Wednesday tenth February 2021, 7:30pm, Lyric Theatre Sydney
Joe Accaria’s (Creator, Composer & Musical Supervisor) DRUMMER QUEENS units feminine drummers within the highlight with a fusion of music and motion. The brand new full scale live performance spectacular that can undertake a restricted tour is the fruits of an thought first fashioned in 2013.
Traditionally the examine and efficiency of percussion has been a male dominated discipline, significantly within the western world. By way of DRUMMER QUEENS’ mixture of dance, gentle and motion, paired with a spread of drumming kinds the troupe of 8 performers seeks to vary perceptions of the artform when it’s introduced by girls. The work additionally has the likelihood to boost the underlying query of whether or not a female method to the devices and artform delivers a distinct expression of the music compared with what could be anticipated of a masculine performer.
Accaria, together with Inventive director Nigel Turner-Carroll and Choreographer and performer Peta Anderson current a efficiency that enables the 8 girls to specific their very own individuality whereas coming collectively as a supportive troupe that remember one another’s abilities. Adrienne Lord and Richard Neville’s manufacturing design is dominated by a sequence of concentric industrial lighting rig arcs accented by steel archways and array of retro futuristic steampunk steel pipes. The motion of the work is aided by the inclusion of varied cell components from single drums on wheels to a trio of podiums that home units of drums on operated by hand scissor lifts permitting flexibility of efficiency kinds, and two bigger multi-level platforms housing full drum kits and extra giant devices. Adrienn Lord’s costume design continues the theme of an industrial world with the octet carrying yellow overalls, styled to go well with the person and adorned with an array of harnesses, buckled corsetry, and even a leather-based fringed belt. When paired with the drum stick holsters, the aesthetic presents as a rogue militia which later comes along with extra unity within the second a part of the present’s pink uniforms. Richard Neville’s lighting design elevates the vitality of the work with stadium live performance model results that create charming silhouettes whereas at occasions proving slightly to blinding for quite a lot of the viewers when held at one stage for too lengthy. The rear projection onto a big bass drum creates a shadow puppet impact with the arms caressing the drum’s pores and skin. An LED lightshow that includes the arcs offers an interlude that leads right into a extra futuristic digital drum component and the extra united ‘military’.
Whereas there appears to be little to no via story embedded within the work there’s a celebration of every performer’s abilities. Of the troupe of 8, 6 have skilled percussion backgrounds whereas two deliver the dance component to the work with dance, significantly faucet dancing expertise. These two have been skilled to enhance the extra seasoned drummers with easier components and likewise aiding with the motion of the podiums. This system lists every performer as having a personality although this isn’t actually mirrored within the efficiency past an essence of who the particular person is. Skilled drummers are Stef Furnari (Insurgent), Niki Johnson (Change), Salina Myat (Zen), Lisa Purmodh (Sass), Claudia Wherry (Luna) and Ned Wu (Cap) with Astrid Holz as a swing. Choreographer Peta Anderson (Freedom) and Georgia Anderson (Bey-B) present extra of the dance and bodily motion with Sasha Lian Diniz because the dance centered swing.
The percussion utilized is predominantly extra modern western drums with heavy deal with drum kits with the addition of some totally different orchestral percussion components like the big xylophone housed in one of many giant constructions and the triangle and double bell affixed to the aspect of the outer arc. Extra uncommon devices embrace the Peruvian Cajon field common with flamenco kinds of music, a model of a Djembe west African drum and a toothbrush whereas physique percussion and faucet dance are additionally utilized to display the vary of the way a beat might be created.
Whereas it could have been fascinating to discover extra sorts of percussion devices from all over the world to create a bit extra selection within the 80-minute run time, DRUMMER QUEENS achieves its core purpose of placing feminine drummers within the highlight. An enormous funds spectacle that might significantly enchantment to anybody considering music, dance and excessive vitality experiences whereas additionally being an empowering message to girls considering partaking in areas which have historically been seen as male areas.