Friday Hoyden: Bernadina van Tiel

I was watching a repeat of Schools Spectacular 2012 the other day, and folks, this girl. This girl. Her name is Bernadina, she graduated from Murwillumbah High School in northern NSW in 2011, she was eighteen when she performed this, and she is about to blow your socks off.


Bernadina, standing on a car hood, raises a microphone to her mouth and says, ‘Seven layers of sound. Layer one.’ She starts beatboxing, accompanied by a dancer. She marks each new layer by holding up an additional finger. This lasts for almost a minute, ending in Bernadina layering in humming and the word ‘breakdown’. She ends with ‘Ladies and gentlemen, what you heard right now is one hundred per cent vocal [makes a record scratch effect]. Bring it back, one hundred per cent vocal.’ Huge cheers ensue; she sticks her tongue out and an expression of pure joy comes to her face. She then performs Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” jumping off the car and surrounded by dancers. (“Lose Yourself” lyrics here; she performs to the end of the hook.)

Her performance consists of the first three minutes of the video, after which my transcript ends.

Look! A teenager of the lady variety, being one hundred per cent not only vocal, but amazing. I can’t tell you how much of a rush and a relief it was for me to see this performance, not only because that girl is pure talent, but because here was a teenage woman who was performing for the joy of it, without having to be blonde or coyly, prescriptively sexual. I love that she beatboxed and rapped, because that is not just for boys, and because she has enough talent and presence for fifty people. I love the joy on her face and the power bursting out of her fingertips. A hoyden if ever there was one.

Categories: arts & entertainment, Culture, gender & feminism

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