Riding Red plays on the childhood folklore of Little Red Riding Hood to explore puberty and the events that transition us from childhood to adulthood. The piece showcases the emotional, social, and physical events experienced by boys and girls that take place during puberty, but that elicit different responses due to societal gender norms and stereotypes such as; physical changes, displaying vulnerability, fear, fighting, and overall variances in body to body touch.
In 2014, Emma Watson gave a speech at the United Nations regarding “what is feminism” and gender equality; she brought to attention the need to stop emasculating men, and instead encouraged men to experience vulnerability and sensitivity, while women take ownership of being strong, independent creatures. This tendency to follow traditional gender roles all begins with stereotypes and events that take place in our childhood and during the time of puberty. Milestone events such as a first kiss, childhood games, and peer pressure will help tell the story of how we cross the threshold from being children to adults and how they differ between the male experience and the female experience.
Natalie Deryn Johnson
Keshet Dance Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico 2019
Dixon Place, New York, NY 2019
Support for Riding Red generously given by:
Keshet Makers Space Experience, February 2019