10 April 2019

Dancer Liz Lea shines a light on women’s health

| Tuggeranong Arts Centre
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Liz Lea's RED returns to Tuggeranong Arts Centre on 5 April. Photos: Lorna Sim.

Liz Lea’s RED returns to Tuggeranong Arts Centre on 5 April. Photos: Lorna Sim.

Liz Lea’s one-woman show, RED, is a fierce, fearless and powerful personal account of illness that promises to take audiences on a journey and prompt new conversations about health and self-care. After premiering in 2018, RED is returning to Canberra audiences at Tuggeranong Arts Centre as part of an ongoing tour including performances in Tasmania, Victoria, NSW and the UK.

In RED, Lea invites audiences to share the deeply personal story of her experience with endometriosis, a common but rarely discussed condition that affects about one in 10 women. Through dance, film, spoken word and song, RED presents a raw and honest account of Lea’s story and creates a timely dialogue about endometriosis and its effects.

Lea is a highly-acclaimed dancer, choreographer and producer who, following 20 years working in Europe, has established herself as a dynamic artist and arts leader in Canberra. Lea was awarded 2017 Artist of the Year by Canberra City News and is currently sitting on the Minister’s Creative Council. She has worked with Ranjabati Sircar, Mavin Khoo, the Royal Opera House, and English Bach Festival and been commissioned in India, UK, Australia, South Africa, Singapore and USA.

Lea says, “For 20 years I had an illness I was not aware of and for those 20 years I travelled and toured, performed and created. That illness did not define me or my life, however, it has defined my future and if this work sees one person sit back and reflect on the need for all-round self-care then we have achieved a small victory.”


“That illness did not define me or my life, however, it has defined my future” – Liz Lea.

Although RED tackles confronting and difficult experiences, Lea’s performance is deftly interwoven with light-heartedness and humour bringing audiences along with her through the highs and lows of her journey. Reviewer James Karp said, “Lea communicates patently and with a quick and delicate wit about human sensibilities of illness, whilst all along, never stopping to entertain.”

Part of RED’s success comes from the outstanding creative team that worked with Lea to develop and refine the performance, including choreographers Vicki van Hout, Virginia Ferris, and Martin del Amo, dramaturg and mentor Brian Lucas, and composer Alexander Hunter. Lea says, “We wanted to work to be bigger than one person and have endeavoured to address universal themes through one person’s experience.”

Canberrans can catch Lea’s latest performance of RED at Tuggeranong Arts Centre on Friday 5th April at 7 pm. Lea will be joined on stage for this performance by senior dancers from the Canberra Dance Theatre’s GOLDS troupe and young dancers from Fresh Funk’s junior classes.

Tickets are $25 adults and $20 concession and can be booked here.

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