Q Theatre, 305 Queen St, Auckland

08/10/2015 - 08/10/2015

TEMPO Dance Festival 2015

Production Details

In the spirit of experimentation and choreographic metamorphosis, Alchemy celebrates emerging tertiary dancers as they learn their craft.

Students from the University of Auckland, Unitec, Manukau Institute of Technology and Fresh Movement present a selection of contemporary dance, hip hop and dance theatre, while Auckland Youth Dance Company revamps an excerpt from Mary Jane O’Reilly’s acclaimed 1996 adaptation of the ballet Giselle (Act 2- What Becomes of the Broken Hearted).    



TOA (The University of Auckland)
Choreographers: Vivian Hosking Aue and Ameteolepala Kirifi
Music: Samoan warrior chant by Samoan Warriors
Trans by Geseffelstein. Ote’a Tapati by Oro Oro. Otea Pueu by Oro Oro Boys. Hate Or Glory by Geseffelstein
Performers: Sophie Catterall, Kimberly Cheng, Amelia Chong, Nathalie Claus, Kendall Jones, Elijah Santo Kennar, Rebecca McCracken, Emily Moffat, Leighton Rangi, Renee Richards, Anna Rogerson, Jerrika Samuel, Chanwyn Southgate, Jessica Thwaites, Sheri-dean Wallace, Erana Wipou-Reneti, Jiatong Zhang
TOA is a Pacific contemporary movement exploration in response to various hierarchical ideologies from the South Pacific Islands.

Compound (Unitec )
Choreographers / Performers: Oliver Carruthers and Jhawan Raika-Morgan
Music: Sound recorded, mixed and edited by Jhawan Raika-Morgan and Oliver Carruthers
Two. Together but apart. The same but different.
This duet was created as part of the Dance Practice assignment 'Solo and Duet presentation.'

Giselle, What Becomes of the Broken Hearted (Auckland Youth Dance Company and guests)
Choreographer: Mary Jane O’Reilly
Music: What Becomes of the Broken Hearted by Jimmy Ruffin. Giselle Act 2 by Adolphe Adam.
Performers: Heidi Chen, Sophie Voss, Melanie Hesseling, Jennifer Mcmanus, Estelle Vermeulen, Laetitia Rigaut, Sophie McIntosh, Sophie Ryan, Meaghan Rowe, Kim Tasker, Corazon Miller, Liz Harvey
Mary Jane O’Reilly revisits her 1996 Giselle Act 2 with a 15 minute excerpt; subtitled ‘What Becomes of the Broken Hearted’.
Where hearts meet daggers in a feisty ballet infused with O’Reilly’s contemporary aesthetic, sense of irony and sharp eye for quixotic detail.

Working Day and Night (Freshmans Dance Crew)
Choreographer: Hadleigh Pouesi and Freshmans Dance Crew
Music: Working Day and Night by Michael Jackson
Performers: Chris Ofanoa, Byron Faaui, Chantelle Huch, Jacob Filipe, Harry Maeva, Simon Turangatau, Soana Aleva, Anastasia Faaui, Keenen Ratahi, Carlo Powell, Ashley Ramos, Hadleigh Pouesi
This piece is an excerpt from our new theatre show "The Station" which had a sold out season in July. Working Day and Night tackles an angle of cultural identity and issues that arise when cultures collide.

Entrenched (Unitec )
Choreographers: Cushla Roughan and Lydia Connolly-Hiatt
Music: Water Me by FKA Twigs, The Children by Yeasayer, Time Warp by Ooah / The Glitch Mob, Don’t Come Close by Yeasayer Performers: Elle Farrar, Omea Geary, Cushla Roughan and the Unitec third year dancers

We adjust, we curve, we wait
No hiding
No air
No care
Standing simple in detail yet headless among smoke

Re(encoded)construct (Unitec )
Choreographer: Bella Wilson
Music:  Music for Dance #2, and Music for Dance #3 Composed by Flo Wilson
Performers: Georgia Beechey-Gradwell, Terry Morrison, Jan Rivera, Rosie Tapsell, Kura William, Bella Wilson, Jazmin Yahel

What happens when we follow the rules? What happens when we break them? How do we find solace in a world filled with paradoxes and inequality? What do we do when our current modes of thinking lead to imperfect solutions? When the structures start to fall down around you, what will you do?

