Please DO Touch.
Six Women Standing in Front of a White Wall is an interactive Butoh-inspired installation that investigates the effect of TOUCH or NO TOUCH on a human being. Put simply, as per the title, six women stand in front of a white wall and respond truthfully, in all the extremities of human emotion, to the audiences every action… or inaction.
Presented as an intimate gallery-style performance, touch, and our physiological need for it, lies at the centre of this “life-affirming “show. From the moment of our inception as human beings, our tactile sense is being developed. We are pushed out, picked up and placed at our mother’s breast, and a bonding process between two individual begins.
This need for physiological bonding remains with us throughout our lifetime. As adults we are often expected to repress our cravings for affection for an assortment of reasons implying that touching could be unsafe, rude, disrespectful, shameful, unsanitary, and even sinful. These socially imposed constraints inhibit us from natural physical connection and intimacy.
Six Women Standing in Front of a White Wall provides a space where audiences are free to relinquish the imposed social implications of touching strangers and allows the possibility for them to experience true and real connections with six different women – revealing ultimately that touching is an act of love, a way of communicating without words.
“The ensuing half-hour – and believe me, that is an astutely judged and ideal length for this performance – sends dramatic conventions into freefall: not because it invites audience participation but because that participation touches, quite literally, on a need we all have . . . the need for physical contact, be it an all-embracing hug or a fleeting touch on arm or cheek. At first, as the soundtrack booms and pulses, the women’s fretful jitterings and silent, anguished faces suggest an unnerving vulnerability that intensifies until a member of the audience, accepting the need to do something, approaches one of the women and touches her hand. The effect is startling. Harrowing. Humbling. Just one touch, and the woman visibly blossoms, lights up, beaming and dimpling . . . and craving more.”
The Herald, Edinburgh, 2007
Awards for Six Women Standing In Front Of A White Wall:
• Best Dance Award, Melbourne Fringe Festival, 2009
• Gasworks Award, Melbourne Fringe Festival, 2009
• Bank of Scotland Herald Angel Award, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 2007
• Scotland on Sunday Best Direction Award, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 2007
• Total Theatre Award Nominee (Experimental Theatre), Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 2007
• Fringe Sell Out Show, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 2007
Dave Sleswick | Motherboard Productions
Live Art, Butoh-Inspired Installation
2006 La Boite Theatre, Brisbane
2007 Canberra National Multicultural Festival
2007 Edinburgh International Fringe Festival
2008 Valley Studios, Brisbane
2009 Melbourne Fringe Festival
2009 2High Festival, Brisbane