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Whiteout: Audience Responses

An exploration of bi-racial relationships through Music and Dance.

Described as a piece which “gives resonance to the complexities of bi-racial relationships”, Barrowland Ballet’s production of Whiteout (choreographed by Natasha Gilmore), exploded onto the stage with distorted music and movement.

The Dancers began the performance clouded in anonymity, with their backs to the audience and wearing trousers and hooded jackets that disguised their gender and race. It was only after the jackets came off that could you begin to distinguish the cast from one another.

“My favourite part was the combination of visuals and music, they both just blended really well together.” 

Music, dance and lighting transformed the stage from moments of stillness to exasperation, humour and love. The cast moved together fluidly which was juxtaposed with flashes of individuality as each dancer moved to their own rhythm.

“I thought it was fabulous. Beautiful dancing, great dramaturgy, very energetic but also moving and funny. You really started to love the actors.”

Women and men of different races danced in couples, exposing intricate choreography that was stunning and heart wrenching in its beauty and grief.

“It was great to see such a diverse cast. It is really relevant for us, coming from South Africa. For me, the best part of the entire show was when the biracial couples danced together, some of them could touch, some of them couldn’t.”

“This play is a testament to how things can develop because it started out with the dancers not wanting to bridge that boundary and in the end, it seemed very communal and festive and I think that’s a beautiful thing.”

Three large screens were brought onto the stage, projecting captured memories of biracial families, with children playfully dancing together and mimicking each other’s movements.

“For me, I think society has become much more accepting of multiracial relationships. Much more than from the past, I think things have changed and are changing.”

“The show was really amazing and wonderful and I think the context of bringing it here to where so many biracial couples exist is really prolific.”

Moments of joy invited the audience to join in the laughter as the dancers celebrated to classic songs by Britney Spears and, my favourite, Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights.

“I was so inspired I just wanted to dance.”

“Theatre is going forward, past racial barriers.”

Whiteout emphasised how Theatre has the power to unite people. No matter what race or culture one has, music and dance is a language we all share.

“We are in a multiracial relationship. The dancers proudly showed the audience at the end that they were together. They showed that they were proud no matter what, because love prevails over all.”

Tegan is a strong advocate for the development of Theatre and the Arts in community settings and has been involved with numerous Applied Theatre programmes throughout her professional training and experience. Tegan graduated with a Master of Arts with Distinction in Applied Theatre from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London. She has professional experience in Community Performance that promotes Young People’s expression and engagement through Puppetry and Theatre practices. As well as collaborating and performing with ERTH Visual & Physical Inc and Welsh theatre company PuppetSoup, she has co-directed and worked alongside Shop Front Arts Co-Op Junior Ensemble of 8-14-year old’s to create the original devised production, The Unknown. Tegan is currently working as Teaching Artist for Sydney Theatre Company’s ‘School Drama’. This is a Teachers Professional Development Program designed to improve teaching and learning by modelling the use of drama-based strategies with quality children's literature.