Porcelain Delaney

Parade of the Disregarded | Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast

Picture by Dean Farmer Photography

I’m a disabled theatre maker with a background in dance, circus and cabaret. My intervention is a short dance theatre piece inspired by ‘Parade’ a proto-dadaist ballet. I love how Parade was a parody without sacrificing any form of quality. The set and costume design was made by Pablo Picasso assisted by the Italian futurist Giacomo Balla creating something unique and very visually striking. The Parade was first performed by the Ballet Russes in 1917 and was one of the first ballets to include aspects of popular culture that had previously been considered too 'low brow' for the 'elite' world of ballet. I believe art should be for everyone and I hate this idea of designated low and high culture forms. My intervention plays on this.

My costume is inspired by the alien Dada from Ultraman – the Japanese Tokusatsu 1960s drama. I love the unusual aesthetic; the black and white patterns. Within my intervention I’ve utilised those ideas to highlight the 'black and white' or 'one size fits all' approach we've seen from the government throughout the pandemic, with no consideration for those of us with differing needs who live in the grey or don't fit into the simple boxes they think all of society belongs in. The alien race Dada weren’t given names. They were classified by their class and identification number. Again this feels very similar to recent experiences that I am exploring within Parade of the Disregarded.

My extravagant styling also shares a nod to the Vaudevillian excess of the Cabaret Voltaire, which first kick-started the Dada movement in 1916.

Porcelain's cabaret acts have headlined all over the world at shows in Paris, Dubai, Switzerland and others. Her credits in the UK include The Circus of Horrors and Rigoletto. She is a 2021 Fellow with DaDa – an innovative arts organisation based in Liverpool and is currently being supported by the Arts Council to develop a solo show ‘Breeding Machine’, a comedy play about life with chronic gynaecological disease and the inequality's in healthcare this exposes.

Twitter: @PorcelainDel


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