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36 CHAMPIONING DIVERSITY

HOT BROWN HONEY: PERFORMANCE REVIEW BY HEATHER BENSON WWW.HOTBROWNHONEY.COM

© Kate Pardey

© Dylan Evans

When I was invited to attend Hot Brown Honey (HBH) at The Southbank Centre during Africa Utopia 2018, I did not know what to expect especially considering the booking site described the show as “an audacious mash-up of music, dance and burlesque”. To my pleasant surprise, the night ignited an unprecedented level of confidence and self-love within me. More than a rebellion from the typical theatre show of any genre, it is a celebration, liberation, and education for the audience. Even more profoundly, it is a statement; empowering women, particularly those of minority ethnic backgrounds, to stand fiercely in their beauty, uniqueness and strength. HBH “hides the medicine in the candy” by bringing current social issues around misappropriation, cultural exploitation, fetishism and many more to light, within a party atmosphere full of pop culture, hip hop music and dance, traditional dance styles of Australia’s Aboriginal people, aerial work, spoken word and comedic theatre. Using catchy chants like “decolonise and moisturise” or “stand up, wake up, rise up” encouraged the audience to join in the revolution to change the mindsets of people around the globe. In a flashy and bold spectacle, so many visuals and themes of liberation are rapidly thrown at the audience; a handful standing out amongst the rest. Soon after introductions to the characters, or “Honeys in the hive”, we meet an unruly and offensive tourist/colonialist visiting Australia to “experience the culture”. The show depicts this character from a comedic point of view, yet

Profile for One Dance UK

HOTFOOT Online | Autumn 2018 - Global Infrastructures  

HOTFOOT Online is One Dance UK’s bi-annual publication focusing on Dance of the African Diaspora (DAD) and provides a platform for critical...

HOTFOOT Online | Autumn 2018 - Global Infrastructures  

HOTFOOT Online is One Dance UK’s bi-annual publication focusing on Dance of the African Diaspora (DAD) and provides a platform for critical...

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