Graceland

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Planning: November 2017-April 2018

With Melania Trump becoming in January 2017, the first lady of the
free world, she represents a new standard of women as a Beauty
Commodity putting the values of feminist emancipation back 50 Years.
Melania Trump’s mantra for personal success is based upon “glamour,
money, elegance, sex and beauty” and is already a basic creed for an
army of global instagrammers, and aspirational lifestyle devotees.

Graceland will expose the pressures of such role models and
particularly what happens when their values begin to fade due to the
natural ageing process. Graceland combines dance, fashion,
performance, to uncover self identity, sexuality, the aging process
and ways to become un-invisible.

The project is a collaboration between Danceforce40+, choreographer
and director, Martin Butler (UK/DE), fashion designer Nicholas Nybro
(DK), together with three female dancers of 50+ and one younger male
dancer.

Western media and contemporary society, has been ever increasingly
obsessed with youth and its portrayal as role models and image ideals
for both and men and women. This extreme emphasis on youth has led to
a gap in the representation of identifiable role models for older
generations, with women becoming increasingly invisible in society
once they reach a certain age. This mediated ideal is almost
impossible to achieve and sustain, fueling insecurity and self doubt.

Identity connects the individual to a broader social category, in
which the individual associates himself or herself with.
Traditionally, the concept of identity has not focused on the
individual’s personal definitions of social categories such as gender,
race, ethnicity, sex and class identities; but rather identity has
always been a strictly structured label that has left little room for
individuality (Frable. 1997).

With the theme of the body as a social mask, Graceland will deal with
surface representation on a social, physical and gender level, drawing
its references from fashion iconography and drag culture. The second
theme will explore how this mask can be broken, reaching a deeper
emotional and physical articulation away from the superficial.

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