REVIEW – Sister


Striptease, pole dancing, real life accounts and performance art all meet in a somewhat baffling though very powerful performance of ‘Sister’. As if designed to break taboos the sisters Amy and Rosana play on sex and feminism in a unique blend of highly charged erotic dancing and a stripped bare (figuratively and literally) first person narrative of family, sex, sexuality, fetish, porn and the bond between women. Breaking all expectations the show manages to be highly feminist in its message, calling for acceptance of women as they are, whether they are escorts or unshaven lesbians. But don’t be alarmed, there is no preaching, only a point of view.

Watching two women in the nude talk about sex could be taken as the ultimate male fantasy, but the two make sure to hold the audience accountable for their gaze and whatever preconceptions we might have. This is neither a condemnation of erotic dancers or sex workers nor glorification of the work (or of feministic lesbians) but an exploration of female representation. By giving us both a highly sexual performance and a personal one we are forced to look beyond beauty and female objectification and accept a world neither black nor white. It is a mind bender, whether you are there as a proud feminist or just attracted by the nude bodies on the poster.

The performance itself is sometimes a bit disjointed. The form of the show is made up of scenes and texts put together, some of which fit better together than others. The lack of fluidity isn’t jarring though and though some pieces of the puzzle seem a bit out of place the piece is still enjoyable as a whole. The use of projection is a two edged sword, sometimes adding a very important extra layer and sometimes distracting from the sisters in the flesh. The music helps create a showgirl atmosphere but could perhaps be more tongue in cheek at places.

All in all ‘Sister’ is as strong as the two women performing it, lovely in its seduction, thought provoking in its honesty. Recommended for anyone willing to look beyond the flesh.

Sister runs at Summerhall until the 24th.

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