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Dance Wellington 2013
Lung Tree
Director/Conceiver Lyne Pringle

at Carrara Park, Newtown, Wellington
24 Nov 2013
[2 hours within 8 hour ritual]

Reviewed by Jillian Davey, 25 Nov 2013

It's not every day you attend a  21st birthday party for trees, but Lung Tree, in Carrara Park was just that;  a celebration of the twenty-first year of the park's existence, and also a celebration of the community around it.

Rather than a gala or a street fair, as most communities honour their special days, Lyne Pringle of Bipeds Productions has opted for a performance of dance, music, parkour, and circus.

Lyne, with the help of seasoned dance company Java Dance, newly formed Muted Crane Productions, jazz band and local favourite The Troubles, Wellington Parkour, and Wellington Youth Circus, has put on a programme of contemplation and celebration.

Wellington put on its finest weather for this.  It began with a ritual dance by 9 women of various (older) ages; a sun-salute-type phrase around the park's perimeter of trees, after which 4 local, professional dancers took centre “stage”.  There was a story to be made from their elaborate costumes, processional movement, and the quintet with a woman in white who emerged from a hospital bed, but it was ambiguous enough that I felt the audience was free to make of it what they wanted.  With audience members ranging from the very young to the very old I'm sure there was a wide variety of story in the collective imagination.

There was no mistaking though, the call to “party!” after this meditative yet energy-driven dance.  Members of Wellington Parkour leaped and rolled into the space, local children swarmed around waving large gauze flags, Wellington Youth Circus and professional aerialist Pipi Ayesha Evans played on rope and tissu, and The Troubles picked up a jazzy beat.  The audience was invited to join the conga line.

As with any good party, there was cake (!) offered to all the guests and participants.  You can't get much better than that on a sunny Wellington day.

Lyne Pringle has lived beside Carrara Park for 22 years.  It was historically an industrial area (home to a factory where Carrara ornamental handcrafted plaster ceilings and cornices were produced), and over the past 21 years it has transformed into the wide green space it is today.  It's obviously of importance to the community, as green space is to all urban and suburban areas, and was great to see creativity put into the celebration.

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