Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland

03/03/2020 - 07/03/2020

Auckland Fringe 2020

Production Details

Faceless Hair Cry is a romantic duet danced solo. A transformation between temporary bodies using images of female biology, fertility, pollination and the act of ritual. Unusually shaped to attract pollinators. A cyclical journey from flora to fauna, to female form, in an artificial setting. Real and fake, nature and the artificial, and illusion versus allusion. Faceless Hair Cry is a redeveloped contemporary dance work created by Sofia McIntyre with compelling soundscape created by Paloma Schneideman.

Following on from the highly successful premiere in Tempo Dance Festival’s Super Moon, Sofia has bought this work back to life for the Auckland Fringe 2020.

Sofia McIntyre is a 2011 graduate of UNITEC’s Performing and Screen Arts degree majoring in Contemporary Dance. She is a regular dancer with Mary-Jane O’Reilly’s neo-burlesque show ‘In Flagrante’, which has seen her perform in the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe and numerous shows both in New Zealand and overseas. Sofia has danced and worked collaboratively with choreographers since leaving UNITEC but this is her first time creating a full length solo show.

  • ate: 3 Mar – 7 Mar
  • Time: 6:30PM
  • Runtime: 45 minutes
  • Venue: Theatre
  • Price: $20 – $27

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  • Lock-out: Please arrive 15 minutes before show start time. Latecomers admitted into the theatre at Basement’s discretion – no refunds will be given.
  • Concession prices available to: Gold Card carriers, Equity members, Students, Community Services Card holders – all with valid ID

Performance installation , Dance , Contemporary dance ,

45 minutes

Body caught in flux

Review by Jesse Quaid 04th Mar 2020

There is a creature waiting in the shadows; part pin-up, part Triffid, occasionally bestial. It emerges feet first from behind a monolithic black box, body trailing, encased in a pale pink stocking with a head shrouded in petals. 

Faceless Haircry appears at first to be an internally driven investigation of mechanics, of what this fantasy-doll-body is capable of. To the sound of Paloma Schneideman’s ambient score Sofia McIntyre slowly writhes and twists. Legs scissor and her torso undulates. Her pelvis opens and pulses towards us, a Venus flytrap in a humanoid form.

Images begin to emerge. There are fleeting moments in which McIntyre achieves a predatory amorality but her energy remains largely internal. In this performance state the slow, steady movement is almost hypnotic. However the calm monotony, combined with a lack of structural focus, prevents the choreography from fully exploring its potentially disturbing territory.

The body ascends the box. Once raised off the floor it gains both focus and power, aided by the growing beat in the music. The edges of the smaller space create borders for the movement to push against and within them the choreography feels more defined.

McIntyre crouches like Gollum and sheds her petals for a hair-wrapped face. Poised on the box top she is a glitching sex-bot. Torso suspended from the edge she is both a harpy and a drowned woman. The abrasive, shadowy lighting, alongside McIntyre’s commitment to the performance, keeps the images from falling into prettiness but it feels as if there are depths of meaning that the movement is skirting.

The piece ends as it began, feet peeking from behind the black box. There is no bow, a decision that keeps the feeling of inhumanity intact, just the enthusiastic applause and slow exodus of the audience. For all that it is billed as a “romantic duet performed solo” Faceless Haircry lacks a sense of driving passion but it is a pleasure to watch such an articulate body, and such a powerful performer.


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An investigative journey of transformative femininity

Review by Nicole Wilkie 04th Mar 2020

Faceless Hair Cry takes the audience on an exploratory journey, investigating the transformative nature of the female form through the imagery of flora, fauna, and pollination. This work is visually engaging immediately and throughout, the audience is so invested in the work that the end is almost a shock to the system.

The piece begins in low, soft lighting, which persists for the duration, creating gorgeous silhouettes and shadows. The solo dancer, Sofia McIntyre, emerges from behind a large, solid black box upstage, feet first. We are treated to this dance of the feet and lower limbs, McIntyre already demonstrating her incredible articulation before we see her whole body on stage. She slides out fully from behind the box, dressed in a full-body flesh coloured suit, her face hidden in pink flowers.

The choreography in this work is clever and judicious. McIntyre makes use of graduated movement and several strong motifs that serve to enforce the feminine symbolism, such as folding and unfolding, rippling through the body, and soft yet precisely articulated hands. The expressiveness of the body is stunning, accentuated by the combination of minimal blue lighting on the flesh colour of her costume. The soloist asserts her strength and training, using deep squats and creating dynamic shapes with the body. She navigates the stage space with a strong presence, although we do not see her face for the entirety of the work, adding an alluring degree of suspense. The covering of the face gives greater emphasis to the body and the imagery being created.

The music composition by Paloma Schneideman is a perfect complement to the movement. It is primordial and ethereal, and at times dark and mysterious. Heavy bass lines stop and start and McIntyre responds accordingly. A moment that highlights this relationship between the music and the action is when McIntyre is on top of the black box, in a laid-back feminine pose, using her dance to converse with us as the music peaks in its darkness, conjuring imagery of female sensuality and fertility.

A memorable feature of the work is when McIntyre stands on top of the box, discarding her flowers, her face still hidden by the roof of the theatre as petals rain down and her hips and legs immerse in hypnotic, sinuous movement. When she bends down and we see her face again, it is hidden in her hair, her hands coming through her hair gesturing divine feminine energy.

Faceless Hair Cry is a celebration of femininity and the many transformations the female body endures. The fusion of music, lighting, and movement creates provoking imagery that draws the audience in completely. This work is perceptibly enthralling and McIntyre is a tenacious performer and choreographer.


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