15/03/2018 - 18/03/2018
An aerial silks spectacular performance over, around, and in Dunedin’s St Clair Hot Salt Water Pool. Through Maori creation stories of Rangi and Papa, and Rangi’s jealous rival Takaroa, the show will explore elements of earth, air, fire/light, and water. Featuring aerial silks artists, dancers, singers, and more, Elemental promises to be a unique performance event not to be missed!
Ticket price range $25, concession $15
Booking details http://www.dunedinfringe.nz/
Dance , Cirque-aerial-theatre ,
Review by Hannah Molloy 16th Mar 2018
Elemental, by Brophy Aerial Studios, is quintessential Fringe. A story of gods and goddesses, the elements earth, water, air and fire, beautiful movement and choreography, performance styles and skills you don’t usually see in Dunedin theatres and performance spaces during the regular course of the year.
It’s a simple story of obstruction, possession, love, jealousy and heartbreak. Papatuanuku the earth mother (Emma Holloway) surveys her dominion before being distracted by Takaroa (James Burchell) who lures her into his ocean. Sky father Rakinui (Abigail Rose) finds her and they fall in love until Takaroa returns and essentially has a tantrum. Ruamoko (Mariya Seminova), goddess (in this case) of volcanoes, causes havoc to teach the others to behave themselves and, while the distraught lovers can’t be together, the world finds its balance.
With a cast of 17 plus a band (The Unfortunate Repercussions) and a mezzosoprano filling the space in and around the St Clair Hot Salt Water Pool, Elemental is an experience of constant motion, audience included. The work makes full use of the site, with dancers using the walls and barriers as supports, slipping in and out of the water. The aerial work is incredible to watch. Silkie Alliott, Regina Hegemann and Judith Marsman wound and unwound themselves, bodies flipping and stretching through the air, bound by rope and silks against a backdrop of pastel clouds and accompanied by a trio of screaming seagulls. It seemed effortless. The Firebugs flip fire hula, sticks and poi against a backdrop of Duncan’s moody darkening sky. The waves outside the pool seem to roar louder on sympathy with Takaroa’s submission.
With the energy invested by Dunedin’s various venue managers, we regularly welcome world-class shows to the city but I think we often forget the calibre of talent the city has nurtured here.
The beauty of the Fringe Festival is it gives those performers a platform to display their art to a wider audience than they might usually attract. People are more prepared to take risks with their performing arts experience in this too short period of time each year and I think they go away from their Fringe shows, especially ones like Elemental, with a larger world view and less hesitancy about taking a risk with their hard-earned dollars next time.
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