Wuthering Heights Day event prompts men to swap beanies for wigs

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By Adrienne Francis and Sophie Kesteven

Updated

July 15, 2017 16:19:33

While most people opt for a beanie or scarf at this time of year, some in Canberra have swapped their winter attire for flowing red dresses.

In an attempt to raise money for a frontline domestic violence service, more than 100 men, women and children took part in a community dance event called The Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever.

“It seems to capture people’s imaginations,” event organiser Brooke Thomas said.

What began as a flash mob re-enactment of Kate Bush’s 1978 music video in the UK in 2013, has since spread around the world as a July event.

“Maybe there’s a little bit of interpretive dancer in all of us and this is how it gets out,” Ms Thomas said.

Ms Thomas said Wuthering Heights Days around the world are traditionally aimed at raising funds for a charity related to women’s health and services.

“I was thinking about the novel Wuthering Heights — and frankly it’s about an abusive relationship — and I thought what a great link to the idea of donating to the Domestic Violence Crisis Service (DVCS) to help women and families out of abusive relationships,” she said.

“I also made it clear from the outset that this was an inclusive event and I’m so pleased to see quite a few blokes involved, and even some sons with their mums.”

And while many people dressed up as Bush for the occasion, few could say they had met her in flesh — apart from one man by the name of Phil Robson.

Mr Robson is Bush’s cousin, and was among those who turned out to watch the colourful event. He said he was looking forward to witnessing the performances.

“I’m particularly enamoured with some of the gentleman who have dressed up as Kate Bush, and I’d be interested to see how they perform with their particular moves,” he said, smiling.

Among those wearing red dresses, wigs and makeup as part of the performance in Glebe Park was a man by the name of Chris.

“I’m feeling very self-conscious but I’m going to own it and give it a good shot,” he laughed.

“We’ve had a few rehearsals, practised some dance moves — a bit of pterodactyl and this and that.

“But I wanted to get involved because raising money for domestic violence is the main thing, but it’s also a bit of a laugh with friends and you can have fun with like-minded people.”

“A lot of men don’t think they have a licence to dance and I think that’s a sad thing, so it’s great for them to unleash those social inhibitions about dance,” Ms Thomas added.

“And there’s a solidarity about it as well because we’ve been raising funds for the Domestic Violence Crisis Service and we’re all partners in addressing domestic and family violence together, so it’s been fantastic and important to have men involved as well.”

Topics:

novel,

domestic-violence,

music,

arts-and-entertainment,

canberra-2600

First posted

July 15, 2017 16:08:19



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