When Germaine Greer wrote The Female Eunuch, she didn’t expect her work to still be relevant in years to come. She thought feminism would be a thing of the past. But how far have we really come? Julia Croft’s If There’s Not Dancing at the Revolution, I’m Not Coming shines a light on the treatment of women and their bodies, which still remain under the male gaze in the media. Emma Goldman’s autobiography Living My Life stands for free expression, and damn right: if you want to dance, then dance. Feminism is still often misunderstood, but it’s about exactly that – the freedom of choice. Hopefully Croft’s collage of film scripts, pop songs and advertisements is not misunderstood.
There’s confetti, party poppers and alcohol – she describes her show as a party as well as a poem. She begins the show wearing an entire wardrobe of elaborate costumes, taking each garment off one by one until we are left with her naked body. Croft made this show because she is angry about violence against women and the fact women are treated as mere bodies. Croft has our attention; she is funny and charming, but most importantly, she is moving.
Her show has an interesting structure, although it could do with tightening up. Drawing upon the seediness of men in popular culture, she acts out scenes from Psycho and Pretty Woman, and the perhaps not so obviously seedy Titanic. Croft shows how Rose is being treated like an object in the famous “draw me like one of your French girls” scene, by portraying the close-up of Jack’s eyes, followed by the close-up of her body. Yes, even one of the most romantic movies of all time is disrespectful towards women and their bodies.
With warnings of nudity prior to entering, we know the inevitable ending to her performance before it even begins. But having this information throughout the performance should affect the way you think about her intentions, allowing you to really take everything she is saying seriously, despite how funny it may be in parts. Unfortunately, some of the audience laugh at the wrong moments, and the nudity may not have the desired effect. Croft has analysed popular culture in a unique show that’s smart, amusing and inspiring. She is so free and confident, thank goodness she has started her own revolution and has danced.