Explore the Notion of Redefining Body, Gender and/or Cultural Identity

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This essay aims to look at different issues raised in Strange Fish (film version) by DV8 and how these issues can challenge traditional thought and feelings to provoke a redefinition of what is considered to be normal or even possible. Throughout, the essay will investigate the use of body and how it can explore emotion and meaning alongside how gender can ask questions about culture. The use of body in a physical theatre piece is obviously very important. The body can be a very powerful tool, when used correctly, to convey emotions that cannot be as honestly expressed with language. There is nowhere to hide when portraying emotion through a physical form. Words can be chosen carefully and those with linguistic skill can talk around situations but there is a raw, powerful emotion surging from a performer when the only way to communicate is to physically ‘paint a picture’. Body language is something that is not easily regulated; it is a natural, subconscious reaction to circumstances, whereas language is something that we have learned and need to think about it whilst using it, which makes it more controllable. Strange Fish uses a mix of language and movement as Lloyd Newson believes that not everything can be said with movement. “Words can’t say everything, but neither can movement say everything: how do you say ‘this is my sister’ in dance?” (DV8 2005) This mixture creates a piece that communicates to an audience on every level as it also has music and singing; music within a piece like this can only heighten the investment and response from an audience. When performing fully within a role, the actor redefines himself, the way he thinks, moves and acts. When acting, the actor usually does not say the things that he would say or do the things he would do, therefore the mind and body is redefined. “There are two aspects to the technique of the ‘system’; one inner,

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