Hey guys! First of all, I’m so sorry for not being engaged in the blogging community. I’ve been busy revising for mock science tests that I just finished on Wednesday. I’m hoping to catch up with all your blogs this weekend. Drop me your links in the comments if I’m not already following you! Last week, me, my mum, my sister and my best friend all visited Derringham Bank Methodist Church for the ‘Delicate Flowers’ performance as part of the Back to Ours festival. The performance was split into two parts: a 10 minute prelude dance number followed by the main piece. The dance routine celebrated what it was to dance and be your most authentic self. The main piece centred around a young boxer called Karen, desperate to use her skills to combat her issues in balancing her home life with her ambitions. Inspired by the story of iconic Hessle boxer and wrestler Barbara Buttrick, Karen shares her opinion about the male dominated world of sport. So in today’s post, I will describe this event and grant you with my honest opinion of it.
Delicate Flowers Prelude was a high energy dance piece, highlighting that we can be free from dancing, not worrying about our inhibitions or what people may think of us. It was partly inspired by the movement and discipline of boxers in the ring and as part of their research, the dancers took part in boxing training sessions at St Paul’s Boxing Academy. The choreography was created in collaboration between dance students from Wilberforce Sixth Form College and choreographer Gareth Chambers. Being a dancer myself, I loved the choreography which gave each person a moment in the spotlight and it was intricate and skillful. It definitely imitated the movement of a boxer at some points and the students should be proud of themselves for such an awesome performance.
As the dancing was gradually ending, Karen appeared off to the side in full boxing gear and with a bag full of vital equipment. As she stepped onto the stage and faced the audience, a recording of Barbara Butrrick echoed around the venue. ‘I think all this talk about girls not boxing is old fashioned, girls aren’t the delicate flowers they used to be.’ Karen then introduced us to Barbara Butrrick, describing her match against another female boxer and how she rose to victory. Throughout the performance, she revealed details about her personal life and about Barbara’s career in boxing. Despite entering a male dominated world of sport, dealing with sexism from all angles and being brought down for doing something she desired to do, the key part of Barbara’s story was her resilience. She never gave up and kept going even in her struggles. She was slandered by the press and looked down on for entering a sport that was seen as a male sport but she won all but one match because of her skill and determination. She didn’t fit in with the image of a stay at home wife in those days but that was fine with her. Watch out for a more in depth post about Barbara from my ‘famous people in Hull’ series coming soon!
Karen hadn’t experienced an easy time of it either. Of course it was easier for her as a female boxer because people are more accepting of women in boxing than they were back in Barbara’s day. But her life was far from easy at times. She’d struggled with body image issues when she was in school and she’d been badly bullied for her weight which seriously knocked her self esteem. Not to mention she would sometimes argue with her parents because she was part of a long line of fiery, stubborn women. But the worst part had to be the fact that she got pregnant at 16 and after telling the father of her child, he fled to London the next day. Her daughter Amy was one of the best things that ever happened to her but it was hard being a single parent. Luckily, her parents supported her through it, particularly her mum. She’d visited the father, Andy, once in London and his home was a slum and he had less money available than she did. She stormed off and didn’t see him for a while after that. The next time she met up with him was when he invited her out for a pint and brought his mum along for moral support. She shared her plans with him to return to school to do a health and social care course since she dropped out of school after she became pregnant. Him and his mum both laughed at her plans and she tipped both of their pints over them and flounced off. I think she’d established that she deserved way better than him.
Throughout the performance, Karen did lots of cardio like a boxer would which only added to the authenticity of the performance. I have no idea how she remembered all the words she had to speak in the performance, bearing in mind it was about 1 hour and 15 minutes long. I loved how well the performance flowed with the parallels between Karen and Barbara’s lives and personalities. Overall, it was a really enjoyable performance!
Thank you for reading this post! Do you play any sports? Let me know in the comments! There’ll be another post out soon but until then bye for now!
Amelia Grace a.k.a Amelia in Hull