Te Auaha, Tapere Iti, 65 Dixon St, Wellington

10/07/2019 - 14/07/2019

Production Details

  • General Admission: $48.10 ($44.00 + $4.10 fees)
  • Group Discount: $36.83 ($33.00 + $3.83 fees)
  • Under 25s: $28.62 ($25.00 + $3.62 fees)
  • Earlybird: $33.00
  • Eventfinda tickets no longer on sale


Family , Dance-theatre , Dance ,

1 hour

More, please

Review by Greer Robertson 14th Jul 2019

Like chocolate? Who doesn’t? But why?

Is it the salivating thought of naughty, sinful, yet soulful pleasure before the anticipated dreamy devour?

Is it the velvety promise of gorgeousness as it blissfully tantalizes your taste buds?

Is it the euphoric high that you encounter when consuming too much?

Or is it just because you owe it to yourself to have a treat?

Whatever the reason for liking chocolate, Java Dance Company amplifies such deliciousness in a way that one doesn’t normally witness, in an intimate street like theatre-in-the-round, with audience participation indoors.

Back from an international whirlwind tour of success, this uniquely styled contemporary company founded in 2003, features three dancers and two musicians as they overtly intertwine their skill set. One minute a musician is moving, next minute a dancer is playing an instrument, next minute they are all making chanting noises.

Artistic Director Sacha Copland, recent recipient of the Creative New Zealand Choreographic Fellowship for 2019, crafts a pleasurable visceral experience as culinary investigation into culture by way of The Artisan Series.  Chocolate is the latest in this series having already presented bread “Rise,” wine “The Wine Project,” and cheese “The Creamery.”

From the onset, the multi- generational audience of mainly chocolate lovers as opposed to dance fanatics, is guided into a world of promise that delivers on a certain level but is left wanting on another. The senses of sound, touch, smell and taste are uncovered as seductively the brown god called chocolate is exposed once unwrapped. We are given samples and if you happen to be one of the unsuspecting seated chosen ones, are shrouded in a protective cloak with a divine pouring of liquid chocolate from afar via a long spoon into a gaping and welcoming mouth.   Witty scenes of everyday life unfold. Eventually a dancer succumbs from zombie-like addiction followed by the inevitable Death by Chocolate. This was intellectual cleverness and well-honed humour of the highest order with a very strong visual image.

But, it was over all too soon though, finishing with a frenetic ritualistic tribal style mantra using cacao shells as percussion. Perhaps this should have been nearer the beginning of the unfolding story and the Death be the finale?  It ended all too abruptly.

I got the pleasure, the pain, the committed energy from the performers, the subtle and not- so- subtle layered humour, the glorious joy of creativity. But I wanted more dancing from a dance company. I wanted greater choreographic expansion, exploration and connectivity between the very able bodied and skilled dancers. I didn’t want it to end.

I wanted more. And I wanted more chocolate..……mmmmmm!


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