A group of dancers will be debuting a new piece in Brooklyn, New York, on January 30, 2014. I Wish I Could Drink Like A Lady is the brainchild of Hattie Mae Williams, who leads the troupe, the Tattooed Ballerinas. The company formed under the direction of Hattie in 2003. The performance is at the Iron Dale Theater in Fort Greene, as part of the FLICfest, a program of feature-length modern dance. Hattie (aka HMW) spoke to us about what the show is about, and the inspiration.
What are the Tattooed Ballerinas, and how did they form?
The Tattooed Ballerinas are a group of modern dancers who push the boundaries of site-specific dance and interdisciplinary art. HMW-The Tattooed Ballerinas is an overall attitude and way of living outside the perimeters of societies standards. HMW/TTB celebrates artists and people from all walks of life in doing what they do and however they do it!
Tell me about past performances.
The Tattooed Ballerinas have performed in various venues, site locations and cities such as New York City, Miami, and Los Angeles. We toured Holland and Italy. Site-specific projects included laundromats, cemeteries, subway cars, tennis courts, art galleries, and supermarkets. We’ve collaborated with visual artists, filmmakers, musicians, and community organizations.
Why did you choose Dorothy Parker for the new performance?
I chose Dorthy Parker for this new piece mainly because of the relationship my mother has with her poetry and how this influenced me as a woman. Parker’s poems were constantly recited throughout my upbringing, bringing a real sense of strength and humor to serious life situations. I realize now the importance of knowing literary masters and in turn I want to celebrate such writers as Dorothy Parker through dance.
Is there something that Dorothy Parker wrote that inspired you? What was it, and why?
“A Fairly Sad Tale,” and “A Very Short Song,” moves me very much. “Theory” is just brilliant and inspires me to be comfortable and light hearted. All of her pieces inspire me because she is relevant now, timeless. Dorothy Parker’s work expresses social history and her personal history, which is relatable to our society now. As a artist she inspires me to be authentic.
What can audiences expect in January?
The audiences can expect a fresh new way of relating Dorothy Parker’s poems to movement. I wish to take the audience on a journey where in the end they will know Dorothy Parker’s poetry and empathize with the joys and sorrows it is to live this miserably fantastic life.
Is the fundraising still going on?
Donations are still being accepted and appreciated. All contributions help with the costs of rehearsal space, dancers pay, and costumes. It allows the company to continue to create work that inspires.
The performance is Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014. For tickets to I Wish I Could Drink Like A Lady click here.
Thank you, Hattie. Good luck with the performance.