Antipodes Creature

NASDA Theatre, E Block, CPIT, Christchurch

04/10/2013 - 06/10/2013

The Body Festival 2013

Production Details

Unchartered dance from Fleur de Thier and Julia Mckerrow.

Antipodes Creature explores the antiquated notions of ‘the people under our feet, against our feet and on the opposite side of the earth.’ This distinct dance work encounters antipodal physical states, people and landscapes and navigates the connecting line running between them.

De Thier and Mckerrow interlace the physicality and rhythms of their latest movement influences to create a rare dance work, which underscores their unique vocabularies and highlights the versatility of these dancers to embody and share the stirring world of Antipodes Creature.


The Body Festival:
Venue NASDA Theatre at CPITE Block, Madras St 
Date/Time Fri 4th – Sun 6th October at 8.00pm 
Duration 60 mins 
Cost $20/$15 concession from Dash Tickets, or phone 0800 327 484 booking fees apply


Dancers: Madeleine Krenek, Sarah Elsworth and Julia Mckerrow.


When Opposites Collide

Review by Toby Behan 05th Oct 2013

Christchurch has been treated (over the last decade) with a sequence of quality contemporary dance shows, and Fleur de Thier and Julia McKerrow,  co-choreographers of Antipodes Creature, have been key players in the presentation of these. Antipodes Creature references two of these works. Back in 2006 we first saw Moth (a startlingly fresh new work by McKerrow). Presented in an atmospheric basement space, Moth showed a fresh new vocabulary – angular, lightning fast movement and dynamic interplay of light and dark – beautifully realized. In 2012 Red String Duet premiered (initially alongside Julia Milsom’s excellent work, Minutes of Silence). With a more sedate and fluid movement vocabulary, this work combined wonderful construction (particularly of the duet and trio form), working with a striking visual element of multiple threads of red string. This new work takes the movement vocabulary and imagery from both works and combines them into a new performance.

‘Antipodes’ refers to things that are diametrically opposed, and whilst the two choreographic styles of McKerrow and de Thier are not complete polar opposites, they are nevertheless very different which makes for an intriguing prospect. The concept of opposition is clearly on display throughout the work: feet are placed either side of a dancer’s head, red string gradually extends from one side of the room to the other, stage placement and (the rather excellent) lighting are asymmetrical and strongly contrasted. There is a pleasing coherence to this.

The dancing is of an excellent quality. McKerrow moves with professional and focused precision, Madeleine Krenek is a towering and forceful stage presence with much grace and poise, and Sarah Elsworth is clean and fluid, with much potential. The unison passages are well drilled and the opening and closing diagonal sequences in particular were masterful. This is high quality technique and Christchurch can rightly be proud to have these choreographers and dancers working here.

The construction of the new show is, however, not fully realized. This way well be the point of the exercise – and we would welcome a further development of this concept. Both Moth and Red String Duet were fascinating pieces in their own right – each of which could individually be reworked and extended. So how do the two works structurally sit alongside each other?

Initially, there is a clear sense of the placement of each choreographic style and placement of this within the new ‘whole’ that is Antipodes Creature – but it does not move beyond that very far as the evening progresses. There is not yet a compelling reason why these two works should be twined together in a single performance (beside the fact that each work is individually of such an excellent quality). The concept of synergy, whereas the whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts, has not yet happened. But we certainly look forward to seeing this come to pass – such is the formidable work ethic and dedication to their craft that these choreographers possess.

Antipodes Creature is a very worthy evening of high-quality contemporary dance. Particularly for anyone not familiar with the source material of Moth or Red String Duet, there is huge reward in viewing and enjoying the talent on display – and we thank the Body Festival for continuing to provide us with offerings such as these.  


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