Excerpt from Tauwhirowhiro - A Changing Moon MIT Faculty of Creative Arts
Choreographers and Performers: Ezra Williams and Tia Sagapolutele
Music: Voice Over Letter by Cat Ruka
An excerpt from our full length show Tauwhirowhiro - A Changing Moon made in collaboration with our classmates in June this year.

A-K-V (Akavaine-nunui) (The University of Auckland )
Choreographer: Alexander Upokokeu-Henry in collaboration with the dancers
Music: Otea Tiruvi by Nonosina, Aquecimento das by Bonde Das Maravilhas, Efeito Domino by Bonde Das Maravilhas. Music edited by Vivian Hosking Aue and Joshua Faleatua Performers: Keretina Hakaraia, Keyana Fuiava, Maria Lealiiee, Renee Wiki, Gemma-Jayde Naidoo, Leticia Fortes, Madi Sutherland

A - K - V (Akavaine-Nunui) is an exploration of identity and gender within the context of the Cook Island community. Through traditional and contemporary dance and ideas we deconstruct cultural movement languages to create new meanings. These young women are searching for their strong collective voice as ‘Vaine Toa’.

Pasifika contemporary dance , Contemporary dance , ,

75 mins

Absorbing from beginning to end

Review by Jess Probert 09th Oct 2015

The name of this show, ‘Alchemy’, is very apt. This energetic, well-polished, and almost magical collection of pieces created something unexpected and hugely engaging. Very invested in exploring identity, roles, norms, and culture, these emerging tertiary choreographers have  created a show that is unfalteringly energetic and absorbing.

Trying to identify a stand out in this show is exceedingly difficult, I am so absorbed in everything from beginning to end.

The show begins very strongly, with a piece called ‘TOA’ from the University of Auckland. The energy and focus of the dancers, combined with the effective use of props and very strong choreography from Vivian Hosking Aue and Ameteolepala Kirifi makes for a very strong opening. The integration of contemporary technique and Pacific dance makes  for interesting and unique movement.

Next,  an expressive duet from two Unitec students. This duet has some beautiful and fleeting moments of contact with some unexpected and well timed bursts of energy.

Mary Jane O’Reilly’s 15-minute excerpt from her 1996 ballet Giselle Act 2, subtitled ‘What Becomes of the Broken Hearted’, has beautiful costuming and the whole piece is beautiful, with some aspects that there are almost sinister.

‘Working Day and Night’ performed by Freshmans Dance Crew has a whole lot of energy, a great narrative and the enjoyment of the dancers is clear. I sit watching this piece with a smile on my face, as does the rest of the audience.

Choreographer Bella Wilson’s ‘Re(encoded)construct’ evokes a strong sense of wanting to push the boundaries of rules and norms, with the very clever use of a torch to enhance this. The fluid and expressive movement performed in the floor solo in the middle of the piece is something I wish I could have on replay, I could continue to watch that section of movement for a long time. This piece really gives you a sense of the pressure in conforming to society’s rules, with a dancer being physically pushed down in one section of the piece.

A moving piece of storytelling arrives next, with the words of a letter to a mother from two daughters coming alive through both a voiceover and a duet. This piece is emotional, and the anger and frustration being communicated at times is almost tangible.

‘Entrenched’, from Unitec, is an unsettling and clever piece. Scarves cover the faces of all but three dancers, and all are wearing trench coats. The scarf-covered dancers are very disconcerting, and the confusion and panic experienced by the three uncovered dancers is very effectively communicated to the audience.

‘Alchemy’ is rounded off with ‘A-K-V’, performed with energy and a very strong presence from seven first year Dance Studies students from the University of Auckland. Identity and gender is explored very skilfully in this piece. The traditional Pacific costumes at the beginning of the piece are later removed, and at times we are unable to see the faces of the dancers, which is a well-executed decision in terms of the exploration of identity and discovering who you are in a specific context. Strong use of voice, the integration of hip hop, Pacific dance, and contemporary is performed in this piece with energy, and leaves the audience eager for more.

‘Alchemy’ is a wonderful display of the skill of New Zealand’s tertiary dancers and choreographers, and the exploration of identity, culture, and origin is strong and definitely something to be proud of. 


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