Te Auaha, Tapere Nui, 65 Dixon Street, Te Aro, Wellington

09/03/2021 - 13/03/2021

NZ Fringe Festival 2021

Production Details

‘Equilibrium’ is a dance show that draws inspiration from the universe and how it maintains balance, how it fluctuates and how it gives when it takes. It will embody these statements, asking, what does it mean to maintain an equilibrium? What does that look like? Do we experience it within ourselves but also in the world around us? Spiritually, physically and universally there is a constant push and pull, fluctuations of a percentage, to ensure a whole. In this show we connect mind, body and soul through movement, dance, light and sound.

My cast and I have been working hard to be able to invite audiences into the art we have created. I hope to spark conversation on the topic of the universe and how it’s natural balance effects, and is involved in, our lives. I have already been working on this project for a couple of months and I am about another month away from completing it. My vision for this show is to create something beautiful and compelling that all people, no matter of age or background, can come and watch. Above all, I hope to entertain my community and provide art for them to enjoy.

Given what the world is going through right now, job opportunities in the dance industry are slim. When we could travel, the work was (most of the time) overseas. With different countries approaching the pandemic in different ways, many performers were forced to come home. ‘Equilibrium’ is not just giving me the chance to choreograph and create art, it’s giving my cast an opportunity to work professionally in their field.

Choreographer: Beth Alexandra Sammons
Dancers: Tayla Hunt, Sophie Martin, Tamsin Howe, Olivia Van Woerkom, Emily McDermott, Piper-Rose Morrison, Mia Alonso-Green,
Lighting: Georgia Kellett

Commercial dance , Dance ,

40 mins

Opportunity lost?

Review by Lyne Pringle 11th Mar 2021

Equilibrium, choreographed by Beth Alexandra Sammons, is presented by a large enthusiastic cast at Te Auaha. The work posits an investigation of the universe and the forces that move it in and out of an equalized state. Lofty aspirations for a dance work.

Curiously, for a theme of flux and change, the piece is trapped within a limited movement vocabulary tethered to derivative interpretations of, largely, pounding techno-based music. The dancers are clone-like in identical outfits, identical makeup and expressions, making it hard to connect with them on an emotional or personal level. 

Solos and duets reveal the considerable movement capabilities of the cast. There are quiet moments where faces are turned to the light with a sense of a questing and searching. The use of light in the work is dynamic but eventually the incessant strobe and isolated overhead spots start to irk.

The commitment of the cast is admirable. With great stamina they work themselves into a flurry, as their bodies move through a relentless series of short works.

One surprising moment emerges when a young woman with guitar and superb voice takes the stage. The relief from the canned music is refreshing.

Equilibrium is an opportunity for an investigation outside of ‘known’ territory – the universe after all, is a great mystery; where might the mystery lie for these dance practitioners in their search for choreography? What movements lie outside of the ‘steps’ and choreographic structures they already know? Order and chaos are the fluctuations around equilibrium. Where is the ‘chaos’ in this work? Where do the individuals truly break out of their habitual framework and perceptions of how the body should move and how dance should be presented? 

What happens if, perhaps, there is no music and dancers move silently, rather than – lights up, loud music, dance to the music, music and dance finish together, black out, applause, then repeat?

Perhaps they could take a look at the work next door in Tapa Nui, Soliloquy in Sweat, which questions the toil that these dancers are pursuing. Other sources of inspiration could be found in the work of Claire O’Neil of Fidget Company, or Crystal Pite, or Michael Keegan Dolan. There are a plethora of dance artists who constantly tease at the known edges of contemporary movement. There is no reason these ideas could not be co-opted into the realms of ‘commercial dance’.  Find the telescope to look out into the vast universe of dance expression.


Maria Lukac March 24th, 2021

No, actually I was not there on opening night.  I knew no one around me either.  People that presume like you are a real turn off for me.

Leider Swann March 22nd, 2021

Let me guess – the show you saw was on opening night and the audience was full of hyper-supportive friends of the show-makers, of which you are one? Such partisan audiences, sometimes bordering on hysterical, are a real turn-off for me, which is why I now avoid opening nights.

Maria Lukac March 20th, 2021

Ms Lyme Pringle was most certainly not part of the audience when I was! What a lost opportunity she had when she closed off her mind and her judgment of this emotive piece of work! Everyone around me in my seat was screaming affirmation and delight of this unique and emotionally vulnerable piece depicting the choreographers grandfathers death! If only she had looked past the nose on her face! The amazingly loud and raising support from the audience shows they were more in tune with the creators intention than the reviewer. I guess the fact that this team continues to get booked after the show speaks more than this review! Mmmmm what a missed opportunity for this reviewer!

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