En Route - COME TO
01/09/2012 - 02/09/2012
COME TO will warm your weary winter hearts and fill them with the hope and ambition of new beginnings. Bringing to life the talents of some of New Zealand’s emerging Pacific Islands contemporary dance artists, COME TO presents a refreshing programme that celebrates our diverse Pacific heritage on September 1st & 2nd.
Following the successful first two steps in this three-part journey, GO TO (June 2012) and IN TO (July 2012); COME TO looks at concepts of new life, unfurling and awakening in a Pacific age. The Fale Pasifika at The University of Auckland provides the perfect venue for this exciting show, enhancing its unique Pacific architecture and broadening perceptions of traditional performance venues.
The En Route series, presented by The Producing Project investigates life in reverse, from finality to birth. Each of the seasons in the series presents short dance works from emerging New Zealand choreographers exploring the relationship between the theme of the season and the venue. COME TO as part of this series will showcase the extraordinary dancing of some of New Zealand’s most talented contemporary and Pacific dance artists.
COME TO features works by Kelly Nash, Tupua Tigafua, Georgia Giesen, Teuila Hughes with drummer Amo Ieriko, Tepaeru-Ariki Lulu French, Jeremiah Faitala, Matt Moore and Nita Latu.
Sefa Enari, COME TO consultant, director of Pacific Dance New Zealand and the former convener of the Pacific Music and Dance programme at the University, says:
“During my time at the Fale, students filled the space with traditional Pacific dance and music maintained and transmitted here in Auckland. This project now begins the discussion of what becomes of a space when en route with new voices. Choreography is about internal and external spaces and how one decides to occupy those spaces. The challenge will be how these choreographers respond to a physical construction while maintaining their dance within it.”
After the highly successful Live Series (2011), The Producing Project continues to provide a platform for young producers to hone their skills in a practical environment. The Producing Project is Auckland’s answer to the lack of producers to facilitate dance and theatre in Auckland. Its participants present a series of performances that provide hands on learning for the producing team and an invaluable platform for emerging dance artists to show their work.
The Producing Project is artist run and facilitated by DANZ and Dance Studies at the National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries, The University of Auckland. The Producing Project is Juanita Jelleyman, Tracy Templeton, Bre Gentry, Emma Payne, Diego Torres Sarroi, Jasmine Donald, Karen Ruske, Rosa Provost and Efim Bychkunov.
TAKE THE FINAL STEP IN THE EN ROUTE JOURNEY
COME TO – September 1 & 2, 7pm.
Fale Pasifika, 20 Wynyard Street, Auckland. Tickets waged $15, unwaged $10
Book online at https://www.patronbase.com/_DanceProject/Productions
Exceptionally varied and well-programmed
Review by Anna Bate 02nd Sep 2012
Come to…life concludes the 2012-producing project, En-route. Presented at The University of Auckland’s Pacific Fale, this show and venue provide an apt meeting place for dance artists from diverse sectors of the Auckland community. Come to…life is an exceptionally varied and well-programmed evening that showcases highly skilled emerging and established performers and an intriguing body of new choreographic work.
Fijian/NZ choreographer Teuila Hughes opens Come To with, Petal of the Red Flower. Teuila lies encased in the centre of the Fale, in fetal position, as the audience enters the space and finds a seat ‘in the round’. Accompanied by live drummers Amo Ieriko & Maile Griffin, her body articulately unfurls. The precision of her initial movements, (fluid rippling hands), is replicated faultlessly throughout her body. The image of a serpent like carnivorous flower comes to mind. An amalgamation of influences from Fiji and New Zealand reside clearly, merge seamlessly and are confidently performed.
Matt Moore presents Excitable Cell a solo performance in two parts. Succinct and to the point, I appreciate how he breaks and plays with the expected dance show ‘time’ norms. He performs with ease, his cells are open, receptive and quick witted. His vocabulary is spaciously intricate and I am drawn to his unpredictable, un-formulaic sense of timing.
Tupua Tigafu’s Shel We cleverly extends the performance space beyond the confines of the Fale’s walls. The audiences’ gaze is directed to masculine figures in dark suits sheltering from the (non-existent) rain outside. This seeping of the performance beyond the walls enlivens the space of the Fale and draws attention to the everyday comings and goings of a community site such as this. Tupua, a charismatic performer, enters the circle of the audience and executes a short solo punctuated with gestural motifs of coughing and sneezing. Whilst his back skillfully speaks, a little more attention needs to be paid to the ‘in the round’ audience set up. The other four figures (Christopher Tevita Ofanoa, Aloalo(lii) Tapu, Adam Naughton and Kosta Bogoievski) conclude the work with a comic buoyant sequence inside. Shel We is rich with poetic imagery, derived from the work of Shel Silverstein, and there is a simplicity and thought-fullness in the staging of the choreography that makes it feel very much at home in this site.
Georgia Giesen’s solo Babe performed to Lana Del Ray’s Blue Jeans exhibits this performer’s skill to switch between emotive states at speed and with great accuracy. Her movement flicks between a sensual seductive display and a sense of personal angst. Her live body is accompanied by projected images of herself, clad in lingerie. These projections open the space, drawing attention to its rounded textured edges, and created for me a sense of being in a softly cushioned incubator. I did however struggle a little to make sense of the relationship between the live and the mediatized selves. What was intended with this interplay?
That was in tents, is the puntastic title of Kelly Nash’s new work. A playful choreography performed by a quietly attentive group of five dancers: Georgie Goater, Jessie McCall, Molly McDowell, Lydia Zanetti and Lydia Bittner-Baird. The louder performers in this work are jandals and tents. These objects are animated as the dancers pass through a series of tasks in relation to them. I enjoy this shift in focus from human bodies to the liveliness and personalities of objects. I was excited to see a work that prioritizes and investigates the choreographic potential of other material bodies within the frame of En-route. They were becoming tents. I feel that there is more scope for play and experimentation with this work and that this will easily emerge as the performers become more familiar with their materials.
Pacific Muse Exerpt choreographed by Tepaeru-Ariki Lulu French and performed alongside Naomi Dashwood and Inna Schwagler explores the ‘white construct’ of Cook Island dance. Dressed in contemporary Cook Island dance costumes, the performers vocabulary focuses around the pelvis, as they repetitively swing their hips – a technique termed ‘tamure’. They move in and out of unison and shift their orientation in space frequently giving the audience a 360-degree view of this vocabulary. To be honest I am a little confused as to the angle of this work, but perhaps here I am proclaiming my ignorance. Are Western stereotypes being challenged because of the duration of the work? Through the repetition of the movement we as audience members have the time to shift our initial readings and perception of this gesture? Is it because it is presented without the touristic glam? (Though to my eyes there is some). Is it because it is presented as a work that is ‘work’, and that in this sense, it doesn’t play to the expectant sexualizing Western gaze? I feel a little out of my depth here, it is however undoubtedly a rich, politically relevant and infinitely complex research terrain.
Concluding the 2012 En-Route season was Nita Latu’s work, Ko’ua Eni: Here I am. Performed by a cast of ten this work is autobiographical. Comprised of a fusion of Nita’s movement influences including Tongan Dance, Hip-Hop and contemporary, the work exhibits high-energy solo, group and duet sequences and is a celebration of diversity and community. The performers all have their moments, though I think they generally struggle a little with the close proximity to the audience and the unconventional ‘in the round’ staging’ – I for one saw a lot of bum. You cannot however fault their enthusiasm, commitment and desire to share.
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