Nadine Barrett (left) and Heather McKerchar amp up their fierceness during rehearsal for their upcoming show “Women of Rock”. The women are members of the Forbidden Fruit performance troupe, which is set to perform at the Craft Corner Kitchen on Nov. 24. Jordyn Thomson/Western News

Penticton performance troupe to honour female rockers

The female performance troupe focuses on empowerment and being “badass women”

An evening of celebrating rock and female empowerment is what’s in store at the upcoming Forbidden Fruit performance troupe’s Women of Rock show at the Craft Corner Kitchen on Nov. 24.

Troupe creator Nadine Barrett first formed the Penticton-based collective with a close friend in 2012 as a creative outlet. It is now comprised of herself, Heather McKerchar and Jessie Harbron.

“When I first started it, I just wanted to have opportunities to dance around the Okanagan and do the sassy dancing that I loved,” said Barrett.

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Barrett said they chose to “advertise (themselves) as a performance and freestyle troupe” because their members have such diverse training in a number of dance styles.

“We are all trained in so many different styles — jazz, hip-hop, heels, contemporary, circus. So we basically can do anything that anyone asks of us,” said Barrett.

Known as the “idea factory” within the group, McKerchar said her creativity and inspiration can often come out of nowhere. Barrett added that all three members collaborate and build their shows together, noting they all work well together and “have a great vibe.”

“Oh my goodness that come to my head, and I’ll have this total idea go off and Nadine is keeping up jotting down notes,” laughed McKerchar. “It can be a song or a concept. One thing that’s very cool about this collective, all of the stories that we tell through our productions, every single one of the shows that we’ve done, has had a great storyline. So we’re not afraid to push the boundaries and speak our mind and we do that through movement a lot.

“It’s really cool. You get three badass women that are gonna push the boundaries and that’s what you can expect coming to any one of our shows. It’s not going to be your typical dance performance.”

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Barrett said they also “pride themselves on being silly” and hope that the audience comes away feeling inspired and empowered by their show. They noted what they “wear is 100 per cent for themselves.”

“Our Craft Corner Kitchen performance is going to be a super interactive show — we’re warning our audience that there’s going to be a splash zone,” said Barrett. “We’re focusing on female empowerment, a lot of our personal stories are going to be incorporated into a storytelling and just honour the females that have helped pave the way for rock and roll.

“We feel rock ‘n’ roll is very fun and rebellious, it has done a lot for empowerment too.”

McKerchar said they always try to have a meaning behind each show they do, noting that the group has wanted to do a show centred around rock for a long time.

“You could just do a bunch of rock songs and have some really hot girls up there strutting their stuff and that would be incredible,” said McKerchar. “But let’s touch on some uncomfortable topics. I love making the audience squirm like ‘Are you feeling uncomfortable? Good.’”

Barrett said they’ve had a lot of really amazing fans express their gratitude for what their group does. The troupe has often been a safe haven for the members, allowing the women to work through their own personal issues throughout performing, making them even stronger as a team.

“It was healing for them, as well, to watch us and that’s everything we’re hoping for when we perform,” said Barrett.

The Forbidden Fruit performance troupe will be performing Women of Rock at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Nov. 24 at the Craft Corner Kitchen. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.

For more information about the group and their upcoming performance, visit

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Jordyn Thomson | Reporter


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