a means for transportation, not between places or times, but between moods and sensations – more difficult to define, but much easier to get lost in, not somewhere to settle, but something which is constantly unsettling. We know what you did last summer, but last summer could be any summer because when knowledge is embodied it isn’t a matter of timing, but of feeling.
Scum Ballet is commissioned by Campbelltown Arts Centre and will premiere November 24-25, 2017
Angela Goh, with Eugene Choi, Ellen Davies, Verity Mackey and Ivey Wawn.
All photos by Catherine McElhone