Duets Showcase

TAPAC Theatre, Western Springs, Auckland

03/10/2009 - 03/10/2009

Tempo Dance Festival 2009

Production Details

Get your gladrags on and your dancing shoes at the ready, Duets are pirouetting towards us!

Duets will showcase performances from a range of leading dancers including two separate duets from the prestigious Royal NZ Ballet Company.  Duets also feature salsa experts Vivio & Greydis, TMC Dance Crew, TVNZ’s ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Jonny Williams & Kristy Boyd and many more.

Duets celebrates partner dancing and duets by beautifully, humorously and dramatically exploring the space and relationship between two bodies through ballet, salsa, ballroom, tap, hip hop, flamenco, ceroc and more.
Without a doubt, Waltz is the most famous and most beautiful dance in the world. In the Waltz, couples float across the floor as though weightless. With this dance you’ll see the true art of two people moving as one.  www.jonnywilliams.co.nz

Scat is an excerpt from a previously performed full-length show, Cafe Pasion.  Visit www.dancepro.co.nz for more information about Dancepro Studios and the classes they offer.

Feet With Heat is an excerpt from of a larger work prepared for a Two Man Crew performance in Dance Your Socks off (Wellington Dance Festival).  www.tmccrew.co.nz

"Twenty-something ex-RNZB dancer Andrew Simmons reveals a growing choreographic stature with his duet Through to You. The piece has a soft and delicate mood, reflecting the music…  Tracy Grant Lord’s design sets the dancers in metallic green as glistening forest fronds. Each dancer follows their own intricate pathway, building to intense unity." – from NZ Listener

LQQD: This particular salsa performance is a fusion of different Latin rhythms and tells the story of Vivio and Greydis’ arrival in New Zealand from a communist world seven years ago.

Apalaam Chaplaam dance is about going down memory lane where the colourful glitz and glamour of Bollywood dance was still evident in evergreen black and white movies with the songs, dancing and fabulous costumes.

Hot and Cold: Thanks to Ceroc Dance NZ.

Memories is an excerpt from a work being prepared for TMCs Tempo show Under The Influence, which is playing at the Concert Chamber, Auckland Town Hall from 14 – 17 October.  In this piece, the boys re-visit some of their previous work and put a new spin on it.  Thanks to Custom Tees for the t-shirt design. www.tmccrew.co.nz

A Todos Mis Amigos: Son is one of the most important music and dance styles from Cuba and is considered to be the root of salsa. It became popular in the second half of the 19th century in the eastern province of Oriente. Son combines the structure and elements of Spanish guitar with African drums. Visit www.thecubangroove.co.nz for more information.

Sir Kenneth MacMillan is without doubt one of the greatest dance makers of the 20th century and his work has established ballet as one of the most expressive forms of theatre. He is particularly known for his pas de deux/duets, which are unsurpassed in their musicality and choreographic invention.  Concerto is one of MacMillan’s most popular works and is in the repertoire of most of the major companies today. This piece has immediate appeal and has been called one of MacMillan’s happiest inventions, perfectly matching the airy textures of Shostakovich’s score with choreography of classical inventiveness.

Sevillanas is a traditional festive Spanish dance of four verses which evolved in Sevilla, Spain and has Flamenco elements and influences. The traditional choreography for this dance has evolved over time its origins go back at least two centuries.

Sometimes labeled the "Trickstep," Quickstep is great to watch, filled with exciting and fast foot movements, all the while in classic ballroom hold. www.jonnywilliams.co.nz

Saturday 3 Oct
6pm & 8pm – 60 mins
$30 adult / $24 DANZ MBRS & concession
www.tempo.co.nz / tickets@tempo.co.nz / ph: 09 845 0295

For more information visit www.tempo.co.nz 

Choreographer:  Jonny Williams
Performers:  Jonny Williams and Kristie Boyd
Music:  ???
Style:  Ballroom

Choreographer:  Julius Wendt

Performers:  Julius Wendt, Julie Anterrieu, Liz Neath, Eric Luo, John, Quach,and Kseniya Nechayeva
Music:  The Bell Airs - 'Scat that Swing'
Style:  Lindy Hop

