Allen Hall Theatre, University of Otago, Dunedin
08/10/2010 - 09/10/2010
Allen Hall Theatre
University of Otago
October 8th and 9th 2010
Stage lighting: Martyn Roberts
Stage manager: Vickie Cross
Operator: Michael Templeton
Dramaturge: Ana Martino
A treat of 8
Review by Kilda Northcott 09th Oct 2010
The University of Otago Dance Studies Community Dancers proudly present original expressive, modern, ballet and contemporary dances in a delightful evening of 8 works.
The programme begins with as is proper, choreographed by Suzanne Renner ( 2010)
In the cover of darkness, the sound of the dancers’ footsteps, entering the performance space (Daniela Aldabe, Rochelle Brophy, Mathew Grant, Pippa Laverty, Michel Ohmer, Georgia Stewart). In the silence, three couples illuminated in spots of light, stand facing each other, their arms and hands gently and caringly caressing, exploring the connection and delicate nature of the space between their still, quiet, standing figures.
Three times a change of partners, the exchange between each couple slowly unfolding into a simple celebration of each other, symbiotic in nature; refined and medieval, serene, a change in position taking the couples further out into the performance space and before we know it, a circle forms, the circle opening and closing, ebbing and flowing, the dancers connected like a daisy chain, many but one, celebrating their partnership, tender and caring…
[For full credits click on the title communitas, above.]
borrowed: part 1, Hahna Briggs ( 2010 )
This work – co-developed and co-choreographed by Hahna Briggs with co-dancers Bryan Murray, Heather Yates and Jenny Newstead – unfolds and slithers and surprises.
In the half-light, a chair is brought on. A female figure enters, sits on chair and a series of gestures and claps unfolds. A tall male /man /sprite enters running, jumping through the space… He exits. Silence… then music…..
Male /man /sprite enters the space again scurrying, gesticulating, the music busy and buoyant…. Another two females enter… their own clear, gestured, layered movement adding layers to the jigsaw and fragments of entities moving and exploring their own worlds…. each engrossed absorbed and driven until their worlds and fragments of movement phrases align them all literally into a line… one long line… across the front of the performance space…. as darkness falls… in the silence.
slavonic dance, Shona Dunlop MacTavish
A burst of festive colour, skirts and femininity exploding into strong gesture, a folk dance froths and bubbles out of the wings…. The women – Catherine Booysen-Keen, Rochelle Brophy, Pippa Laverty, Michel Ohmer, Suzanne Renner – take their place on diagonal upstage…
BANG: The spirit of joy and celebration exudes… spinning and reaping a celebration of the earth, the air and all that brings life and the repeating cycles, spilling, turning and rejoicing!
borrowed: part 2, Hahna Briggs ( 2010 )
A trio – Heather, Jenny and Bryan – like flames, smoke, smouldering, close… They separate, their individual, movement exploration keeping them focused on their own track…
Hahna enters, Jenny exits; a trio again, coming together to explore… sameness… from standing to floor, to standing, to floor… The fourth dancer enters on bottom, moving sideways: hands, feet, bottom, hands, feet, bottom, hands, feet, bottom… picking up the group who move off the performance space… hands, feet, bottom, hands, feet, bottom, hands, feet, bottom… Backs to us… fading…
hunger, Shona Dunlop MacTavish (1965)
The programme notes tell us Hunger, an iconic Dunedin Dance Theatre dance work, was first created for the children of Biafra. It was recreated in 1975 and 1992 for the children of Somalia and is still relevant today.
The piercing and disturbing sound of a baby crying is unnerving (I couldn’t tell if the sound was a baby crying in the audience or if in fact the cry was recorded). This strong and dramatic dance unfolds strikingly, the dancers – Daniela Aldabe, Rochelle Brophy, Pippa Laverty, Michel Ohmer, Suzanne Renner – full of emotion, tension and tragedy.
The women support, hold, lift, nurture one another. The costume of red dress and black scarf /shawl adding a dramatic layer and visual texture to the work.
balanchinade, Alexandra Kolb (2010)
Balanchinade, a formalist piece, is a work inspired by George Balanchine and true to form Kirstie Allen, Vienna West and April Xu-Holland affirm the spirit and style of Balanchine through Alexandra Kolb’s choreography.
Three strong, spritely but delicate, youthful woman, frolic, play, dart and dance their way through an intricate array of beats, allegro, port de bras and partnering that never stops… The music of Johann Sebastian Bach spirits them on, and along, joyful in spring time….
pastiche, Suzanne Renner ( 2010 )
A short, fun, provocative, quirky, teasing, enticing, flamboyant number ~ different dance genres inspired the movements within this work….rolling hips, a smile…..cheeky… Daniela Aldabe, Rochelle Brophy, Michel Ohmer, Suzanne Renner: I loved watching these women enjoying themselves…
one day in ’44, Alexandra Kolb (2010)
A work of dance theatre set against the dark backdrop of a World War 2 air raid shelter on a tragic day in 1944, danced by Ana Martino, Jessie Murphy, Lilian Pang, Camelle Pink and Chiali Shen.
This work begins with a strong play of shadow figures /images enlarged, larger than life itself, going about their daily business. An air raid alarm sends them all down into the air raid shelter and the hopes, dreams and despairs of each character unfold before us …
The young innocent girl with the golden ball is tragically killed – in an instant life comes and goes, things change, time moves on… This random group of people must move on, out up into the world, back to their shadow world as they stagger back to where they came from…
This work has the beginnings and foundations for more development; a dramatic study with an interesting mix of both classical and modern dance movement.
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