“I have pushed myself out of my comfort zone in so many ways” Dancer Kate Garrett reflects on the creation of GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS
When I look back at where the GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS journey started, I have to smile to myself. It has been such a fantastic, challenging and great learning experience. The GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS that exists today is far from what it was in the beginning.
Initially we were thinking about creating a piece about the difference in genders. We planned to represent men and transgender people as well as the female population. It soon became apparent however that we were a company of women. We had real experiences as women to share and that that was our forte.
I think people would be surprised at the amount of talking that happens in rehearsals, especially at the beginning. We spoke to each other a lot about what being female in Sydney in our current social climate was like. What it means to be female, the good and the bad. We are some of the luckiest people in the world to live in such a beautiful place. We don’t live under constant threat of war and aren’t worried about where our next meal is coming from.
Yet we still struggle with aspects of being female.
Largely the pressures that come with the rise of social media and the fact that men and women are not treated equally in many areas that we should be. Sharing this and hearing from some of my closest friends for me was the true beginning of GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS.
A concept that many artists would be familiar with is the editing and cutting of material. Or as someone once said to me ‘killing your babies’. A less morbid process than that suggests, this is scrapping ideas because they are not working or don’t fit into that particular project. As you can imagine, we had a lot of these. During the process of making, before any shows, again after analysing those shows, seeing what worked and what didn’t.
It is always hard to say goodbye to an idea that you really thought was good or clever, but when I look at the first GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS show we did compared with the most recent tour to Melbourne, we have come leaps and bounds. The show has really become tighter and cleaner, messages are clearer and the fluff is gone. It feels amazing to come off stage (as we did in Melbourne) and think wow, that was fantastic. Everything made sense and had purpose. I really believe in what we showed.
For me I think it really takes time to get to that point. I feel grateful we have had the opportunity to perform the show so many times. To let in grow, evolve and blossom – again, like a child.
One of the most rewarding parts of the process of GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS has been working with the BCP team. I was lucky enough to befriend Bonnie at university. Back then I could see a spark in her. I knew she would go off and push as hard as she could to have a voice in the creative world. She has done and amazing job so far and will continue to do so. So a big thank you to Bonnie for letting me be part of the journey (I’m pretty sure I just hung out with her so much that she felt obliged to included me in her projects!).
The other members of BCP have made the ride a joy. We all come from different places and have different strengths and weaknesses. The group chooses to learn and grow off each other instead of feeling intimidated or that we are competing for something. We are in this together and everyone has a voice (although don’t worry Bonnie will let you know when it’s a no to your idea). We are individuals that work together to bring the group up, push forward so we can all succeed, and always continue to learn.
I was always creative as a child. I wanted to draw and paint and make stuff. But even more I wanted to move. If you ask friends of mine from school, they knew I wanted to be a dancer. My poor family has had to put up with me ‘following my dreams’ (they are amazingly supportive!!). They have been there for all the tears when nothing is working and I wish I had an office job. I don’t really – I can’t even sit still during a movie.
My point is, the creative industries are hard to be part of if you also want to eat and live somewhere. There are not masses of opportunities for dancers in Sydney and there are so many talented people.
Being part of BCP and the world of GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS has been one of the best things in my life. I have had the chance to perform in front of friends, family, strangers. Including people who really didn’t know what they signed up for when they came to see the show. I have toured to Brisbane and Melbourne and will be touring in New Zealand this year. I have pushed myself out of my comfort zone in so many ways that those things are now in my comfort zone.
I have made some crazy life long friends. I have convinced a bunch of people to embrace my weirdo and love me for it. And because if you love to do something, why wait for approval from someone else to do it?
Kate will be hitting the stage at Te Auaha when GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS comes to Wellington on March 14-17.
Tickets are on sale now through NZ Fringe.
Kate is also the director of Silhouette 9, a dance company based in Sydney.
Silhouette 9 that provides entertainment for corporate events, birthdays, weddings and other events.