‘Michael Smith’s It’s Called Achilles was a bizarre look at the notion of ‘camp’. It began with Smith rushing around the theatre, weaving in and out of the audience, panting noisily. The work culminated oddly with Smith leaping out of a window at the very rear of the theatre’s old stage, which is rarely used.’ - Trevor Keeling, Artshub

Performance History: 
Dancenorth’s ‘Tomorrow Makers 4’ 2021 season.  MELT: Festival of Queer Arts and Culture, Brisbane Powerhouse.

Choreographer / Performer:
Michael Smith

Performer / Sound Composition:
Felix Sampson

Costume Design:
Andrew Treloar

Ashleigh Musk and Amber Haines

A relentless undressing, a damsel unleashed and a frivolous body. This is Camp as autobiography.

In the name of all that is Camp, It’s Called Achilles puts the body on show, draped and adorned with exaggerations, frivolities and the dramatic. This is not Camp as performance, but Being-as-playing-a-role, where the performer attempts to locate a self-proclaimed truth within the morphic notions of “Camp”.

It’s Called Achilles is a solo contemporary dance work, performed by Michael Smith with live accompaniment from composer Felix Sampson. This work is one prolonged and very necessary undressing, where the idea of ‘reveal’ takes an honest turn as Smith relentlessly morphs Camp archetypes with depictions of self. This work is ultimately a celebration, a sequestering of traditional ideals in liberation of Queerness, particularly in regional spaces.

It’s Called Achilles was originally Commissioned by Dancenorth in 2021, under the TOMORROW MAKERS program, supported by the Ian Potter Foundation.