De Inst da Data

The New Dowse, Lower Hutt

15/02/2010 - 01/03/2010

NZ Fringe Festival 2010

Production Details

A mixed ability dance piece responding to the use of health information in their lives interpreted and celebrated through dance.

15 Feb 6:30pm (Mon)
22 Feb 6:30pm (Mon)
01 Mar 6:30pm (Mon)

The New Dowse
45 Laings Road, Lower Hutt
Wheelchair access

KOHA (donation)
Duration: 2 hours 

Mondays only

Contagious enjoyment

Review by Jenny Stevenson 16th Feb 2010

There is a proud tradition of mixed ability dance in New Zealand with the bench-mark for excellence being set by Auckland’s Touch Compass Company and much experimentation taking place in other centres.

Although Crew Q-nique and Off The Rails are not a professional company their simple performance at the start of Fringe is a timely reminder of what joy dance can bring to people – both spectators and participants alike.

Led by Creative Designer Maria Merrick, and Creative Facilitator Karen Newton, who are both trained dancers, the group of disabled performers take an elemental theme as their point of departure and improvise to the stirring music of Suzy Hawes and Simon Loveday from the Journey Band.

The technique is classic creative dance in the expressionistic manner: building structures and then dispersing to interact with the other dancers. Loveday’s infectious beats are overlaid by Hawes’ lovely voice, dictating the movement quality of each segment.

Clearly the dancers have gained physical awareness through their training and each participant is able to project their personalities through the varying movement patterns that they employ. Some of the performers have personality-plus, which is slowly revealed as they get into the groove and bounce movements off each other.

Merrick and Newton are whirlwind dancers – constantly threading themselves through the gaps between performers and projecting with wit and exuberance. A powerful moment occurs when an exaggerated engagement of the eyes takes place between couples, with each performer responding in kind. What could be construed as a hostile or intimidating act in another setting, instead delights.

The simple choreographic structure allows for freedom of movement and removes the anxiety of remembering steps for the performers. Instead they respond readily to each other and interpret the easily assimilated atmosphere of each element in turn. Their enjoyment of dance is both unpretentious and contagious.
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