Bustin'Out - Hagley Dance Company

Hagley Open Stage, Christchurch

09/12/2011 - 10/12/2011

Production Details



90 mins

A passion for dance seen in 14 short works

Review by Julia Harvie 10th Dec 2011

Bustin’ Out is Hagley Dance Company’s epic program of 14 short works for their 2011 Graduation show. There are only 8 dancers in this small ensemble so they had their work cut out for them!

It is important to acknowledge that this has been the first year the company has managed without Sheryl Robinson at the helm. Sheryl passed away last year but it is clear that the company is a lasting tribute to the hard work and passion Sheryl had for contemporary dance and this passion lives on in Candice Egan’s new directorship.

For most of these young dancers it is their first experience of contemporary dance training. It is a full-time course in preparation for the intense tertiary training offered at the likes of UNITEC and New Zealand School of Dance. All of them tell us of their passion for dance in their video bios between the live works and they gave their all in their graduation performance.

The works are presented across a diverse range of forms, choreographed by both students, tutors and local professional choreographers. This is a reflection of the full and rich syllabus these students have been exposed to during the year, including improvisation, spoken word, ballet, Karate, acrobatics,theatre and film.

A number of the choreographers are graduates of the Hagley program, namely, Paul Young, Erica Viedma, Danielle Millar and Amy-Leigh Broadstock. Of particular note was Danielle Millar’s work. This was her first public outing as a choreographer. Her material was clever and delicately put together with one of the more polished performances of the evening. Viedma offered both the audience and the performers a gentle and playful introduction to the evening. She placed all the performers amidst the audience as we arrived. As the lights come up on the stage, the dancers seem to ‘catch the movement bug’ and propelled themselves into the space. Amy-Leigh presented a tribute to Sheryl Robinson’s choreographic style and Paul Young’s work closed the evening with a witty and sophisticated movement exploration, Seems Like Team Spirit. The audience were cheering and clapping before the work had even ended.

The student works were all in one way or another autobiographical and reflected their influences from other dance and performance genres. Tutors, A passion for dance once again deliver their unique styles. De Thier’s ongoing exploration with object was played out with elastics attached to the dancers and Platt offered a beautifully subtle and mature exploration of snow. It was very refreshing to see this more inward work in the program whereby we are presented with a less showy type of virtuosity. Sara Anderson’s balletic duet was performed delightfully by Jaine Weatherspoon and Kieran Growcott.

The traditions of the company have always been to give the students exposure to professional practitioners and alumni and to get to make and perform their own work. I believe these traditions are sure to hold them in good stead for their futures in the dance industry. Congratulations Hagley Dance Company, I look forward to seeing where you all end up!


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