Ryan Heffington on Róisín Murphy’s Stage Presence

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Ryan is wearing a cotton puff-sleeved shirt by Ashley Williams, diamond-print calf-leather stirrup trousers by Kenzo, and pleated scarf by JW Anderson

“She celebrates acting a fool, and she looks funny, which makes her a badass,” says the LA-based choreographer

“Have you seen her live? Fucking unbelievable. The stage is scattered with costume pieces and she’ll just pile on all these absolutely ridiculous – not sexy, but comedic things. It’s almost like she has this big – I’m just going to say it – padded piece of shit that she puts on her forehead, and it’s so beautiful, and she walks around like she’s the hottest shit in town. She celebrates acting a fool, and she looks funny, which makes her a badass. It’s campy but it’s an authentic camp, the way she holds it as a middle-aged woman. I keep on thinking about it in terms of how unseriously she takes herself. It’s so refreshing in a professional arena to see that someone is just having the best time of their lives. It’s not conceited, she’s simply living in the moment. It was a reminder of how beautiful it can be to let go of pre-conceived ideas.”

Choreographer Ryan Heffington’s work goes beyond dance, beyond movement even, to a physical free verse – a sensibility particularly visible in his remarkably moving dance sequences for Netflix’s blockbuster series, The OA. His intention seems to be to reveal authenticity, the touchingly human that admits to error and failure. Inspired by Róisín Murphy’s playful and spontaneous stage presence at a recent concert in Los Angeles, he’s been tapping into camp in his dance classes, teaching his students that there is more to being sexy than its often two-dimensional portrayal – that you can have fun and still be sexy, and that sexy isn’t for someone else, it’s being free and sexy for yourself.

Hair: Shingo Shibata at The Wall Group for RODIN BY RECINE. Make-up: Laura Stiassni at The Wall Group using SISLEY. Styling assistants: Rebecca Perlmutar, Kat Banas and Sunnie Fraser. Hair assistant: Keisuke Chikamoto.

The Autumn/Winter 2017 issue of AnOther Magazine is on sale now.