Flames Danced In Their Hair But Did Not Burn Them

Adena Jacobs

Flames Danced In Their Hair But Did Not Burn Them is a multi-screen video installation about wildness, transgression, theatre and body politics, created by filmmaker Kate Blackmore, theatre makers Adena Jacobs and Aaron Orzech, composer Kelly Ryall, and the young performers who co-created Fraught Outfit’s controversial production of The Bacchae in 2015.

In 2015 Fraught Outfit premiered The Bacchae, a hypnotic, music-led performance work inspired by the ancient myth. Made in collaboration with an ensemble of 13-18 year-olds, it provided a metaphoric frame for the performers to explore their relationship to their bodies, agency and externalised, gendered perceptions and controls. The result was a surprising, nightmarish and trance-like work exploring sexual objectification through a mythic and contemporary teen perspective.

Flames Danced In Their Hair But Did Not Burn Them reunites this group of young artists, now 19-25 years old. Over the last 7 years, we have witnessed and experienced radical change: the explosion of social media, the MeToo movement, and a rapidly evolving cultural conversation around identity and the body, feminism and queer discourse. The young artists who created The Bacchae have embodied these seismic changes throughout the course of their teenage-hoods and now draw upon these as the catalyst for a new work.


Adena Jacobs & Aaron Orzech

Film Maker / Co-Creator
Kate Blackmore

Composer & Sound Designer / Co-Creator
Kelly Ryall

Sky Davies

Eugyeene Teh

Performer / Co-Creators
Bonnie Brown
Mieke Singh Dodd
Tove Due
Eve Fitzgerald
Romaine McSweeney
Anouk Gleeson-Mead
Cindy Hu
Eve Nixon
Birdie Noonan
Lois Scott
Carla Tilley

Produced by Performing Lines

Information for Presenters

Flames Danced In Their Hair But Did Not Burn Them is a multi-screen video installation. The work is currently in developmentand will be available for presentation from 2023.

Samantha Butterworth Senior Producer

Project Partners & Acknowledgements

Flames Danced In Their Hair But Did Not Burn Them is produced by Performing Lines VIC. It is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body, and the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria. It is also supported by the Hobsons Bay City Council, GOWEST, and The Substation.

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