Contemporary independent dance artist Laura Boynes has never shied away from exploring social, political and environmental concepts in her art. Her latest collaboration Wonder Woman with NSW artists Adelina Larsson and Julie-Anne Long is no exception. Masterfully, Boynes uses the stage to provoke critical thinking and commentary on modern world topics.
The seed for this ground-breaking piece was sown in 2015, when Boynes attended a symposium by the name of We’re not dead yet. Here, a cohort of contemporary artists explored gender and age dynamics within the industry, paying attention to older female artists. Inspired to create a piece dedicated to celebrating women and generating feminist conversations, Boynes embraced the challenge to step out on her own and present her first big scale solo work.
Boynes says Wonder Woman combines two works with two different choreographers and brings together stories of themselves and others, merging them via improvisation and creativity.
“Adelina’s work is called God Work and it is about the stereotypes around #gayafied femininity and there’s also an element of it being autobiographical.”
“Julie-Anne’s work is To Be Honest: A girl’s own collection of unconfirmed tales. Her work has come from a place of text so there’s actually a script that was written,
“It’s a piece that plays between fact and fiction,” she says.
Boynes says this element gives her space to introduce humour to the work, offsetting the heavier undertones of Larsson’s work.
Preparing to bring Wonder Woman to Perth stages next week, the women are in the throes of rehearsing where Boynes says they will be observing the dramaturgical arc of both the works to consolidate how they speak to one another.
Talking about the embodiment of Wonder Woman, Boynes delves into the debate that’s divided many for years. Is she actually a feminist or is she a failure?
“Within this work I’m not portraying Wonder Woman, but I still think she is quite fitting because part of my commission to the choreographers was the provocation of ‘imagine if feminism was a superhero’.”
She presented the questions “what would she look like?” and “what would she do?” before they came to the resolution that there is an everyday superhero in all of us.
Premiering at the State Theatre Centre’s Heath Ledger Theatre Stage on Wednesday August 28 and showing until the end of the month, Wonder Woman is set to be an intimate depiction of modern day ‘super’ women, interlaced with humour and profound stories that provoke and unite.