Wellington Performing Arts Centre, Wellington

03/11/2006 - 05/11/2006

Production Details

Choreographers/Dancers: Kilda Northcott & Lyne Pringle
Dramaturge/Director: Madeline McNamara

Psssst!! Wanna see some sexy chicks in their fishnets…roll up for a slow strip…..Tease down to the underbelly of the mature dancing body.

O.K. SO THAT’S THE HOOK! After a sell out season in 2005 and a recent National Tour Bipeds Productions bring their stunning Dance/Theatre show FISHNET back to Wellington to once again dazzle audiences.

At times hilarious -at times deeply moving – FISHNET is a rapturous exploration of the expressive body by two of New Zealand’s celebrated contemporary dancers, Kilda Northcott and Lyne Pringle.



3rd, Fri 8pm

4th, Sat 2pm & 8pm

5th, Sun 4pm

Producer/Publicist     Paul Forrest
Technical Director      Glenn Ashworth
Sound Design             Plan 9
                                     Janet Roddick, Steve Roche, David Donaldson
Set Construction         Paul Forrest/Workshop e
Stage Manager           Paul Forrest
Lip Painting                Paul Forrest
Lighting Design          Glenn Ashworth/ Jennifer Lal
Videographer              Stephen Bain
Photography               Gwyn Rees
Dramaturgical advice    Jo Randerson
Dance advice              Justine Cooper, Jennifer Shennan
Additional Music        Frank Sinatra, The Eels, Ronny Jordan
Tongue Tied Goddess song by Lyne Pringle

Theatre , Dance ,

Rage against the aging of the bod

Review by John Smythe 04th Nov 2006

Talk about a couple of old slappers! And people are; talking about Fishnet in a positive "catch it if you can" kind of way. What began as an exploratory idea in last year’s Dance Your Socks Off festival returns for another brief Wellington season in mature form: confident, witty, surprising and wicked.

In a show that rages against the aging of the body, dancers Kilda Northcott and Lyne Pringle – like their Baby Boomer contemporaries in many fields – refuse to go kindly into young middle age according to past prescriptions.

Describing themselves in their programme note as "a couple of old dancing chooks", they reveal that the idea for the show arose in the aftermath of their dancing in fishnet stockings for fun, for the 40th birthday of Paul (Forrest, Pringle’s partner, their producer, artist and painter of the lovely lips that hang at the rear of the performing space).

Their question to themselves, "How do these bodies want to move?" confronts an implicit questioning of how they’re expected to move, at their age. Thus the sexy-cum-salacious actions and images that litter Fishnet may be taken as a send-up of stereotyped notions of sexiness, or as a celebration of enduring sensuality.

Their pre-show appearance in the foyer as mouth-guarded – and therefore incoherently grunting – male rugby stars, and the recurring motifs of verbal inarticulateness throughout the show, suggest they feel a need to justify their existence as female dancers per se, let alone as aging ones. And indeed they resort to words more than once to make their points, not least in a song composed by Pringle: "What kind of voice does a tongue-tied goddess have? What can she find to say? A voice that speaks from intuitive knowing …"

A lectern, used in many ways, is a key stage prop. Large pelvic bones float in space until they are used toward the end in a sequence suggesting birth, rebirth and/or a return to the womb. The afore-mentioned lip painting serves as a backdrop and screen, and is turned 90 degrees at one point to suggest the point of access back to that womb. Video projections (Stephen Bain) offer variously witty, wacky and sensuous punctuation throughout – and I have to say that for me, when the naked female foetal form seeking return to the womb multiplies many times over until the vertical lips swarms with what seems like hundreds of them, it resembles a severe infestation of crabs. Is that intended, I wonder?

But the core component of the show is dance and whichever way you look at it, there is life in those aging limbs yet. They open the show proper with bird-like movements, using long clumps of flax fronds to suggest Kiwi-like beaks. By turns lyrical and comical, their dance work – mostly to a marvellous Plan 9 soundscape – is never predictable.

Suddenly the "old chooks" are dancing a gentle pas-de-deux, next minute they’re checking each other’s old bag sags – kimono arms, wattles, boobs, tums and bums – only to leap forth into a razzmatazz jazz routine involving backward shoulder rolls and acrobatic lifts. Wow.

The more energetic sequences are skilfully interspersed with comic sketches, including Pringle’s verbal dissertation on someone’s formidably impressive contribution to the art form, and Northcott’s evocation of a classic European dance guru attempting to recover her lost mystique, cross referenced with Pringle’s histrionic knife routine in blood-red light (lighting design by Glenn Ashworth and Jennifer Lal).

A faux ending comes with a cabaret style ‘finale’ to Sinatra’s ‘Witchcraft’, provoking the first justification for referring to them as "a couple of old slappers" – and very stylish ones at that! Then Northcott is left alone, as if in private, to continue to seek an answer to that initial question: how may this body now move?

On Pringle’s return the ‘Tongue-Tied Goddess’ song is reprised, shamanic limb illusions are created, the pelvic bones / birth / rebirth / back-to-the-womb motifs are explored, their long hair is released, and actions evoking threshing and trashing culminate in the flax fronds that opened the show being slapped with great force to the ground, as if to drive back the very growth that now leads to what we call aging.

These "slappers" are not to be trifled with. But their Fishnet is definitely to be seen, wherever the opportunity arises.


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