Status Room | Daisy SandersLeft – Daisy Sanders and Shuling Wong. Cover – Daisy Sanders and Shuling Wong. Photos – Sophia Natale

Inspired dance celebration of social media image-making and self-perception.

Daisy Sanders and Shuling Wong bring aspects of themselves to the stage in an ever-changing examination of the ways in which we live on, with and through social media. Wong excitedly babbles about possibilities for sharing and openness through internet interaction, while Sanders quietly demurs, murmuring about the joy and freedom of letting it go, staying in one’s own space, while she makes fluid, calm motions. Wong then demonstrates a third way of living one life while sharing another, moving tranquilly backwards, with eyes shut but in total control to a soundtrack of recordings of her own status updates read out in bubbly, excited tones, broadcasting random thoughts, events and emotions willy nilly. The true open and vulnerable state of the silent movement is cleverly juxtaposed with the self-proclaimed open and constantly sharing text.

Sanders has some beautiful dance moves with mirrors, moving gradually along the length of the performance space, subtle, sexy, intimate and funny.  The reflection on the movement, the realisation that a bedroom can be a studio, that the most private moments can be shared with the world by simply pressing record, reshapes the context and gives pause for thought. The abundance of mirrors and recording devices in the performance – cameras, video recording apps, the ubiquity of selfies – echoes some of the disquieting echoes of narcissism that can be found on social media. Mirrors are not only used for this, but also as screens, with emoticons drawn at the edges to express the performers’ moods and to set the emotional basis for the following set of movements. 

Director Jo Pollitt has crammed the performance with echoes between set and action, text and movement. Such realisations are delivered in incremental developments, leading to an explicit choice being handed to the audience, whether to share or not share.

Joe Lui has designed both sound and lighting, the single vision leading to beautiful consistent technical complement with the movement. Lighting not only delineates the space, but reflects the developments in the dynamic sound design, for instance with the mellow ambient levels sympathetically mirroring the laid back moments in the sound track. The musical selection is intensely integrated with the performance, and a lovely choice of songs work with the movement, the mood and the messages. 

Examining social media and its place in our lives, Status Room entertains, provokes and challenges audiences by sharing an abundance of answers, leaving it up to us to choose which ones to “like”. Talented, intelligent examination of an interesting topic, the continuing careers of Sanders and Wong will be worth watching for future fascinating developments.

Daisy Sanders presents
Status Room
Devised by Daisy Sanders and Shuling Wong

Director Jo Pollitt

Venue: The Blue Room Theatre, Perth Cultural Centre
Dates: 14 October – 1 November, 2014
Tickets: $15 – $25

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