Entertainment Hive 2017

Hot Brown Honey ready to provide the sweet beats

By Honey B

Offering up lashings of sass and a hot pinch of empowerment Hot Brown Honeys are ready to take over the OzAsia Festival with its latest show. The  genre-defying firecracker of a show returns to Adelaide after sell-out seasons in Edinburgh, Sydney and Melbourne. Below Queen Bee of the show, Busty Beats, answers some questions about the multi-talented troupe which is ready to explode onto the Adelaide stage in a whirl of dance, poetry, circus, theatre, striptease and much, much more. How would you describe Hot Brown Honey’s show in a sentence? “Hot Brown Honey is a genre defying, intersectional, decolonising celebration of femme power!’’ How did six talented female artists from varying backgrounds come together to form such a fierce group? “As artists we exist on the edges, fringes and margins as the mainstream gates have remained closed to us. “However it’s on the edges where we create vital art. It’s on the fringes where we critique the status quo, dismantling and redefining our identities through brilliant creativity. “It’s on the margins where we become advocates for each other’s work. “This is where we found such fierce performers, making their own pathways. “We have created Hot Brown Honey as a space to tell our stories, to include each other, to work together and raise each other up. “There are so many astonishingly talented Honeys throughout Australia who are so down for smashing stereotypes and shattering perceptions through art. “We actually have a cast of thousands but due to budgetary restrictions we have six phenomenal women who own centrestage. Word to the Mother!’’ Can you tell me about the different performers in the group including yourself? “Samoan Australian Lisa Fa’alafi aka The Game Changer is a firecracker artist and theatre maker who constantly rips apart the exotic narrative through powerful and extremely funny performances.  She is the Hot Brown Honey writer, director, choreographer and designer. “Of Tongan heritage Ofa Fotu aka The Myth Slayer is an incredible soul singer, storyteller and visual artist. She is best-known for fronting funk/soul band Odette Mercy and Her Soul Atomics, the band winning the West Coast Blues & Roots Festival Breakthrough Artist and nominee for the 2015 WA Music Awards. “Maori artist Hope One The Beatboxer is Australia and New Zealand’s première female beatboxer. Hope One has performed with Tom Thum, Joel Turner & the Beatbox Alliance, T-Pain, Naughty by Nature, Eve, George Clinton, Michael Franti and The Wailers. “Of Indonesian Australian decent and straight out of Broome, Crystal Stacey is aka The Peace Maker is the Hot Brown Honey Circus performer specialising in Aerials and Hoops. She has worked across the world with Marrugeku Theatre and Circa. “Representing for the Torres Strait, Ghenoa Gela aka The Ground Breaker is a contemporary dancer, comedian and air guitarist of amazing proportions!  Ghenoa was the winner of the 2016 Keir Choreographic Award and came runner up in the National Air guitarist championships. “I’m Busty Beatz  - The Queen Bee. “My heritage is Xhosa and Malay/Indonesian and I am the Keeper of the Hive. “The Mother has sent for help. You know Her – The Goddess, She who birthed the Earth. She is really over the bullshit that mankind has unleashed. “In a last ditch effort the world to evolve and re-matriate, she sent me in the flesh, as I am the perfect organism. My structural perfection is matched only by my hostility. But with great power comes huge responsibility - I need back up and the Honeys are ready to own centre stage and Fight The Power!  I’m also the musical director.’’ What do you want to achieve through Hot Brown Honey? “Hot Brown Honey is our attempt, as black and brown women, who intersect on stolen land known as Australia to not only talk about the sticky points of our existence such as denial, privilege, access and opportunity but to dismantle it all, tear down the gates and burn them down in our wake, laughing wickedly as we dance in the ashes. “We’re highlighting erasure and lack of diversity on our stages, pages and screens by making a show like this, but we’re celebrating the fact we are creating this space and creating our identities for ourselves, for those who we reflect and for those who reflect us. “In the Words of Audre Lorde ‘The masters tools will never dismantle the masters house’. In the case of Hot Brown Honey, we have stolen the keys, locked the doors, turned up the beats and started the ultimate party.’’ Tell us a bit about the show you will be performing at the OzAsia Festival. “We are really excited to perform at OZAsia Festival! Hot Brown Honey will make you laugh until you cry, clap until your hands bleed and shake every part of what your mama gave you. “And the Honeys shake every part of what our mama’s gave us. Ka-Boom! Witness the fitness. We also have a giant Bee Hive who speaks. UNMISSABLE.’’ How important is this festival? “We know that audiences want to see their communities reflected on stage. It’s a given. “We also know that the arts have the capacity to change culture. “The OzAsia Festival gives the opportunity to connect with the peeps through brilliant artistic connections with our global neighbours as well as the local Asian Australian creatives whose stories are often overlooked.’’ While you push the boundaries, the show is still uplifting, fun and empowering – what do you hope audience members walk away feeling? “Our audiences are representations of us, so of course they are sassy, smart and lit. “We want people to walk away feeling empowered to do something. “While we use this platform to tell our stories, we are also inviting audiences in, teasing them into interrogating their own views. We ask audiences to stand up and make noise. And they do! “It even shocks us when we see an entire crowd on their feet shouting, dancing, and celebrating with us - celebrating representation and our intersecting identities. “In the Words of Dr Angela Davis: ‘We have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And we have to do it all the time’. “We want audiences to understand that this is our world and it’s time to shine.’’ Hot Brown Honey, Adelaide Festival Centre, Space Theatre, September 26 to 30. Bookings: BASS 131 246
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