Globe Theatre, 104 London St, Dunedin
20/03/2012 - 20/03/2012
Catch-All explores the relationship between performers and audience. Using live instructions and pre-determined rules the game Monopoly is used to create an entertaining performance which unfurls before the audience, who control the experience, whether intentionally or inadvertently. The show is topped off with a powerful dance exploring how readily a body can communicate, even when habitual movement is restructured.
Prices: Full $15, Concession $10
Tickets: www.dashtickets.co.nz, ph. 0800 327 484, booking fees apply
Notes: Suitable for all ages
Dancers: Ella Robinson, Hannah Rouse, Lisa Wilkinson, Lizzie Hewitt, Anna Noonan and Aliza Yair
Stretching the rules with crowd participation
Review by Hannah Molloy 21st Mar 2012
The Globe Theatre, tucked down a garden path in Dunedin’s City Rise, was the compact venue for the one-night performance of Catch-All, choreographed by Lizzie Hewitt and performed by Scarified Pigeon Dance Theatre. The theatre was jammed with a very supportive audience and there were many more waiting outside, wishing they had been a little earlier as the queues were turned away at the door due to a full house.
Cheery instructions, hand written and stuck to the walls, greeted attendees as they squeezed in, setting the tone for a very informal but clever performance. The signs assured the audience that their written contributions (a body part for Chance cards and a name for the Community Chest) didn’t mean they would have to go on stage – and neither did they… except one woman….
House Rules, danced by Ella Robinson, Hannah Rouse, Lisa Wilkinson and Aliza Yair, was a loose version of the board game Monopoly. Hannah Rouse set the scene with a clownish performance of shaking her die in a dice box and, as the other dancers joined her on stage, they rolled oversize dice and performed a sequence of movement according to the number. There were elements of childhood memories in this dance, as the dancers snuck each other’s stuff, wrestled and blended their movements. Lisa Wilkinson was, as usual, compelling to watch, as was Aliza Yair, with very different motion but equally beautiful.
The unchoreographed responses to the selection of a Chance or Community Chest card were quick and the audience had little trouble interpreting the body part danced and there were several pleased faces as their name was called and the dancer announced, “this one’s for you”. While there were hilarious moments, particularly Ella Robinson’s expressive face – so petulant when she was sent to jail – each aspect of this dance was a touch too long and its meaning seemed to take its time to become apparent.
Lizzie Hewitt’s solo performance in The Chronicles Of was easy to watch, quirky and engaging. Describing fragments of memory, text and sound, Lizzie engaged with audience directly, handing startled people pointe shoes and a boot before asking for them to be returned. She draped herself in aprons and added sunglasses and just the one boot and moved on the stage with a laconic poise and precision as well as humour. Her quirky choreography included eating handfuls of bhuja onstage while reading from a card. Needless to say, she was unintelligible and the audience thoroughly taken with the process, not least when she ate the bits she dropped on the floor – ten second rule anyone?!
The third dance, Fragmentality, was easily the most beautiful. Anna Noonan and Aliza Yair were graceful and methodical. It felt like an experimentation of dance, testing the strength of a ‘choreographic phase’, to see how the body will react and evolve a series of movements with changing parameters. The care and serenity with which Anna Noonan holds her body to form the movements is inspiring and Aliza Yair will be a drawcard for future performances.
These dances were the barest expression of the functionality of dance as a medium but Lizzie’s choreography expresses her self clearly. It’s fun to go to a show where the rules are stretched and the audience is invited to come along for the ride. There’s nothing quite like a bit of slightly off the wall audience participation, as long as it’s the right crowd.
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