Gender Euphoria is a humorous; heart felt celebration of gender identity.
The co-creators Mama Alto and Maude Davey and an array of transgender artists, banish the banality of dysphoria associated with gender identity choice, in favour of the euphoric state of self-expression.
Cabaret icon Mama Alto glides like a swan into the Fairfax Studio at Arts Centre Melbourne. She explains the rise of gender identity euphoria and gives her humorous recollection of a telemarketing survey incident.
She exclaimed during the pre-election phase for the same-sex marriage bill, an automated voice asked what she would vote and enter her answer by pressing a number one through five on her phone key pad. When the machine voice asked for a gender, there was no choice for (she/her/he/him/neither), so Mama Alto chose number six instead.
The enthused audience broke into a roar of laughter and Mama Alto expressed the essence of Gender Euphoria in a “delightful, delicious and delirious” rendition of U2’s poignant song One.
The petite Miss Bailee Rose , burst into dance in a frenzy of red feather fans and whirling long raven hair. In remarkable stilettos she performed back arching, high kicks that threatened to send her toppling backwards before she stripped off to reveal a miniscule corset and teased members of the audience.
The lighthearted frivolity shifted to somber transgender identity issues.
Harvey Zielinski’s thought provoking monologue questions hegemonic masculine stereotypes, whether it be at an Aussie barbeque or in the boxing ring.
Quinn Eades teams up with Mahla Bird’s aerial acrobatics for a visual representation of the brutal pain of gender reassignment surgery.
Quinn awaits surgery. Their raw and honest story begins as Mahla climbs up onto their broad shoulders to the awaiting ribbons hanging from the ceiling to the stage floor. Quinn’s second thoughts and inner self-talk gets louder and they recall the moments leading up to surgery. Mahla climbs the ribbons.
Quinn becomes jubilant and Mahia soars like their namesake towards the heavens, entwining the ribbons around her limbs and torso as they go.
Quinn understands their choice is irreversible. Mahla climbs higher and intermittently holds impossible gravity defying poses. Quinn’s thoughts physically manifest; the ribbons unravel societies misconceptions and Mahla plummets towards stage. The audience gasps. Quinn’s free will and determination secures their decision, the ribbons, and their fall.
Gender identity euphoria gathers energy and Mama Alto, Mx Munro, and Miss Bailee Rose exquisite harmonies are accompanied by the immaculate Ned Dixon on Piano.
Gender Euphoria rises to rejoice gender identity and cultural diversity. Amao Leota Lu’s expressive ‘Rain Dance’ is mesmerising and hypnotic.
This collaboration of transgender gender like minds digs deep to provide light moments of comic relief. Nevo Zisin insightful witty prose traces transgender identity back to the Egyptians. Apparently, in 1506 bc, Queen Hatshepsut wore a wig and a fake beard like a Pharaoh.
Fury appears in a dressing gown, holding their Sunday morning cup of coffee and states the obvious, transgender people have been an integral part of society and always will be.
Gender Euphoria revels in everyone’s gender identity in that choice and expression is a blissful state of mind.