The unstoppable Julia Croft and Nisha Madhan have been offered a season and residency at the prestigious Battersea Arts Centre in London, and because they're special members of our Q whānau we want to help them get there! We asked Julia to tell us about her inspiration for creating this work, and what it means in 2018 a year after it was first created.

Power ballad was created in early 2017 and has since toured to Australia, Edinburgh and is about to embark on a UK tour and will also tour to Canada in early 2019. It has won awards internationally, including being shortlisted for a Total Theatre Award at Edinburgh, one of the world leading awards for theatre that pushes new formal boundaries.

The work was partly inspired by the misogynistic train wreck that was the 2016 US presidential election. I was struck deeply by the implicit gendered narratives that were played out in the politics and media of that time, as well as a lifetime of personally feeling the ways in which language has been used, often shifty was, against me as a woman and the ways I felt (and still feel) that language can be an impossible bind for women. 

Over the course of making the show, the concept of language began to also stand in for all those other seemingly immovable patriarchal structures we are all trying to live within or against. They seem permanent but they aren't-things could be different. 

I think the show at its core is so optimistic. Things could change. This show started to become a small rally cry - or at least my own attempt to begin to understand what a resistance could look like and my reminding myself of the importance of being hopeful. 

Then as we began rehearsals for the show millions of women around the world marched collectively. And it is one of the best things I have ever seen. The show sits inspired by all those things. By some deep feminist rage but also optimism and the feeling in my gut that things are shifting. That and a long-held love for impossibly uncool 80s music and Karaoke. I like to think karaoke is my superpower.

Power ballad and Body Double like all my works are all trying to grapple with what it is to live inside a female body in this world when so much of the power and the narrative sits outside of us. We never got to build the world in our own image, performance is a way of me attempting to rip apart, tear down or just question the narratives we have inherited and try to make space to build our own, to imagine that the world could look different. In my other solo work If there's not dancing at the revolution, I'm not coming I always use the tagline which seems to fit for all the work I make; "It is a party. It is a poem. It is a tiny call to arms."


- Julia Croft 

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