Our latest blog by Team Assistant Jake explores themes behind new dance film Out Out, from the perspective of an LGBTQIA+ person.
Out Out is a new explorative dance film centred around the LGBTQ+ community. The commission and development of this film serves to enforce that, once again, Highly Sprung are not afraid to back down from the sometimes-taboo topics within performance, issues that are centrally apparent within current society.
The concept of Out Out aims to highlight the voices of an ever-growing community which, despite the many social advancements, still faces a high level of aggression and oppression. Throughout the development of the piece, which I have had the pleasure to work with Highly Sprung on, I have found some key themes that represent the intention and atmosphere of this performance.
The first theme that I identified was the idea of ‘Community’. This may seem obvious, but I think it is one of the most essential themes to represent in the current climate of social movement that we are in. When you think of Community, you may think of ‘togetherness’ which is what Out Out is aiming to highlight. The LGBTQ+ community has in a sense, lost its sense of ‘Togetherness’ and has split into separate smaller groups of people who identify in different ways. Whether it is due to social media, the need for finding uniqueness in a trend focused world or simply not wanting to be restricted by previously established labels, there are now more sexual and gender identities than ever before. Out Out is a way for these separate groups and collectives to come together, if only for a moment, to embrace the larger community and celebrate each different, unique person within it.
The next theme that I recognised within Out Out is the idea of ‘journeys’. When thinking about sexuality and gender, people often associate the idea of coming out as the key symbol of this concept and it is seen as a larger, significant event. However, this would suggest that coming out is a singular thing, whereas anyone who has ‘come out’ understands that it is not a singular thing but simply one step in an individual journey. This journey behind identity is important and is unique to every single person and is so much more important than the idea of ‘coming out’ which isn’t always a part of someone’s journey. Out Out looks at the stories shared and highlights that everyone is at a different point of their journey but that each step should be treated with respect and dignity.
The final theme that I think is important is the concept of voices. I think that in the society we live in currently that it is easy to assume that everyone gets a voice and that they are all heard and given equal time. However, unfortunately that is still not the case in many areas. Being able to have a voice now does not guarantee that these voices are heard or are respected as much as others. Yes, we have taken strides and become more tolerant of other voices being shared but we must still push for these voices to be heard over the other, potentially harmful voices that are prevalent in our society. Out Out is an opportunity for these voices to be heard, to be identified and hopefully to be understood and respected, in hopes that we can work together to build a more tolerant future for everyone.
Out Out has not been developed with the hopes to fix the world and to change the perspectives of every person. However, I truly think that by highlighting some of these younger voices, this performance might be able to change the perspective of some, which is a good start.