This film is part of a bundled ticket in DESTROY | DISTURB | DISRUPT - DECOLONISING QUEER DESIRE to purchase click here
Set to the lilting tones of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong’s honeyed rasp, Bloom is a queer African pole dancer’s surreal adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, inspired by Ballet Black’s production A Dream Within a Midsummer Night’s Dream. Filmed against a scene of glossy anthuriums and fluorescent birds of paradise, a vibrant bouquet dissolves, revealing a portrait of an African body wreathed on a steel pole, in various states of limbo: an analogy for queerness itself. In a state of nature, pole dance – like queerness – is innocent. However, stigma attaches a perceived and misconceived immorality. Through a system of prisms and mirrors, attention is first drawn to an anthurium’s spike-shaped inflorescence, which bears small flowers with perfect male and female parts. Focus then shifts to a pole in perspective, superimposed against the lingering red silhouette of an anthurium’s queer premise, the desire to be.