Bodies Entwined

Meteor Theatre, 1 Victoria Street, Hamilton

16/06/2017 - 17/06/2017

Production Details

Choreographers Mike Sorensen and Madison Hughes

Bond Divided, choreographed by Mike Sorensen, takes you into the minds and emotions of a young couple. This hard-hitting piece will guide audiences on a journey through the ups and downs of a relationship while also dealing with their own inner demons.

Reborn, choreographed by Madison Hughes, revolves around the cage of people’s perception and how we are ruled by it. The path to loving yourself is never easy and is a form of freedom we all desire. This piece has been created to touch each audience member in a genuine and unique way. It is wrought through with the insecurities and raw emotions of each dancer on stage.

Bodies Entwined is a mixture of dance styles, with contemporary dance at the core and is performed by a cast of incredibly passionate local dancers. This modern piece can be enjoyed by all and is here to inspire a younger generation of Hamilton performers.

Fri 16 Jun 2017, 7:30pm–8:30pm Sat 17 Jun 2017, 7:30pm–8:30pm 

  • ADULT: $25.00
  • UNWAGED: $20.00
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Contemporary dance , Dance ,

1 hour

Driving music, energetic dance and vitality

Review by Dr Debbie Bright 17th Jun 2017

What a joy to witness a performance by this group of hugely talented Hamilton dancers. From the first dance, skill, passion, dedication and sheer hard work are evident in their commitment to the dance, the choreography and the work of blending a group of disparate but hugely talented and successful individuals into a functioning troop of contemporary dancers. This troop of 10 women and one man demonstrate their versatility and commitment as various dance styles – for instance, hop-hop, jazz, classical ballet, show dance – are briefly show-cased. I enjoy this performance of skilled contemporary dance, but I also relish the snippets and influences of these other styles and the way individuals rise to prominence as their specialty area of dance is highlighted. The sound track is loud and complex – a series of songs in the first piece, and a seamless blending of instrumental music, narrative poetry, and song in the second. The lighting is also a feature in its own right. Massive changes are (often) rapidly achieved in state, colour, mood and movement (including strobe). There are pools of light into which dancers step, or wide spreads, narrow bands, multiple or single lights that seek out individuals or groups of dancers to highlight or contrast. And changes that draw audience eyes to new contrasts… or to themselves.

In keeping with his background in musical theatre and upbeat contemporary dance forms, Mike Sorensen’s Bond Divided features a series of contemporary songs, with driving rhythms and beat, raw lyrics and techno sounds,  faithfully interpreted and mirrored in the dance. I see the commitment and focus of the dancers, and the training, strength and advanced level of skill required to perform the fast-moving, high energy and physically demanding movements. I see the intense focus and concentration of each dancer as she or he strives for excellence and accuracy of movement and dynamic, while seeking to achieve the tight unison demanded by the choreographer. In contrast, I also enjoy the moments when the music and choreography provide brief variations – a dancer lifted to add emphasis in reaching upwards, a series of movements in canon, or pairs of individuals executing simultaneous contrasting sequences. Items of costume are quickly and efficiently added and subtracted, according to the developing themes. The relationship between a man and a woman is portrayed both by two dancers and by the struggles and uncertainties portrayed by the dancers. However, as the man and woman approach and pass each other without touching at the end of the piece, I sense that two people have met and interacted; however, they may or may not have a shared future.

The second half of the programme features Madison Hughes’ Reborn. Immediately I see humans who relate to each other through physical proximity, eye contact with each other, unison movements that emphasise themes of the lyrics or spoken narrative. I see struggle, uncertainty and a determination to fight against the expectations placed on individuals (particularly women) to look and act in a particular way, to be a Barbie look-alike. From the first moment of closely grouped dancers in the centre of the stage, I am drawn into this visually exciting display of contemporary choreographic techniques: variety in groupings, contrasts in movement content and intensity, surprise elements, and the engagement of the dancers with the content, each other and the audience.  The opening sound track is emotionally charged instrumental music mirrored by equally emotionally charged choreography and execution by the dancers. The insertion of poetry and occasional song lyrics provide graphic contrasts that are striking, raw and very moving. I appreciate the symbolism of the ‘cage’ lighting and interpretation of key words and concepts (usually achieved by sudden moments of unison movement). Costumes provide further contrast, ranging from minimal clothing, to highly feminine flowing dresses. I see vulnerability, anger at the cloying and suffocating expectations of society to the point that ‘I Can’t Breathe’; mirrors reflecting  for good or otherwise, the expectations of how we should look physically, how we should view ourselves, and how others might view us (when the light is directed towards us rather than towards these others).  The piece asks many questions… of the dancers, and of us, the audience… the battle continues!

And, through everything, the driving music, energetic dance and vitality… and dancers enjoying their young bodies that can achieve so much… and their perceptions of life and society. I note that the audience members are also almost all young people – friends, relations, colleagues, fellow dancers, school friends, work mates…..

According to your media release: Bodies Entwined is a mixture of dance styles, the core of it being contemporary. It is a modern piece that can be enjoyed by all and is here to inspire a younger generation of Hamilton performers.

I hear audience members and Meteor staff talking about the dance at the interval and following the performance. Mike Sorensen, Madison Hughes and dancers, you should be proud. I believe you have succeeded! Keep up the good work – I look forward to seeing what marvels you achieve in the future. 


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