The Fondue Set

Laura Ginters

The Fondue Set (Emma Saunders, Elizabeth Ryan, Jane McKernan)

The Fondue Set (Emma Saunders, Elizabeth Ryan, Jane McKernan)

I first saw the Fondues (Emma Saunders, Jane McKernan, Elizabeth Ryan) at the now defunct Bodies dance festival: sandwiched between dance pieces taking themselves very seriously indeed, they were a breath of fresh air. Ironic, really, given that they swept us into the smoky, ritualised world of the pub—which is in fact where they originally began performing for their mates. The Fondues are funny, sexy, irreverent, ironic, Sex In The City kind of gals, but less cynical, and definitely more smiley. I can just picture them downing Cosmopolitans with Sarah Jessica Parker and co—red is, after all, their trademark colour from lippy to tippy toes.

Like those cute dashboard puppies with heads waggling on a spring, the Fondues play humorously with repetitive movement in their work—not so much obsessive-compulsive de Keersmaeker-style as playing that fab new 45 single over and over again for the simple teenage joy of it. It’s not so surprising that my terms of reference are to defunct recording formats, there is definitely something vintage—swinging 50s/60s/70s/80s—about The Fondue Set. (How could there not be, named as they are after that essential 70s dinner party accoutrement?) Certainly their recent, full-length piece, Blue Moves at the Seymour Centre evoked prom night and Hitchcockian heroine/ victims for me, alongside its explorations of more contemporary female experience. Blue Moves (2002) was a welcome full-scale development from their earlier vignettes, especially following the less densely layered Soft Cheese (2001), though I did love the hilarious anarchy of that piece—perhaps inevitable when one Fondue appears with a plaster cast plus wheelchair!

Dizzyingly intoxicating, intoxicatingly dizzy, they make me want to put on red lipstick and dance. In high heels. And a frock. Where can I get some shiny red boots?

The Fondue Set’s next gig is at the 2003 Melbourne Festival where they will perform at late night cabaret venue, The Blue Thong Club, in the Black Box at the Victorian Arts Centre.

RealTime issue #57 Oct-Nov 2003 pg. 10

© Laura Ginters; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

1 October 2003
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