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.