Choreographer/performers:  Andrew Cesan and Simon Watts (Two Man Crew)
Style:  Tap

Choreographer:  Andrew Simmons
Performers:  Katie Hurst-Saxton and Brendan Bradshaw
Music:  Arvo Part - 'Spiegel im Spiegel' (Mirror in the Mirror)
Style:  Ballet

Choreographer/Performers:  Isbert Ramos (Vivio), Greydis Montero
Music:  Celia Cruz, Victor Manuel, Juan Luis Guerra and Perez Prado
Style:  Salsa

Choreographer:  Monisha Kumar with Akshata Singh
Performers:  Akshata Sonal Singh and Monisha Kumar
Music:  C Ramchandra - ' Apalam Chaplam'
Film:  Azad (Freedom)
Style:  Bollywood

Choreographer/Performers:  Vanroe Stone & Alanagh Griffin
Music:  Domino - 'Business of Love' and Katy Perry - 'Hot n Cold'
Costume:  Naomi Hall
Style:  Ceroc

Choreographer/performers:  Andrew Cesan and Simon Watts (Two Man Crew)
Music:  Various - Simon's Mix
Style:  Hip Hop

A TODOS MIS AMIGOS (To all my friends)
Choreographers:  Isbert Ramos (Vivio), Greydis Montero
Performers:  Isbert Ramos (Vivio) & Greydis Montero
Music:  Celia Cruz, Victor Manuel, Juan Luis Guerra and Perez Prado
Style:  Salsa

Choreographer:  Sir Kenneth MacMillan
Performers:  Katie Hurst-Saxton and Brendan Bradshaw
Music:  Shostakovich - 'Piano Concerto No.2'

Performers:  Lauren Alvarado-Real, Amira Brock, Vanessa Cathie, Tracey Koole, Sandy Schock, Maryanka van Schaik
Music:  Various Artists - 'Sevillanas'
Style:  Spanish


Choreographer:  Jonny Williams

Performers:  Jonny Williams and Kristie Boyd
Music:  ???
Style:  Ballroom

Performers:  Ensemble
Music:  Matt Monroe - 'Cheek to Cheek'

Whew! Yipee!

Review by Bernadette Rae 05th Oct 2009

If variety is the spice of choice and evenly high standards are not so important, then Tempo 09 is off to a rollicking start.

Duets [at TAPAC the night after Late Nights #1] was an around-the-world-in-60-minutes experience, with a dozen different dances in quickfire succession. So Dancepro Studio’s Lindy Hop Scat tumbled and jived, a bit unevenly, after Jonny Williams’ and Kristie Boyd’s polished quickstep, and were then tapped into oblivion by TMC’s Two Man Crew.

The Royal NZ Ballet’s classically beautiful Katie Hurst-Saxton and Brendon Bradshaw danced to Arvo Part before Isbert Ramos and Greydis Montero hit the Cuban Groove with their copulatory salsa, followed by some high-art Bollywood dancing and Vanroe Stone ripped off Alanagh Griffin’s frock in the ceroc. [More]
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Transported and discovered by diversity

Review by Celine Sumic 05th Oct 2009

Ballroom: Quickstep and Waltz
With spirited panache, Jonny Williams and Kristie Boyd light up the floor with an elegant, lively quickstep, heralding the opening of the TEMPO 2009 Duets Showcase.  Their engaging energy and sparkling footsteps have the audience glowing, with their similarly spectacular costumes contributing a glamorous "wow /if my friends could see me now" factor to the evening.  Later Williams and Boyd return to complement the energy of their opening number with the romantic swoon of the much loved waltz. 

In suave and cheeky style Julius Wendt and dancers announce a shift in rhythm with their Lindy Hop number Scat, to music by the Bell Airs.  An excerpt from their full length show Café Pasion, Scat showcases the dancers’ skill with light-hearted ease, recalling the levity of a past era.  A playful exit of acrobatic push-me-pull-you formations completes the work with a surprising twist.

