17:59 Thursday 09 January 2014

Hard-hitting look at blurred lines

Written byNIGEL POWLSON

AFTER the controversy caused over the mixed messages about sexual consent in last year’s biggest selling single Blurred Lines, a new dance-theatre show aims to tackle the issues head on.

The State of Emergency company is ‘boldly exploring’ themes of love, sex and consent in Love&Sex aka Per-Mission. The show examines the emotions, pressures and comedy of sexual relationships through dance and music.

It is a collaboration between State of Emergency and choreographer Colin Poole and features an original soundtrack courtesy of Grammy-nominated composer Steve Marshall.

The piece is targeted at young people, though it is accessible to all.

Sexuality, peer pressure, emotions and the influences of social media are all in the mix and the show has been developed in partnership with Brook (a leading provider of sexual health services and advice for young people under 25).

State of Emergency was founded in 1986 by Deborah Baddoo MBE, with Steve Marshall. From the outset it has been about the collaboration of dance and music. The group achieved Arts Council regular funding in 2005 and Love&Sex is the latest in a string of acclaimed projects.

Deborah says: “I have a teenager myself so I’m only too aware of the influence of the media and the access people have to pornography. Every day there is a new newspaper headline about young people and porn, or sexual assaults or how girls can be co-erced into sexual acitivity. There seems to be an epidemic of boys watching pornography and that’s having an impact on their relationship with girls. We are looking at these hot potatoes through the work.

“We have had a lot of input from young people on the material. It puts human relationships under the miscroscope and looks at the influences of the media. It’s quite stark in places and invites lots of questions. In the work there are two worlds. One is a surreal landscape which explores the lines between normal behavour and abuse. The other is one of human emotions. The music reflects those two worlds.

“We are offering post-show discussions to reflect on what people have seen. We don’t want them to be left hanging in the air. We are aiming at 13-25 year olds. It’s a risky product because it doesn’t shelter young people. It’s not a safe jolly performance but the young people will bring an intelligence and understanding to it which we can debate afterwards. It’s hard to gauge but that’s why we took advice from Brook.”

The show can be seen at Deda in Derby on January 24, at 7pm. Call 01332 370911 or go to www.deda.uk.com.

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