Tonight I went with a friend to the Art Gallery of New South Wales to see Nude Live, a collaboration between Sydney Festival and the Sydney Dance Company. It featured about seven dancers (male and female) totally clothes-free set amongst the Nude: art from the Tate collection exhibit. So not only were the dancers nude, so was all the art. Perfect! Little teaser video below:
To say it was amazing would be doing the show a disservice. The dancers were incredible. The choreography was so beautiful – funny, sad, emotional. There was one piece between a guy and girl where it was like the girl was trying to get the man’s attention and/or affection and he was very listless and unresponsive – it made me think of depression, mental illness or even falling out of love. So many feelings during that piece. My friend actually teared up.
AND to make matters better/worse, there was one session where the audience could go along and get nude. Of course, loving public nudity as much as I do, I was SUPER keen to attend. Jared was a very definite no when I asked him. The first time they advertised it, I couldn’t find anyone to go with and missed out. Then they released two more nude shows. One friend couldn’t afford it so I asked this girl we’ve been on a few dates with and she said yes but, by the time we worked it all out, it was sold out. I nearly cried, I was so upset to miss out again.
Which leads me to today’s point: nudity. Some people are ok with it. Some not. Some are ok in a private setting with someone they’re intimate/comfortable with. Some not even then. And some, like me and a few other people I know, are willing to get their kit off anywhere, anyhow. In fact, with the current heatwave we’re experiencing and me working from home most days, I reckon I’ve spent more time naked than I have clothed… And I couldn’t be happier. Any yes, I do like having pretty adornments (i.e. clothes and shoes) but I’d much rather be naked and I don’t much care who sees (although of course I don’t like to make people feel uncomfortable).
I probably have 3 – 5 other friends that are similarly comfortable naked – although perhaps to varying levels of degrees depending on who’s around. Not to say there’s anything wrong with not wanting to be nude in front of people but it takes a certain level of comfort in your own skin to drop your clothes and be like “ta-da!”. One of our gay friends is always eager to prance around in his undies (or nude). I have one girlfriend that I regularly shower with after we’ve been to the beach or are getting ready to go out. I remember one day when we’d been at the beach and all went back to my shower-friend’s house to get ready. The two of us had a shower together and then my nude-loving gay friend and another female friend hopped in the shower (separately) but then we all sat on the bed nude and chatted and rolled around. My gay friend and I danced around the room – our bits jiggling freely in the breeze (ok, we were inside so there wasn’t a breeze but you get the point).
It was all very innocent and in good fun – not sexual at all, which is what I think a lot of people don’t realise. Nudity doesn’t have to be sexual. Of course, it can be and when it is it’s glorious but the human body isn’t immediately made sexual just by the simple fact it’s nude. The show I saw tonight was a case in point – fantastic but not sexual at all. The dancers had different types of bodies and all of them were beautiful in their own right and they were so comfortable striding around the gallery amongst the fully clothed audience. Goddammit, I’m so devastated to have missed out on nude audience tickets! Aaaargh!!
And you know what, I’m sure there’s a mental health practitioner out there ready to pipe up about there being a fine line between being comfortable with public nudity and being an exhibitionist. And you know what, I’m sure there is. But who cares? How does it hurt anyone? I know people will mumble something about children and consent but why should our bodies be looked at as something to be ashamed of. Naked bodies are normal and, as long as no one’s doing anything indecent/inappropriate, it might actually do people some good to see a normal body ‘in the flesh’ so to speak. 🙂 Which is why I love this shot of the male half of sassycoupleok walking down the driveway to get the mail – in the nude (obviously). Without a care in the world. If only we all could be so free…
I would be extremely happy for it in this heat – although I suppose I would have to slather myself in a shit tonne of sunscreen everyday. Small price to pay really. 🙂