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Nothing to Lose

Australia, English, 72 mins

  • Director: Kelli Jean Drinkwater

CGiii Comment

A troupe of queer dancers of size makes a big splash at Sydney Festival 2015 with the unexpected hit Nothing to Lose. This intimate portrait by Kelli Jean Drinkwater (Aquaporko!, Frameline37) follows the performers reclaiming abundant bodies for pleasure, grandeur, and power.

At Australian dance company Force Majeure, artistic director Kate Champion keenly felt the absence of queer people with bigger bodies on stage. Wanting to discover movement arising out of people with more flesh, she enlisted filmmaker, artist, and fat activist Drinkwater to help the troupe build pieces out of their lived experiences of body politics.

The performers, some with no formal dance training, draw from lives consumed by having to redefine beauty and dismantle cultural projections, especially around sexuality. Standouts are Adonis, who embraces their identity as a masculine Greek woman; Latai, a Tongan woman who moves like water and whose native culture naturally embraces bigger bodies; and Michael, who speaks to what gets in the way of other gay men seeing him just as he is.

The dancers create new, unapologetic forms of movement out of being fat. The troupe’s deep bonding and the dances emerging from that connection remind us that under the right circumstances art and healing are one.
— CAROL HARADA


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