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'LUSH' (2023), gemma+molly. Photo by Molly McKenzie
8pm, Wed 4–Sat 7 October 2023
Sylvia Staehli Theatre
50 mins

Full Price: $25
Concession: $20
Members/Locals: $15
MobTix: $15


LUSH by gemma+molly contains nudity and low frequency sounds.
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The harsh sound of a fruitless blender fills the space fleetingly, pulling an array of animate and inanimate performers into its expansive and whirring cycle. Fruit poised for consumption, two femme figures complete the scene – each performing body finding itself as illustrator to what has already begun.

‘LUSH’ is a cyclical queering of time – a choreography performed by the animate bodies of gemma+molly and the inanimate bodies of a blender, fruit, fans and layered fabrics.

Informed by Audre Lorde’s text, Uses of the Erotic, ‘LUSH’ draws reference to Lorde’s understanding of the erotic as, “a resource within each of us…the power which comes from sharing deeply any pursuit with another person”. In an attempt to equalise the collaborative elements, each performing body indulges in Lorde’s words, allowing for an empowered shared awareness between the animate and inanimate.

Composed of an arrangement of performative metaphors and salient imagery, ‘LUSH’ works towards a queering of linear time, to exist within a space where time is cyclical – illustrating and indulging in the many cycles that occur within two femme bodies, their physical relationship, electrical object bodies, the ripening of fruit, an audience’s attention, and how these many cycles will inevitably fall in and out of sync repeatedly.

Lush is a work of teasing and menace and an absolute seriousness of purpose.” – ★★★★★ The Age 6/10/2023

Winner in Best Dance & Physical Theatre category at the 2023 Fringe Awards

Created and performed by: gemma+molly
Lighting design: Giovanna Yate Gonzalez
Sound design: Jaxon Stickler

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gemma+molly (Gemma Sattler and Molly McKenzie) are a collaborative duo working within the broad scope of contemporary performance art. Anchored by individual and shared experiences of dance, the duo’s practice relies on the necessary collaboration of their two bodies at work to conduct physical, durational and live installation research. Utilising queer approaches to making, gemma+molly work from the body outwards; rather than regarding the body as the focal point, they attempt to equalise collaborative elements. gemma+molly’s work revolves around experiences of queerness, femininity and intimacy, endeavouring to contribute to the deep strong lineages of queer art.

Their most recent work includes Our+ Anthem, a video installation and durational performance presented by Temperance Hall for Midsumma Festival 2023; and LUSH . one, a durational prequel to LUSH – performed at Pineapple Gallery 2023.

Gemma Sattler graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2021 with a BFA (Dance), and was the recipient of the Orloff Family Charitable Trust Award in Dance.

Molly McKenzie graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2021 with a BFA (Dance), and was the recipient of the Phillip Law Travel Scholarship in Dance.

Jaxon Stickler is a designer based in Melbourne/Naarm working within the realms of fashion, objects, sound & art. He is currently exploring human&non-human relationships through studying patterns of creation, and looking to play within the barriers between nature, culture, spirit & technology.

Giovanna Yate Gonzalez is a Colombian professional dancer who has expanded her skill set in Australia through the production bachelor at VCA in Lighting Design. She has worked in dance performances such as “Siren Dance” by Lilian Steiner at not only Dance House but also Sydney Dance Company and Homo Novus Festival, “Snow White” at the National Theatre directed by Damian Smith, “Rhythmic Fictions” by Siobhan McKenna at the Darebin Art Speakeasy and “Pictures and Ghosts” solo by Belle Frahn-Starkie in at Dance House. Furthermore, she has been able to design theatre productions like “Nora: A Doll’s House” at the Union House Theatre, “Fast Food” at Red Stitch and “Slutnik TM” presented at Melbourne and Adelaide Fringe Festivals, all productions being spread across 2022. In 2023, She was able to Design the show “Queers of Java” with Lengger artists from Indonesia (Rianto Manali) for the Sydney Dance Company. Moreover, Giovanna is one of the five placements for 2023 of the Besen Artistic Program at Malthouse as Lighting Designer.

Presented as part of Melbourne Fringe 2023.

This project has been supported by Critical Path, Lucy Guerin Inc. and Platform Arts through creative development residencies.

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