Tap and Hip Hop

Who needs music when you’ve got movement and style referencing a mix of Gene Kelly charm, Auckland Youth cool and KISS Rock energy?  Welcome to TMC’s percussive eloquence, as Andrew Cesan and Simon Watts confidently tap up a storm with their work Feet With Heat, transitioning easily between antiphonal antics and solidly delivered unison. 

Punctuated by suspended body waves, foot driven drum rolls and their distinctive personal moves, TMC is, in a word, gorgeous.  Their partnering and individual talents are showcased again later in the Duets program with Hip Hop number Memories, an excerpt from their Tempo show Under The Influence playing later this month at the Concert Chamber. 


Two ballet works are included in the Duets Showcase, beautifully delivered by dancers Katie Hurst-Saxton and Brendan Bradshaw.  While the second work has its merits, choreographed by the renowned Sir Kenneth MacMillan, my favourite is the first; titled Through to You and choreographed by ex-RNZB dancer Andrew Simmons.  

Glancing off each other’s bodies with a delicacy and romantic accent that epitomises the magic of the balletic form, Through to You couples a swirling oceanic grace with an alternating exchange of male and female reflections within Simmons’ poetic and lightly played duet structure.  Music box references are filtered through a misty, nature-inspired lens in this sensitively delivered, ambient dialogue.  Degrees of translucence to movement motif and theme are further echoed in the thoughtful costume design by Tracey Grant Lord.


Providing a dynamic contrast to the ethereal remove of the preceding ballet work, Isbert Ramos (Vivio) and Greydis Montero bring an exuberance and earthy sensuality to the TAPAC stage that remind me of exotic flowers in full bloom. 

Ramos’ dignified, sculpted masculinity paired with Montero’s curvaceous and playfully sexy style produce the magnetic duet  A Todos Mis Amigos (To All My Friends).  Danced in the Son form (a music and dance style from Cuba considered to be the root of Salsa), this work combines the structure and flourish of the Spanish guitar with the grounded beat of African drums.

Later in the program, the traditional flavour of A Todos Mis Amigos is juxtaposed with the more contemporary salsa work LQQD, an original work of autobiographical nature choreographed by Ramos and Montero.  Evoking the dancers’ journey to New Zealand 7 years ago, LQQD features a distinctive score that seems to bridge time, space and motion through its unusual mix of musical, marching and machine-like sound. 

Expressive detail and richly ornate costuming contribute to the nostalgic reference within Apalaam Chaplaam, a dance work celebrating classic Bollywood style.  Choreographed and performed by Monisha Kumar and Akshata Singh, a palette of black, white and silver creates a contrast with the warmth of the dancers’ skin, while the movement of hands and arms echo the leafy vine-like patterning of their skirts.  Kumar and Singh’s conscious embodiment of this historical form conveys a joyful sense of freedom and femininity that is captivating.

Dance daredevils Vanroe Stone and Alanagh Griffin combine expressive detail and risky moves in their humorous and impressive ceroc spectacle Hot and Cold.  Opening the work with urban panache to Domino’s Business of Love, this is a couple with personality plus.  Transitioning with a change in music to reveal more leg and less costume, Stone and Griffin’s business-like nonchalance, coupled with their playful and brilliantly juxtaposed moments of counterpoint, make Hot and Cold an eye-catching event and bring new zing to the familiar story of a lover’s tryst.

Painterly and historical, Sevillanas delivers a percussive possession of the stage with its floral explosion of castanets and dotty frills.  Bringing the TEMPO 2009 Duets Showcase to a close, somewhere between Matisse’s Dance of Life and Frida Kahlo’s Senorita Fiesta these ladies appear to have leapt off the canvas and onto the TAPAC stage, leaving me with the somewhat surreal sense of sun-dappled dolls. 

In Conclusion:

The TEMPO 2009 Duets Showcase is a very enjoyable show that celebrates the diversity of local dance culture.  The duet form presents the provocation of considering who we are in relation to the partnering ‘other.’  Food for thought, if not dreams…

So, who am I, I wonder, as the Duet dancers gather on stage for their collective farewell.  As I settle on the new identity of a painterly sun-dappled Matisse-Kahlo collaboration, I encourage you to see this show – you’ll find yourself transported!
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 


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