The Basement, Auckland

20/02/2013 - 24/02/2013

Auckland Fringe 2013

Production Details

Salted Singlet presents
Choreographed by Oliver Connew

After a ripper, award-winning season (Best in Dance, NZ Fringe Festival 2012) in Wellington at BATS Theatre in early 2012, Salted:Singlet brings An Unfortunate Willingness to Agree north for Auckland audiences during the Auckland Fringe Festival 2013 at the Basement Theatre, 20 – 24 February 2013.

An Unfortunate Willingness to Agree was originally created against a backdrop of global disquiet such as Occupy, Tea Party, the Arab Spring, austerity riots and the Euro crisis. Through use of a live Skype call to a distantly situated family member, a live television news feed, masses of newspaper and a movement vocabulary that swings between aggressive and confrontational to tender and affectionate, the three dancers explore this current global political landscape in relation to their own personal experience as well as their young generation’s experience.

It would be a bold move to want to rework a show that has been described as a ‘flawless show of style and substance’. But that is exactly what choreographer, Oliver Connew, will do along with his fellow performers and collaborators, Gareth Okan and Zahra Killeen-Chance. The Unfortunate team will work over three weeks with Marika Pratley’s original score, which received an Honorary Mention at the NZ Fringe Awards 2012, and a further year’s events and experience to draw from to rework a show that will be totally current and contemporary.

‘This is politically-charged, yet deeply personal dance’, says Choreographer Oliver Connew. ‘Committed performances will leave the audience with strong images and ideas to think about.’ Ultimately, this work speaks of the dissatisfaction of a young generation and its desire for something much more human and honest.

To stay up to date with An Unfortunate Willingness to Agree and receive insights into the rehearsal process, join the Facebook page ( or visit
Auckland Fringe runs from 15 February to 10 March 2013. 

AN UNFORTUNATE WILLINGNESS TO AGREE plays 20 – 24 February 2013, 5:30pm

Duration: 45min Location: Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Avenue,

Tickets: $18/$15/$12 Bookings: iTicket – 0508 iTicket or
For more information contact: Oliver Connew 


Dance in Week 1, Auckland Fringe Festival

Review by Raewyn Whyte 22nd Feb 2013

The opening week of this year’s Auckland Fringe offers two well-considered contemporary dance works focusing on personal issues which nevertheless have broad relevance no matter what age or ethnicity the audience member might be.

The nature of friendship is also at the heart of Salted Singlet’s hour-long work An Unfortunate Willingness to Agree, set against a backdrop of the everyday complicity which lets us suspend our connections to matters of earth-shattering significance on a world scale, and our choices to let sleeping dogs lie when it comes to our closest relationships.

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A desire for something much more human and honest

Review by Jenny Stevenson 21st Feb 2013

How refreshing to see the work of an emerging choreographer, fresh out of dance school, make the leap across the yawning chasm of the landscape of “self” that has pre-occupied a whole generation of young choreographers before him. 

Instead, the director/choreographer of An Unfortunate Willingness to Agree, Oliver Connew, has taken his own personal experience of the global dispersing of his family unit and has deftly woven it into the political milieu of the times – traversing the graphic images that have accompanied the Arab Spring uprisings, the moral stance taken by the Occupy movement, the subversive protest of Pussy Riot and the corrosive politics of extreme conservatism. 

He and his two collaborators, dancers Zara Killeen-Chance and Gareth Okan use their highly-trained bodies not to present a bravura display of dance, but as a conduit for energy and its transmission between themselves – through a spare vocabulary of movement.  Connew sets out to call into question society’s passive acquiescence and the all-embracing world of technology that can let people stand back and not get involved in, what should by rights, deeply affect them.

Set against the background of a live Al Jazeera broadcast replete with talking heads and destruction in equal measure, the dancers begin as automatons – emerging from the audience and gravitating in stiff-gaited steps, towards technology – represented by the television – techno-energy informing their every movement.

The dance progresses through an orgy of newspaper-induced frenzy before Connew makes a live-Skype connection in a place of dimmed-down lighting and no movement.  Instead the audience unwittingly conspires in super-imposing the chirpy and disembodied voices emitting from the halting Skype conversation onto the flickering images of the people on the television screen – who are earnestly discussing the controversies of the day.

The two male dancers perform, connected by an umbilical cord of computer wire – that would appear to enable them to transmit energy “down the line” towards each other.  Gradually the work reaches a point of resolution, as Killeen-Chance and Okan embrace in a clinch and perform a slo-mo dance of connection until the television is finally turned off.

The music of Marika Pratley and the lighting design of Amber Molloy are effective elements in this brief sojourn into what Connew describes as “a young person’s perspective” and a “desire for something much more human and honest”.


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