On the Couch with Debra Iris Batton

Debra Iris Batton AAR On the CouchWho is Debra Iris Batton?
I am a body-based performer/maker. I am most often a circus performer, an acrobat, an aerialist, an aspiring clown perhaps. I am also an improviser, a devisor, a producer (sometimes) and a care worker. I am in my 60s.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
Nothing, this is who I am and what I need to do.

Who inspires you and why?
‘Acrobat’ – Albury based Australian company, the most innovative and exciting circus company in the world. My colleagues especially Spenser Inwood, Sharon Gruenert, Nicci Wilks and Alexandra Harrison. Also Laurie Anderson, Patti Smith, Marcia Langdon Rosi Braidotti, Donna Harraway, Greta Thunberg and Penny Wong.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Reduce the political dependency on corporate donations and their lobbyists. I think this would allow the people to become more empowered to partake in socio-political discussion that is about the a better society for the majority not just the wealthy.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Wilderness walking.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I would take them to see Circus Oz as it is wonderful encapsulation of Australian culture elevating our idiosyncrasies with humility, humour and physical prowess.

What are you currently reading?
Posthuman Feminism – Rosi Braidotti, The Wolves of Eternity – Karl Ove Knausgaard and Communion by Bell Hooks.

What are you currently listening to?
Mostly podcasts including The Minefield, The Philosophers Zone, ABC Radio National Between The Covers and Arts and Ideas.

Happiness is?
Being with my son and seeing him thrive. Being in a creative process in relationship with diverse artists.

What does the future hold for you?
A continuing commitment to my arts practice in a precarious environment with protestation regarding the destruction of the planet, resistance toward advanced capitalism, support for the decolonisation of Australia and recognition of our Indigenous people, until I die.

Debra stars in Circus Oz’s new show, Smash It! – which will be presented in the Fairfax Studio – Arts Centre Melbourne, as part of the 2024 Melbourne International Comedy Festival: 28 March – 21 April. For more information, visit: www.circusoz.com for details.

Image: Debra Iris Batton (supplied)